Yale prevails in Ithaca against Cornell
Yale’s All-American candidate Zane Dudek rushed for two touchdowns, Spencer Alston ran for 120 yards and a TD and Alex Galland drilled three field goals as the Elis held on to defeat the Big Red before a Homecoming Day crowd at Cornell’s Schoellkopf Field.
It was the Ivy League opener for both teams. Yale (1-1, 1-0 Ivy League) notched its first win of the season while the Big Red (0-2, 0-1) remained winless.
Yale had a slim 17-14 lead at the intermission and 23-14 at the end of the third quarter.
The Big Red threw a scare into the Bulldogs with a closing rally in the fourth quarter but the Yale defense stiffened and the Elis held off the charge to seal the win.
Yale quarterback Kurt Rawlings enjoyed a strong game passing for 283 yards (18-for-25). Rawlings favorite targets were wide receiver Austin Reed Klubnik, who had six receptions for 100 yards, and JP Shohfi who caught seven passes for 91 yards.
J. Hunter Roman paced the Elis defense, which rose to the occasion in the second half, with seven tackles along with a sack.
If there is an area of ongoing concern for Yale’s Coach Tony Reno it is with the Yale defensive unit, after allowing 31 and 24 points in the first two games of the 2018 season. However, Reno must be feeling a bit more confident after his squad’s fourth-quarter defensive effort in last week’s win in Ithaca.
The core of last year’s defensive unit, which limited opponents to a mere 15.6 PPG, has graduated leaving plenty of question marks which continue to linger heading into Saturday’s home opener at the Yale Bowl with a very dangerous UMaine Black Bears squad.
The Black Bears (2-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) will enter the Yale Bowl having absorbed their first loss of the season, 17-5, to Central Michigan.
However, the Black Bears have shown an ability to put points on the board with convincing wins over New Hampshire (35-7) and Western Kentucky (31-28).
UMaine is led by sophomore quarterback Chris Ferguson who has tossed for 405 yards and five touchdowns in the first three games while junior Joe Fitzpatrick has rushed for 199 yards.
There is no question that the Black Bears will pose the biggest test of the young season for the young Yale defensive unit. UMaine’s leading rush defense, which has allowed just 40.7 YPG, will be tasked with stopping the Yale ground assault led by Dudek and Alston. The Black Bears defense has racked up 15 sacks in the first three games.
The two teams’ will meet for the 10th time Saturday with Yale holding an 8-0-1 edge in the series.
They last met in 2015 with the Bulldogs defeating UMaine 21-10 in Orono. Before that, the two teams met eight times from 1913 through 1937.
The game will air live on AM (960 WELI or 1300 ESPN) with Ron Vaccaro ‘04 and Jack Siedlecki providing the call.
It can also be seen on the Patriot League Network.
The Yale defense will step up in Week #3!
FINAL: Yale 28 UMaine 24
Yale’s Alston, who had his debut at running back against Cornell, was named Ivy Rookie of the Week.
The Ivy League will feature a pair of battles between of undefeated teams this weekend, the first when No. 25 Princeton (2-0) visits Columbia (2-0) at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPNU.
Dartmouth (2-0) will host Penn (2-0) in the second battle of Ivy League unbeatens at 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.
Yale will celebrate the life of legendary Hall of Fame Coach Carm Cozza, who passed away earlier this year, on Nov. 10 at the Yale Bowl before the Princeton game.
Looking way ahead to a game that may have Ivy League title implications, Yale and Harvard will play the 135th meeting of THE GAME on Nov. 17 in Fenway Park. If you are looking for tickets, you are out of luck as the game sold out within days of the announcement!
Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob
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