As fans huddled together against the cool weather Saturday, Oct. 24, the Cornell Rams fought hard against their division rivals, the Monmouth Fighting Scots. Unfortunately, in the end they simply could not prevail.
Going into the game, both Monmouth and Cornell stood undefeated in the conference with two wins each. Rumors of Monmouth’s strength abounded, with an impressive 5-1 overall history going into Saturday’s game in comparison to the Rams’ own 3-4 overall ranking.
In the first quarter Monmouth scored early with a 71-yard touchdown pass followed by the extra point from a successful kick by Danny Muzzalupo (16). Cornell’s defense held up reasonably well early on, however, Monmouth’s first touchdown was to be their only source of points for the quarter.
When the Rams’ Justin Futrell (16) recovered a punt, it seemed as if Cornell might have a chance to pull even. However, Monmouth soon recovered possession, ending the first quarter 0-7 for the Fighting Scots.
In the second quarter, Monmouth pushed their advantage with three successful scoring passes by Tanner Matlick (17) followed by three successful kicks by Muzzalupo, bringing the end score to 0-28 in the single worst quarter for the Cornell Rams.
It seemed for a moment as if Cornell’s Maliek Ketchens (17) might bring Easton Schaber (18) down after Schaber received the pass from Matlick; however, Schaber managed to twist away a few seconds later and went on to score the second touchdown of the quarter.
With a score of 0-28 going into halftime, the break provided by entertainment was much appreciated. More than that, however, the brief ceremony recognizing the Mount Vernon youth football teams, whom are supported by Cornell College, served as a reminder that continuing appreciation for the sport and its youth are far more important than any individual game.
Perhaps showing an understanding of this fact even before it was brought home to them, fans returned to the stands promptly, carrying warm popcorn and hot chocolate to ward away the cold as they looked to a better second half. And, although Monmouth did manage to score twice more in the third quarter and once again in the fourth, the fourth quarter also saw a moment of triumph for the Cornell Rams.
Zachary Yankovich (19) really brought home an image of the future of football when he made his first collegiate interception off of a deflected pass, leading to an eventual 3-yard rush by quarterback Daniel Brown (18) and successful kick by Kaleb Whiting (17). Thus, the last points of the game with 3:41 left on the clock went to Cornell, preventing what had seemed an inevitable shutout by the Fighting Scots.
Next Saturday, October 31, the Rams travel to Lake Forest, Ill. (2-5 overall, 1-2 South) for a 1 p.m. game.
Elizabeth Flick, staff writer