Sports

Defense, QB lead Bears over Big Red

By
Sports Editor
Friday, October 21, 2011

Correction appended.

The football team defeated Cornell 35-24 with a combination of strong red zone defense and explosive offense Saturday in Ithaca. The Big Red (2-4, 0-3 Ivy) marched down the field and into the red zone six times, but the Bears (5-1, 2-1) forced Cornell to settle for field goals thrice. Co-captain quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero ‘11.5 contributed to four of Bruno’s five touchdowns on the day, passing for two and rushing for two more.

“Cornell moved the ball through the air very, very well,” said Head Coach Phil Estes. “When the field got short, our defense got tougher.”

Though the Bears were victorious in the end, the Big Red burst out of the gate. After a 55-yard return on the opening kickoff, Cornell started its drive on Brown’s 33-yard line and made quick work of the short field. Less than two minutes into the game, the Bears found themselves in a 7-0 hole.

The Bears were unable to convert on third-and-one on their first drive and had to punt the ball back to Cornell. On Bruno’s next possession, the drive again seemed to stall, and the offense faced a fourth-and-five on the Big Red’s 32-yard line. But the Bears decided to go for the first and picked it up on a completion to Matthew Sudfeld ‘11.5. Only two plays later, Newhall-Caballero connected with Jimmy Saros ’12 for a 27-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7. By the end of the first quarter, Cornell had tacked on a field goal to take a 10-7 lead.

On its next possession, Bruno again decided to take a chance on a fourth-and-six at Cornell’s 36. Newhall-Caballero once again found Saros, this time for an 18-yard gain and a new set of downs. Newhall-Caballero carried the ball in himself on a two-yard run, putting Brown up 14-10.  

Before the end of the half, the Bears tacked on another score on a 91-yard drive. Newhall-Caballero threw a 42-yard pass to Saros and ran for two more big gains — one for 19 yards and another for 14 yards and a touchdown. Newhall-Caballero had 43 yards rushing and went 22 for 33 for 256 yards on the game.

Running back John Spooney ’14 led the team with 156 yards rushing, the first time a Bear has rushed for over 100 yards since 2009. Most of Spooney’s yardage came on an 81-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter for Brown’s final score of the day, which put the Bears up 35-16 heading into the fourth.

But Spooney also surrendered three fumbles, two of which the Big Red recovered.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears’ defense again put forth a stellar performance, building off last week’s 34-0 shutout of Princeton (1-5, 0-3). Six Bears racked up sacks on Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, including Matthew O’Donnell ’12, who sacked Mathews for a 12-yard loss on third down in the red zone.  

“There were some great rushes by defensive ends on the edge,” Estes said. “It was just kind of changing things up, trying to put pressure on (Mathews), to have different people come from different angles.”

Mathews threw for 402 yards, the fifth time in Cornell history a quarterback has thrown for over 400 yards in a single game. Two Big Red receivers, Shane Savage and Kurt Ondash, had over 100 yards receiving.  

The Bears completely shut down Cornell’s rushing attack, holding them to 16 net yards on the ground.

The win over the Big Red keeps Bruno in the race for the Ivy League title. But the Bears’ two conference wins have come against struggling Princeton and Cornell teams. Next week, Bruno will face two-time defending champion Penn (4-2, 3-0) at Brown Stadium. The Quakers, who are currently undefeated and at the top of the league, will carry an 18-game Ivy win streak into the high-stakes affair.

“It isn’t about all four games we have left — it’s about the one game we play this weekend,” Estes said. “We just need to play better than Penn this weekend. We don’t need to out-stat them. We just need to have more points when the clock hits zero.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Kyle Newhall-Caballero’s ‘11.5 43 rushing yards in Saturday’s football game was a career high. In fact, his career high is 50 yards rushing, which occurred against Harvard in 2009. The Herald regrets the error.

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