Cornell Defense, you ever heard of it? Cornell was able to force two crucial turnover on downs on Marist at the 1-yard line as they defeated Marist 21-7.
The combination of Big Red’s defense and the rushing attack was too much for the Red Foxes’ too handle. Harold Coles rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown. Both of quarterback Mike Catanese’s touchdowns came on the ground as he rushed for 79 yards. As a team, Cornell rushed for 263 yards to Marist’s 2 rushing yards. Cornell dominated time of possession as they had the ball for 40:06.
This was a game of missed opportunities for Marist. The Red Foxes were able to put themselves in good positions to score but the offense was unable to capitalize. Cornell forced two turnover on downs at the 1-yard line. The first turnover on downs came with 8:23 left in the first half when Strnad was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. The second time all but sealed the game for Cornell when Dazhon Miller was met at the line of scrimmage by Jelani Taylor and Justin Bedard. “We had multiple shots there. We tried a bunch of different things. We went inside, we went outside and we threw the ball so it wasn’t just the ground and pound type thing. Unfortunately, Cornell came up with the stops down there.” Coach Parady said. Marist’s defense gave their offense three extra opportunities to score as Ryan Webb had an interception and both Alex Bergan and Kyle Fleitman had each recovered a fumble.
Senior captain Grant Dixon believes that this defense can play even better. “We played together and forced a couple turnovers. It’s a team effort. We’ll look at what we did and improve on things we need to improve on and we’ll come back ready to win next week.”
Following a roughing the kicker penalty on Marist, Cornell was able to capitalize immediately. Catanese was able to connect with John Fitzgerald for a 22-yard completion to set Cornell up for a first and goal on the Marist 4-yard line. Catanese was able to finish off the 7:24 drive that started on the Cornell 40-yard line with a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth and goal with 5:20 left in the first quarter to give Cornell a 7-0 lead.
“We had some costly penalties that really hurt us as the game went along.” Marist Head Coach Jim Parady said.
Marist’s offense got off to a slow start today as they only had possession of the ball for 3:22 and accounted for 15 total yards of offense in the first quarter.
Catanese was then able to break free on the second play of the second quarter for a 42-yard touchdown run with 14:24 left in the quarter for his second score of the game to give Cornell a 14-0 lead.
After it seemed to be all Big Red early the Red Fox offense woke up. On the next drive Luke Strnad would hook up with Joe Petro on third and 11 for a 51-yard completion to put Marist on the Cornell 3-yd line. Freshman running back Hunter Cobb would then be able to punch the ball into the endzone with 11:52 remaining in the first half to cut Cornell’s lead down to 14-7. That was Cobb’s first career touchdown.
Strnad got his first start of the season today after coming in the fourth quarter of last week’s win in the home opener over Stetson after starting quarterback Austin Day was carted off the field with a concussion. Strnad completed 16-38 passes for 218 yards and one interception.
Parady had nothing but praise for his quarterback. “Luke had a lot on his plate as far as what we were doing and in-game adjustments and I thought he handled those well. Overall I thought he played a solid game in his first start and overcoming the nerves of a homecoming game.”
Marist is ready to move on from this loss and is looking forward to their rematch next week against Drake. “We lost [at Drake] last year so it’s time to come here and redeem ourselves because we were fighting for a PFL championship last year and that was one of the games that hurt us.” Ryan Webb said.
The Red Foxes will finish their homestand as they host Drake (0-3) next Saturday, Sept. 28, at 1 p.m.in Poughkeepsie, NY at Tenney Stadium.
Edited by Kourtney Kowalski