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Yale Staves Off Football On Homecoming, 30-24

By CornellBigRed.com

ITHACA, N.Y. – Junior running back Harold Coles rushed for one touchdown and caught another with 130 all-purpose yards, but Yale staved off the Cornell football team for a 30-24 victory in the Big Red's Homecoming on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.

Cornell (0-2, 0-1 Ivy League) effectively contained vaunted running back Zane Dudek (33 yards on 13 carries) after a pair of first-quarter touchdowns, but Spencer Alston rushed for 120 yards and Yale (1-1, 1-0) never trailed.

Both teams struck for two touchdowns in a marathon opening quarter, and quarterback Mike Catanese's 24-yard run accounted for the Big Red's other touchdown. Nickolas Null kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1 minute, 41 seconds to play to get the Big Red back within striking distance, but Yale recovered the onside kick attempt and salted the game away.

With the game tied at 14 after 15 minutes, Yale's Alex Galland hit three field goals (23, 29 and 42 yards) to give the visitors a cushion they would not concede.

Notes To Know

  • Senior quarterback Dalton Banks' 58-yard touchdown pass to Harold Coles was the 25th of his career, becoming the fifth Big Red quarterback to hit that milestone.
  • Cornell registered 10 tackles for loss as a team, with eight different players getting in on the action.
  • For the second straight game, the Big Red did not commit or force a turnover.
  • Junior Mike Catanese ran for his first career score, a 24-yarder in the fourth quarter.
  • Junior Harold Coles scored a touchdown rushing and receiving, nearly matching his career total entering the game (three).

First Quarter

  • Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings hit wide receiver Reed Klubnik with a screen to the right side, and he broke a tackle before speeding up the sideline for a 36-yard gain to the Cornell 10-yard line (10:26 left).
  • A pair of 5-yard rushes by Zane Dudek follow, with the latter going up the middle for the game's first touchdown (kick good, Yale leads 7-0 with 9:20 left).
  • On third down, Cornell quarterback Dalton Banks scampers up the middle for 25 yards to the 50-yard line. Defensive holding on the play pushes the ball to the Yale 40 (8:02 left).
  • On the next play, Harold Coles take an inside handoff and sprints 40 yards untouched for the touchdown (kick good, game tied at 7 with 7:48 left).
  • On third down, Rawlings goes deep to the right to find Isiah Dunham for a 33-yard gain to the Cornell 3 (6:14 left)
  • Two plays later, Dudek takes an inside handoff and escapes to the right, winning a race to the pylon from 4 yards for his second touchdown (kick good, Yale leads 14-7 with 5:27 left).
  • Following a sack, Banks absorbed a hit to set up a short interior pass to Coles, who broke a tackle before a 58-yard sprint down the sideline for his second touchdown (kick good, game tied at 14, 1:51 left).

Second Quarter

  • Jelani Taylor's open-field tackle on Noah Aaron's crossing-route reception stops Yale on deep in Cornell territory. The 13-play drive ends in a 23-yard field goal from Alex Galland (Yale leads, 17-14, with 10:45 left).
  • On third down, Rawlings evades a pass rush to find Spencer Alston for a 21-yard reception up the middle to advance a Yale drive into Cornell territory (2:44 left).
  • Galland attempts a 47-yard field goal that has just enough distance, but falls to the left of the uprights to turn the ball over on downs (1:34 left).

Third Quarter

  • Cyrus Nolan records sacks on consecutive plays, then Mason Banbury batted down a third-down pass attempt to force a Yale punt (12:51 left).
  • Rawlings drops back for a pass on fourth-and-5 from the Cornell 30 and the Big Red swarms him with a blitz, but a face mask is called to result in a drive-saving first down.
  • On the next play, Jake Watkins breaks up the Bulldogs' pass attempt to the end zone and Yale settles for Galland's 29-yard field goal (Yale leads, 20-14, 5:20 left)
  • Galland's 42-yard field goal makes it a two possession game (Yale leads, 23-14, :30.6 left).
  • From two yards in the end zone, David Jones runs back the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to set up the Big Red in Yale territory to start its next drive (:20 left).

Fourth Quarter

  • On fourth-and-4 from the Yale 41, Banks hits Fitzgerald with a shovel pass for an eight-yard gain and a first down.
  • Out of the shotgun two plays later, Mike Catanese fakes a handoff to Coles and gets to the right edge for a 24-yard touchdown rush (Yale leads, 23-21, 12:01 left).
  • Yale's third-down pass from the Cornell 34 falls incomplete, but a penalty for roughing the passer gives the Bulldogs a first down (4:41 left).
  • Alston rumbles up the middle for four yards and a touchdown to give Yale a cushion (Yale leads, 30-21, 3:14 left).
  • With time ticking down, Banks found Pederson for 23 yards up the right sideline to the Yale 16 (2:11 left).
  • Into the breeze, Null hits a 41-yard field goal to keep Big Red hopes alive (Yale leads, 30-24, 1:41 left).
  • Yale's Rodney Thomas II recovers and onside kick, and Yale takes a knee three times to close out the game.