Photo by Mike Longo Jr.
Raiders Drevon Newton is brought down by a Union player after his first-quarter interception.
By Mike Longo Jr.
Cornell opened conference play Sept. 9 at home against Union on the heels of a Week 1 blowout win over Monessen. The Raiders boast a roster of eight seniors complemented by 10 juniors, led by E.J. Dawson Jr., Drevon Newton, C.J. Jackson and Raequan Troutman to name a few.
Judging from the onset of this contest, the assumption could have been made that the hard-hitting Raiders defense along with their high-powered offense would prove no match for the visiting Scotties. However, that's why a football contest is four quarters at a minimum.
After a stellar defensive output on the opening series, in which Cornell stymied the Union offense and forced a punt. A modest punt return set the ball at the Union 36-yard line as the Cornell offense took possession for the first time in the contest.
It took just one handoff to Raequan Troutman, running back, at the 11:41 mark of the first quarter and he was off to the races virtually untouched as he scampered 64 yards for the opening score. Jackson added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Union came storming back with a series of direct snaps that confused the Raiders defense at times with power sweeps netting the Scotties first score. The extra point failed and Cornell held a slim 7-6 advantage.
With 1:50 left in the first quarter, Raiders Drevon Newton picked off a Union pass stopping a potential Scotties scoring drive. Cornell would start their march downfield as the first stanza closed.
The Raiders drove all the way down to the two-yard line before being pushed back to the six on a Union strong defensive effort. Facing fourth down, Coach Dawson elected to go for the field goal which missed low and to the left and the Scotties took over.
Mixing up their play selection, Union started its march toward the endzone. On third down and six, they completed a 46-yard bomb, which placed the ball at the six-yard line. Cornell's defense would prevail as they took over on downs with just two seconds remaining before intermission.
In a hard-fought first half the Raiders held onto a slim 7-6 lead.
Half number two proved totally different than its opening counterpart. A point-scoring explosion was the format for the rest of the contest as both teams combined for an offensive output of 38 points after mustering a lowly 13 in the first half.
At times the second stanza resembled a track meet. Unfortunately, that track meet ended with a second-place finish with a final score of 30-21.