Defense Pushes #17 Colgate Past Football, 31-0


HAMILTON, N.Y. -- The 100th all-time meeting between Cornell and Colgate was dominated by the Raiders' top-ranked defense, as the home team posted its third shutout in four games with a 31-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium. No. 17 Colgate improved to 6-0, while the Big Red fell to 2-3.

Colgate, which has allowed just six points in its last five contests and 23 points all season, defended in the red zone just once, allowed only 252 total yards and limited the Big Red to 4-of-16 on third downs and 2-of-7 on fourth downs. It also forced three turnovers against a Cornell offense that had committed just one total in its first four games.

T.J. Holl had a game-high 18 tackles, including two for a loss, and blocked a Big Red field goal attempt at the end of the first half that kept the visitors off the board. In all, Colgate had nine tackles for loss and intercepted three passes, including one by Tyler Castillo that was brought back 58 yards for a touchdown.

Cornell's defense kept it in the game much of the afternoon, with Jelani Taylor leading the way with 10 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup. Mason Banbury forced and recovered a fumble. The Big Red allowed only three drives of more than 40 yards on the day.

The Big Red rushed for 136 yards against a Raiders' defense that hadn't allowed more than 73 in its last four games as Colgate won its 11th consecutive contest dating back to last year. Harold Coles led the Big Red rushing attack with 46 yards on 14 carries, while Jake Derderian, J.D. PicKell and Delonte Harrell combined for 74 yards on 21 carries. Owen Peters caught four passes for 56 yards, while Dalton Banks completed 14-of-25 passes for 91 yards.

James Holland led Colgate with 119 rushing yards and a touchdown, while also catching five passes for 33 yards and finding the end zone once. Grant Breneman completed 16-of-25 attempts for 206 yards and a score, while also running for a touchdown. Owen Rockett was Breneman's favorite target, catching five passes for 76 yards.

First Quarter

  • In a fast-moving first quarter, the only scoring came on a five-play, 65-yard Colgate drive that ended with a 10-yard screen pass from Breneman to Holland for a touchdown.
  • The highlight of the drive was a 50-yard run by Holland that flipped the field, with David Jones running him down at the Cornell 11.
  • Cornell went on an extended drive to open the game, marching 45 yards in 13 plays all the way down to the Colgate 23, but a holding penalty put the Big Red out of scoring position and ended in a failed fourth down pass to turn it over on downs.
  • The Big Red picked up a fourth-and-4 from the Colgate 44 during the drive when Banks hit Peters for a 12-yard strike.
  • Cornell held the ball for 10:56 of the first quarter and picked up five first downs.

Second Quarter

  • An impressive one-handed, 23-yard grab by Owen Peters brought the ball to the Colgate 33 on a possession that bridged the first and second quarters, but Banks was picked off in the end zone looking for Peters on the next play.
  • The Raiders used the turnover to march 74 yards on 12 plays, resulting in a 23-yard field goal by Chris Puzzi.
  • The teams traded punts before Cornell took over with 3:25 left.
  • Cornell ended the half on a 12-play drive, with Colgate blocking a Zach Mays 43-yard attempt at the horn.
  • The Raiders had appeared to take advantage of a bad punt snap earlier in the drive that would have resulted in their possession on the Big Red 15 with 16 seconds left, but a targeting call led to Cornell instead taking the ball at the Colgate 42.
  • A 16-yard scramble by Banks put Cornell in a position to kick the field goal at the end of the half.
  • The Raiders led 10-0 at the break.

Third Quarter

  • Colgate took the opening kickoff and marched 79 yards on nine plays to go up 17-0, with Breneman setting the tone by hitting Thomas Ives for a 34-yard pass gain on the first play after the break.
  • Holland finished the drive with his second touchdown of the day, a 2-yard run.
  • Cornell gave up a short field when it went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but tried a fake punt to spark the team only to have the pass intercepted at its own 34.
  • Four plays later, Breneman ran for a 21-yard score, making it 24-0 with 7:16 left in the third.
  • After a Big Red punt, the defense got the ball back when Taylor forced a fumble by Holland and Mason Banbury pounced on the loose football.
  • Cornell got a big fourth down stop late in the third quarter when Cyrus Nolan caught Alex Mathews in the backfield for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 to start the fourth quarter with the ball.

Fourth Quarter

  • Facing a fourth-and-3, Banks hit Turner DePalma for a 3-yard gainer to move the chains - DePalma's first career reception.
  • Consecutive fourth down stops by the Raiders and then Cornell, the latter forced on a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 by Mo Bradford and Nathaniel Weber, gave the visitors the ball back with 4:40 remaining.
  • Tyler Castillo stepped in front of a Richie Kenny pass and took it to the house with 2:55 remaining to close out the scoring.

Notes to Know

  • With the win, the Raiders cut Cornell's lead in the all-time series to 49-48-3.
  • The Big Red fell to 10-38-1 all-time against ranked teams, including 1-4 against Colgate.
  • Cornell was shut out for the first time since Dartmouth blanked the Big Red 10-0 last November in Hanover, N.H.
  • With 14 completions, Dalton Banks moved into fourth place on the school's career list (475), surpassing Bill Lazor (470).
  • Sophomores Alex Kuzy (three receptions, 25 yards) and Turner DePalma (one reception, 3 yards) made their first collegiate catches.
  • Freshman Delonte Harrell had a career-high eight carries for 24 yards on the ground.