For the third straight game, Cornell football lost a game by one possession on Friday night. This game was different though. The previous two losses to Bucknell and Yale were fourth quarter collapses. This time it was the Big Red that made a comeback against Colgate in the final quarter, but it just was not enough to get the first victory of the season losing 28-21. The team rallied to score 14 unanswered points in the fourth to make the score 28-21. They even had four plays inside Colgate’s 10-yard line in the final minute with a chance to tie the game but Colgate’s defense held strong forcing the turnover on downs to seal the game. This loss kept Cornell winless with an 0-3 record while Colgate improved to 2-3.
Quarterback Robert Somborn played a solid game completing 18 of his 31 pass attempts for 272 yards. He also threw one touchdown and had no interceptions. With a large deficit to overcome, Cornell was forced to abandon the run early and rely on Somborn to make plays and he responded well by getting his team back in the game. Running back Luke Hagy only had 11 carries in the game but still managed to post his sixth consecutive 100- yard rushing game with 121 yards and two touchdowns including a career long 79-yard run. He also moved into seventh for career rushing yards with 1,965. Wide receiver Ben Rogers also had a great game catching six balls for 127 yards.
The Cornell defense struggled early in the game containing Colgate dual threat quarterback Jake Melville who threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns while adding 97 more yards and another touchdown on the ground. Almost all of Melville’s completions went to a duo of wide receivers consisting of John Maddaluna and Alex Greenawalt who had 138 and 102 receiving yards respectively. Running back John Wilkins also contributed 106 yards on the ground. Stopping the run was a priority for Coach Archer’s team as Colgate’s offense is centered around just that. Eventually the defense settled down to shut out Colgate in the fourth quarter.
While Cornell was the one coming back from an early deficit in this game, the Big Red once again struggled making plays down the stretch and maintaining consistency to pull out a victory. The two-minute offense has been a problem as they have not been able to finish out drives that could have changed the result of the games. Coach Archer said after the game, “we have to put four quarters together and three sides of the ball together.” At 0-3 it is difficult to accept moral victories, but Coach will likely try to build off a gutsy performance this week in practice. Next up, Cornell will host Ivy League rival Harvard this Saturday at noon at Schoellkopf Field. Harvard will be coming in with a 3-0 record and has outscored their first three opponents 139-37.