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ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell used two touchdowns in the second half to defeat Columbia 24-9 on Saturday, November 16.
Cornell opened up the scoring at 6:06 of the first quarter with a 12-play, 63-yard drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal by Joe Pierik. The drive took just over six minutes.
Columbia answered with a five-minute drive of their own, resulting in Luke Eddy's 33-yard field goal with 52 seconds left to play in the first quarter to make it 3-3.
Columbia started that drive on its own 21 yard line. Cameron Molina rushed for seven yards to make it third and three when quarterback Trevor McDonagh hit Andrew Dobitsch with a pass for a 10-yard gain and a first down. McDonagh then connected with Chris Connors for a gain of seven before finding Denzel Hill for a 31-yard reception. On first and 10 from the Cornell 23, Molina rushed for seven, but then lost two yards on second down. McDonagh's third down pass intended for Connors was incomplete, setting up Eddy's field goal.
In the second quarter, Cornell put together a 19-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in James Few's one-yard touchdown run. The Lions pinned Cornell back on multple first and second downs, but the Big Red was able to convert third and long plays to keep drive alive.
The teams traded three and out drives before Columbia got the ball back on its own 40-yard line with just 30 seconds to play in the half. McDonagh found Cameron Dunn quickly for an eight-yard gain before a big pass to Chris Connors (23 yards), put the Lions deep into Cornell territory. A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on Cornell advaanced the ball to the Cornell 14 as time was running out. With just a couple of seconds on the clock, Eddy hit another field goal to make it 10-6 at the half.
Both teams had stalled offensive drives to start the third quarter before Cornell moved 69 yards in six plays to set up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Few to Ben Rogers for the Big Red to take a 17-6 lead.
The Lions answered with a scoring drive that went just over three and a half minutes. McDonagh opened with a pass to Garrett DeMuth for nine yards. Molina rushed three yards for the first down. On first and 10 from the Columbia 27, McDonagh found Hamilton Garner for a 27-yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, McDonagh completed a pass to Scooter Hollis for a gain of 15 yards. Molina added a five-yard rush, but Columbia was unable to convert a first down. Eddy kicked a 31-yard field goal to cut Cornell's lead to 17-9 with 5:37 left in the third quarter.
On Cornell's second drive of the fourth quarter, it was third and 12 at the Columbia 45 and the Lions stopped Cornell two yards short of the first down. However, a Columbia lineman was called for roughing the passer, which gave moved the chains again for Cornell. On second and goal from the seven, Few threw to Ty Bostain, who wrestled with Columbia's Marquel Carter for the ball. Carter came out of the endzone with it, but the seconds laters the referees signaled touchdown. The PAT gave Cornell the final 24-9 margin.
McDonagh went 20-41-1 for 292 yards. James Few went 14-17 for 178 and two touchdowns. Cornell picked up 131 yards on the ground to Columbia's 27, but the Lions had 292 yards passing to Cornell's 227.
Mark Cieslak had a great game for Columbia with 12 tackles, a sack and 2.5 TFLs Brian East had 13 tackles in the loss.
Connors had 57 yards receiving, while Flannery totaled 57.
Columbia returns to action on Saturday, November 23, in its season finale for a 1:30 p.m. contest. The game will be broadcast on FOX College Sports.