Rochester devours Cornell
Cornell's Shawn Owens used to have this losing feeling almost every week but had forgotten how badly it hurt.
"I'll probably go home and cry a little bit," said Owens, after Cornell's loss Friday night to Rochester, 41-0, spoiling what had been a perfect season for the surprising Raiders.
As Rochester showed, not all unbeaten teams are equal.
DeAndre Moon ran for three touchdowns, including two in the first quarter for undefeated Rochester (7-0, 5-0), which solidified its spot atop the Class A Northern Eight.
The Rams rushed for 333 yards on 48 carries, including a game-high 112 yards by senior Devon Glass.
"The (unbeaten) record doesn't matter, it's the heart," said Moon, who rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries. "At Rochester, we play with heart every game."
Cornell (6-1, 4-1) hasn't reached 7-0 since 1983, when it ended the regular season 10-0. This season has been a huge leap forward for the Raiders, which had won only five games total during Dan Knause's first three seasons as coach.
"It hurts to lose after all of this hard work and after how far we've come this season," said Owens, a junior quarterback, who led Cornell with 65 rushing yards. "But we're going to keep our heads up. We've still got two games left and can finish second in the conference. We're going to look to the future."
For a few brief moments, the upset seemed plausible, when Malik King returned the opening kickoff 56 yards. But Cornell lost three yards in three plays and then lost eight more when Ronny Borne had to corral a bouncing punt snap.
Mistakes were Cornell's undoing. The Raiders also lost two fumbles and threw an interception. In the second half, Cornell had only one yard of offense.
Moon, a junior, had rushing touchdowns of 4, 20 and 5 yards. Jasson Adamson, Nick Tapia and Jaquan Pennington also had rushing scores.
Two first-quarter mistakes by Cornell led directly to 14 points for Rochester. Seven plays after the botched punt, Rochester led, 7-0, following a 4-yard touchdown run by Moon with 6:37 left in the first quarter.
When King fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Moon returned to the end zone on a 20-yard run a little more than a minute after his first score.
The Rams added two touchdown runs in the third and fourth quarters, enacting the mercy rule with 7:39 remaining in the game.
"We wanted to let them know we're Rochester," coach Gene Matsook said. "Our kids understand what's out there and what's at stake."