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Miscues Stymie Mounties in Loss to Cornell

Mistakes Sidetrack Mounties in Loss to Cornell in 15th Annual Josh Palmer Pigskin Classic

 

by Mansfield University - September 21, 2015

MANSFIELD – Freshman Aren Harris rushed for a game-high 79 yards and a touchdown but Cornell capitalized on four Mansfield miscues to pull away with a 33-7 win in the 15th annual Josh Palmer Pigskin Classic at Karl Van Norman Field Saturday.

“We did some things very well today, especially defensively,” said head coach Graham Johnsen. “But turnovers and mistakes were really the difference in the game and something we’re going to have to adjust.”

Cornell got the first break of the game in the opening drive when Mansfield was flagged for roughing the kicker on a four-and-five from the Cornell 41. The Big Red converted on fourth-and-two from the Mansfield 36 later in the drive and scored two plays later when Trevor Marrero pulled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rob Pannullo.

Mansfield tied the game late in the first quarter when Ricky Robinson took a punt at midfield and returned it 25-yards to the Cornell 25. Three plays later, Harris bounced outside and raced down the right sideline for a 25-yard touchdown. Drew Beckerick kicked the extra-point to tie the game at 7-7.

Cornell pinned Mansfield inside its own 5-yard line to start the second quarter and the Mountaineers fumbled on their first play of the series giving the Big Red a first-and-goal from the three. Mansfield played tough on defense but Cornell finally broke through when quarterback Rob Pannullo broke the plane of the goal line from 2-yards out and a 14-7 lead following the extra point.

Mansfield answered with Harris returning the kickoff for 24 yards to the Mansfield 34 on the ensuing drive. Harris broke off runs of 12 and 11 yards for first downs and Sean Green pulled in an 11-yar pass from Austin Bennett to give Mansfield a first-and-10 at the Cornell 31.

But Bennett was intercepted on the next play by Jino Park who returned the ball 69-yard for a touchdown and 20-7 advantage after the extra point attempt failed.

The Mansfield defense played Cornell tough throughout the first half forced the Big Red to kick the ball away from deep in the own territory with just over a minute remaining in the first half. Mansfield’s Ricky Robinson returned the punt 35-yards to the Cornell 20. Two passes to Sean Green from Bennett gave the Mountaineers a 1st-and-goal from the eight-yard line but a 15-yard penalty for an illegal block stopped the drive and forced Mansfield to try a 33-yard field goal that went wide right just before the half ended with Cornell holding a 20-7 advantage.

Mansfield drove inside Cornell’s 20-yard line early in the third quarter but the drive stalled at the 17 on an incomplete pass on a fourth –and-7.

Cornell would take the ball over on downs and mount a 9-play, 82-yard drive cumulating when Rob Pannullo’s pass went off the hands of the defender and fell into the arms of Trevor Marrero with was laying in the end zone.

Cornell scored the final touchdown of the day when Mansfield tried four straight passes, the last being its own 23-yard line before turning the ball over.
Benjamin Phan broke off a 20-scoring run to put the game out of reach at 33-7.

Cornell held a 248-147 advantage in total offense and Mansfield turned the ball over twice while committing eight penalties for 83 yards. The Big Red had 17 first downs to Mansfield’s 11.

In addition to Harris’s 79-yards on the ground, he also returned two kickoffs for 42 yards and caught two passes for a total of 132 all-purpose yards. Robinson had an exceptional day compiling a game-high 138 all-purpose yards, while also recording interception, two pass-breakups and three tackles.

Austin Bennett completed 9-of-24 attempts in his first collegiate start for 63 yards while being intercepted once. Kurt Logan and Sean Green both caught three passes each for a total of 49 yards while Green had an exceptional day punting averaging 39.3 yards on six punts and putting three of them inside the 20.

The score was not reflective of the effort the Mansfield defense displayed. Freshman defensive lineman Alex Nicolas recorded a game-high 13 tackles with nine solo tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.

Senior defensive linemen Evan Ruggle had nine tackles and a sack while senior linebacker Spencer Underdown was also in on nine tackles. Dylan Flexer had seven tackles as did Jonathan Badman.

Cornell was led by quarterback Rob Pannullo who completed 13-of-19 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns while being intercepted once. He also rushed for a team best 72-yares on 20 carries.

Mansfield will host Navy as part of Homecoming/1890s Weekend next Saturday.

View game stats from Mansfield vs. Cornell.

Credits:

Writing: N/A

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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