Fourth Quarter Rally Lifts Football Over Harvard, 28-24
ITHACA, N.Y. – Staring at a double-digit deficit at home against Harvard for the second straight year, the Cornell football team was again undaunted. The result - the Big Red's first win streak over the Crimson this century.
Harold Coles rushed for a 34-yard touchdown, then Dalton Banks hit Owen Peters with a 33-yard touchdown pass less than three minutes later to lead the Cornell football team's fourth-quarter rally for a 28-24 victory over rival Harvard on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Red evened its record at 2-2 (1-1 Ivy), while the Crimson dropped their second straight in falling to 2-2 (1-1 Ivy).
Reis Seggebruch led Cornell's defensive efforts with 11 tackles and two sacks, the latter of which resulted in a 10-yard loss on a third down in the third quarter. But Harvard's Jake McIntyre comfortably boomed a 42-yard field goal on the next play to give the visitors the lead, 17-14, late in the third quarter.
The Crimson then stretched its lead to two possessions for the first time with 10:13 to play on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tom Stewart to Henry Taylor.
Both teams' defenses delivered in a low-scoring first half. Harvard scored on its first drive, then the scoreboard stayed idle until a big play by the Cornell special teams. Dylan Otolski's blocked punt was scooped up and run 15 yards into the end zone by Justin Bedard with 4:53 left before the half. Zach Mays' extra point tied the game at 7.
Both teams found offensive traction in the second half. Harvard rushed for 288 yards, led by 194 on 27 carries by Aaron Shampklin. Banks passed for 201, including 112 on five catches by Peters.
The Big Red rushing attack ground out 155 yards and a pair of scores against the nation's top-ranked rushing defense, a unit that entered the game averaging just 50.0 yards allowed per outing. Mike Catanese ran for 75 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and Harold Coles rushed 15 times for 70 yards and a score.
The Big Red defense had three sacks, five tackles for loss and 10 breakups while limiting the Crimson passing attack to 10-of-34 for 137 yards.
- A big hole through the right side of the line on third down allows Aaron Shampklin to sprint away for a 47-yard touchdown run (Jake McIntyre kick, Harvard leads 7-0, 13:01 left).
- Logan Thut wraps up Harvard's Jack Stansell on a third-down reception in the flat to force a punt (8:38 left).
- Richie Ryan sacks Harvard's Jake Smith on a first down two plays before an eventual Crimson punt (3:15 left).
- Reis Seggebruch sacks Smith on third-and-long to force another Harvard punt (11:49 left).
- Jelani Taylor breaks up a pass on third-and-10 in Cornell territory to force the Crimson's fourth punt (8:07 left).
- Newly-inserted Jake Derderian hauls in a screen pass to start the drive, then rushes for 17 yards on the next play (7:15 left).
- Harvard's Wesley Ogsbury tracks down a deep ball up the middle intended for Dylan Otolski for an interception (6:31 left).
- Otolski breaks up the middle to block a punt, then Justin Bedard recovers the ball and runs 18 yards for a touchdown (Mays kick, game tied at 7, 4:53 left).
- After Harvard turns the ball over on down, Dalton Banks completes a pass 26 yards up the right sideline to Tommy McIntyre to the Harvard 38-yard line (:48 left).
- Harvard's Scott Garrison sacks Banks to force Cornell to turn the ball over on downs (:26 left).
- Harvard's Tom Stewart keeps the ball on a read option, then scampers 23 yards up the right sideline to set the Crimson up on the Cornell 29 (11:20 left).
- Two plays later, Stewart throws a deep ball up the left side that's flagged down by Adam Scott in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown reception (McIntyre kick, Harvard leads 14-7, 10:23 left).
- First play of drive, Banks finds a wide-open Peters running up the left sideline for a 45-yard reception to the Harvard 3 (10:05 left).
- Two plays later, Mike Catanese keeps the ball and runs through the left side of the line and races 32 yards to the pylon for a touchdown (Mays kick, game tied at 14, 9:20).
- Shampklin follows a blocker through a hole on the right side and runs 34 yards up the sideline to the Cornell 39 (8:57 left).
- Seggebruch comes storming through the line for his second sack of the game and a 10-yard Harvard loss, but McIntyre booms a 42-yard field goal on the next play (Harvard leads 17-14, 4:09 left).
- A holding penalty negates what would have been a 100-yard kickoff return by Nick Jones for a touchdown. Instead, Cornell starts the drive on its own 18 (3:55 left).
- In a span of three plays, Phazione McClurge breaks up two attempted 46-yard passes to the end zone to force a Harvard punt (:14 left).
- Stewart finds John Stivers on a third-down reception for a first down at the Cornell 37, keeping alive a long drive (11:00 left).
- Stewart drops a perfect 29-yard pass to Henry Taylor on a corner route to the left sideline for a touchdown (McIntyre kick, Harvard leads 24-14, 10:13 left).
- Harold Coles bounces off a couple would-be tacklers, then breaks up the left side for a 34-yard touchdown to make it aa one possession game again (Mays kick, Harvard leads 24-21, 7:03 left).
- Stewart scrambles on third-and-long and attempts to find Scott streaking up the sideline, but Thut gets a hand in to break it up to force a Harvard punt (6:17 left).
- Rushes of 5 and 12 by Catanese were followed by a 13-yard run around the left edge by Coles. That set up Banks' perfectly-thrown touchdown pass of 33 yards to Owen Peters on a post route (Mays kick, Cornell leads 28-24, 4:44 left).
- DJ Woullard leaps to get a hand on and break up an attempted third-down pass, forcing a Harvard punt (3:23 left).
- Harvard steadily marches up field, with an out route from Stewart to Taylor pushing the Crimson to a first down at the Cornell 34 (1:12 left).
- A Harvard pass that would have been good for a first down is dropped, setting up fourth-and-9 from the Cornell 33. The following play is also an incomplete pass, and Harvard turns the ball over on downs (:49 left).
Notes to Know
- With the win, Cornell has now won consecutive games against Harvard for the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
- Dalton Banks became the fifth quarterback in Cornell history to surpass 5,000 career yards with his 18-of-24, 201-yard performance. He ended the contest with 5,005 career yards through the air.
- Senior captain Reis Seggebruch became the 59th Cornellian to surpass 150 career tackles, ending the afternoon with 157 (50th all-time).
- Justin Bedard's 15-yard punt return off Dylan Otolski's block was the first returned for a touchdown by a Cornellian since Ahmad Avery recovered one in the end zone against Penn during the final game of the 2013 campaign.
- It was the first punt block on any kind for Cornell since Twan Terrell against Princeton in 2015.
Owen Peters posted his first 100-yard receiving game and had the first 100-yard day by a Cornell player since James Hubbard at Colgate in 2016.
- Entering the game, Peters, Cornell's leading receiver a year ago, had just one catch for six yards.
- The Big Red's last rally from double digits in the fourth quarter came against Princeton last season, rallying from a 28-16 deficit in the fourth for a 29-28 win.
CFA Awards Day
- Vince Giarusso '53 and Terry Mallett shared the Louis J. Conti Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes former members of Cornell's football program who, as a player, coach team manager or special friend, have demonstrated a genuine commitment to the Big Red Football Program through their support, leadership and service over an extended period of time.
- The late Chuck Knight '57 was selected to receive the Joseph P. King Memorial Award. It serves as a tribute to deceased alumni and friends who made outstanding contributions to the proud tradition of Cornell Football.
- The late James Popielinski '74 was chosen for the Fallen Comrade Award. The award recognizes former Big Red Football Payers whose lives were taken before their time.