This Saturday, Princeton football posted another strong performance, defeating Lafayette on the road, 38-17. After falling behind 7-3 early in the game, Princeton’s offense began to produce at a dominant pace, and its defense bared down en route to a blowout victory. With the win, the team improved its record to 2-0 and appears poised for another strong run in Ivy League conference play.
As was the case in last week’s season opener against San Diego, Princeton’s passing attack proved unstoppable for much of the game. With senior quarterback John Lovett still sidelined with an injury, senior Chad Kanoff, receiving all the snaps at QB, shone once again, passing for 256 yards and throwing three touchdowns for the second consecutive game. Junior Jesper Horsted led the receiving effort with 58 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Stephen Carlson, who hauled in three receiving touchdowns last week, added 52 yards. As a whole, the offense benefitted from a balanced passing attack, with 10 different players contributing at least one reception, as well as strong protection from the offensive line, which only conceded two sacks. Junior running back Charlie Volker, who missed the season opener with an illness, returned to the lineup Saturday and boosted the Princeton rushing game, running the ball 20 times for 111 yards and a TD. Princeton’s rushing attack was also critical towards their offensive success; the team ran the ball 45 times for a total of 219 yards behind its powerful offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, Princeton was able to shut down the Lafayette running game almost entirely, allowing only 57 yards rushing on 17 carries. Senior linebacker Mark Fossati anchored the stout Princeton run defense, contributing 11 tackles, and junior defensive back Ben Ellis and freshman defensive back C.J. Wall added 10 and eight tackles respectively. Junior linebacker Mike Wagner was a dominant force on the pass rush, sacking Lafayette Quarterback Sean O’Malley twice, and senior defensive line Kurt Holuba added another sack. With Princeton’s defense controlling the run-game and protecting a lead, Lafayette was forced to try to pick up yards through the air, throwing the ball 44 times. Princeton, with its relatively inexperienced secondary, struggled at times to defend the pass, conceding 325 yards through the air. Wall, named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for his performance against San Diego, intercepted O’Malley once, continuing an impressive start to his career.
Returning a large amount of talent from last year’s Ivy League champion team, Princeton appeared, on paper, well-positioned for another stellar season. Through the team’s first two victories, Princeton’s impressive performance so far leaves no reason to question that assumption. The team will return home this Saturday, hoping to continue its success against Ivy League foe Columbia.