This weekend the sprint football team headed to Cornell to face the Big Red (3-0 overall, 2-0 CSFL). While the Tigers (0-3, 0-3) rallied in the second half, their efforts fell short, ending in a 22-15 loss. As in last week’s game against Navy, the first half was Princeton’s weaker one, as the visitors were outscored 20-0 before halftime.
“We just started slow,” sophomore linebacker Nick Barnett said. “We weren’t clicking on offense. We need to start faster, do a couple things differently.”
Princeton turned its fortunes around in the third quarter when a 29-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Joe Bush to senior tight end John Wolfe marked the beginning of improved Tiger play. Wolfe is also a sports writer for The Daily Princetonian.
Cornell added two points in the fourth quarter with a safety, but Bush responded with another long touchdown pass, this one to senior wide receiver Nick Lulli. Bush completed 10 of 19 passes for 148 yards in his first career start, as he and senior Jaison Zachariah have split time at quarterback.
“This was the first time I actually started,” Bush said. “I’m grateful to the coaches and the whole team for trusting such an important game to me. It was an honor.”
Bush passed to Wolfe for a successful two-point conversion, bringing Princeton within seven points with one minute, 44 seconds remaining in the game.
However, the Tigers would get no closer, as their onside kick attempt was recovered by the Big Red, which was able to run out the clock.
Princeton’s pattern of second-half improvement shows an encouraging ability to keep its focus, though the Tigers will have to perform at a higher level of play in the first half to earn their first victory.
“For the first couple games, we didn’t have enough practice time,” Bush said. “And we were kind of still on the bus in the first half. The main thing is, after bad first halves, we can get really motivated at halftime.”
On Friday, the Tigers will return to Princeton Stadium and face Post University, a young team against which Princeton played well at home two years ago. The players hope the matchup will lead to a long-awaited victory.
“We want to take the second half at Cornell to have a good first half and second half first against Post,” Bush said. “Goal number one is the first win. After Cornell, I was upset, but some of the seniors were more visibly upset. It got to me how much they’ve put in, how much they want this. I want to get that win for them.”
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/10/02/31343/