After being embarrassed on their home field last weekend in the homecoming matchup against Harvard, it was unclear how the Tigers would respond with more than half of their Ivy season left to play. However, the Tigers (4-3 overall, 3-1 Ivy League) showed they had a short memory and displayed their resolve as they put the loss behind them to earn a 38-27 win over Cornell this weekend.
While the offense struggled last weekend against Harvard and could not connect through the air nor gain substantial yardage in the run game, Saturday’s game against the Big Red instead featured the Tiger team that scored at least 30 points in half of their games this season. This was in large part due to senior quarterback Connor Michelsen and senior wide receiver Connor Kelley, who connected 13 times, including twice for touchdowns. Michelsen started in place of injured senior quarterback and co-captain Quinn Epperly and threw for 281 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Kelley led all Tiger receivers with 147 yards and a career-best 13 receptions.
Kelley’s receptions alone accounted for nearly the same number of yards the entire Tiger passing game produced against Harvard, when they threw for 190 yards as compared to Harvard’s 392 yards. With 83 rushing yards against Cornell, senior running back Will Powers singlehandedly outran the entire Tiger run game from last weekend that produced 54 yards against Harvard. Sophomore tight end Scott Carpenter and junior running back Dre Nelson caught a touchdown apiece to seal the Tiger victory.
Sophomore linebacker Rohan Hylton, junior defensive back Andrew Frisby, senior linebacker Garrit Leicht and junior linebacker Marcus Stroud all recorded sacks against the Cornell offense, while nine Tigers recorded tackles for loss on the day, including two by sophomore linebacker Ty Desire. Junior cornerback Anthony Gaffney added his third interception of the season, and senior linebacker and co-captain Mike Zeuli led the defensive effort with eight tackles.
The victory this weekend leaves the Tigers tied for second place in the Ivy League behind Harvard, which sits alone atop the standings.
The Tigers will look to stay in contention for a share of the Ivy League title when they host Penn next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.