Mon, Oct. 31, 2011 - [Football]
Cornell 19, Loras 17
The Loras College football team dropped their seventh game of 2011 on Saturday in Mount Vernon, Iowa on Saturday. The Cornell Rams earned the victory, 19-17 in sophomore quarterback Sean Brennan's first collegiate start.
The Duhawks produced 378 total yards on an afternoon with a nearly 50/50 split in the time of possession. Each team earned 18 first downs and averaged over six yards per offensive play. All five touchdowns were scored through the air and both teams made costly mistakes over the course of the game between the two teams searching for their first win in Iowa Conference play.
The first quarter yielded an early 3-0 lead for the Duhawks on a Tyler Wilker 30-yard field goal midway through the opening 15 minute session. Loras punted on their other two first quarter possessions, but limited the Rams to 12 plays during the same stretch. Loras earned a stop on a fourth down play and followed with a David Zoeckler forced fumble and recovery on Cornell's Preston Ritchie.
The Rams took a 7-3 lead into halftime after scoring on their first possession of the second quarter, covering 59 yards. Each of Loras' first two second quarter possessions ended in punts. The Rams punted and failed to convert a fourth down pass on the edge of the Loras red zone with their other chances.
The Rams took the second half kickoff and quickly went down to take a 13-3 lead. Cornell quarterback ran for 20 yards and threw one pass to Thomas Connor for 33 yards to extend the lead. The Rams would have the PAT blocked by Mike Canevello and were off to their most successful quarter of the day.
The teams would trade punts until Devin Kass logged 20 yards on the ground leading up to a Sean Brennan touchdown pass to Gavin Kaiser from 29 yards out to cut the home team's lead to 13-10.
Flores and the Rams took to the air on the ensuing drive and extended the lead to 19-10. This time, Brit Connor was on the receiving end of the 8-yard touchdown pass that capped a 70-yard drive. Andrew Burdick's two point running attempt failed.
Down nine points to start the fourth quarter and with good field position at the Rams' 39 yard line, Brennan was sacked and the Duhawks punted into the Rams' end zone for a touchback. After forcing a Cornell punt, the Duhawks marched to the home team's 21 yard line thanks to big plays in the passing game to Bryce Ewan and Gavin Kaiser. This time, Wilker's kick was hooked wide left and kept Loras trailing on the scoreboard by two scores.
The teams then traded turnovers as the midway point of the fourth quarter came and went. Eric Meyer ran down a long pass play by the Rams and got the ball back for the Duhawks before Brennan threw an interception on Loras' next play. Then Zach Myers forced Preston Ritchie into a fumble, giving the Duhawks possession with three minutes to go.
Four straight pass plays, including three to Kaiser, were completed for first downs. The final one was Kaiser's second touchdown of the day from 37 yards out, making it 19-17.
Loras elected for the onside kick with two minutes to go, but Wilker's bouncing attempt was tipped out of bounds by the Rams, who took possession and earned the one first down they needed to run out the clock.
Individually, Brennan finished the day 14-for-21 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Kass ran the ball 24 times for 89 yards. Kaiser finished with eight catches for 154 yards and both touchdown receptions. Bryce Ewan caught four passes for 89 yards.
Eric Meyer had 13 tackles, including a game-high 10 solo efforts to go with his forced fumble.
Flores ran for a team high 62 yards and threw for 338 yards (on 23 completions) to lead Cornell. He completed passes to nine different receivers.
Loras fell to 1-7, 0-6 in the IIAC with the loss.
The Duhawks will host Wartburg College on Saturday in the final home game of 2011. Loras will honor their seniors prior to the game. Kickoff of the Rock Bowl finale is 1:00 PM.