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Cornell’s defense shines in win over Brown

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The Cornell Big Red’s defense had one of the toughest assignments in the FCS this week, preparing for a Brown offense that was ranked first in passing, ninth in total offense and 25th in scoring. Cornell rose to the occasion, holding the high-powered Bears in check throughout a 36-14 victory at Schoellkopf Field. For the first time since 2017, the Carnelian and White tallied three interceptions in a single contest. Cornell (3-3, 2-1 Ivy) pulled back to .500 with the victory and moved into a four-way tie for the Ivy League lead with Harvard, Penn and Dartmouth. Brown fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the league.

Box Score

Cornell led 20-0 at halftime and continued to build on its lead in the third quarter. The Big Red went ahead 33-0 after Jameson Wang connected with tight Matt Robbert on a 37-yard touchdown, and cornerback Paul Lewis III returned an interception 55 yards for a score. The Bears remained blanked until 5:48 remained in the third quarter when Jake Willcox connected with Soloman Miller for a 61-yard touchdown with just more than five minutes remaining in the third. Brown doubled-down before the end of the third quarter when Willcox found Graham Walker on a 43-yard pass to cut the Cornell lead to 19, but Jackson Kennedy all but secured the win for the Big Red with his third field goal of the day and 13th of the season.

Junior quarterback Jameson Wang completed his first 10 passes and finished the game 27-of-39 for 330 yards with two scores and one interception. It was the first game all year that Wang did not lead the ground game, as rookie Ean Pope tallied a career-best 34 yards on ten carries and a house call. In the receiving core, six players caught at least tow passes, including Nicholas LaboySamuel Musungu, and Doryn Smith, who each tallied over 70 yards in the outing.

On the defensive end, Brody Kidwell and brothers Paul Lewis III and Jeremiah Lewis each tallied in interception. P. Lewis’s found pay dirt on his pick, returning the ball 55 yards to the endzone, the longest Cornell touchdown reception of the day. Noah Taylor led the team in tackles with eight.

The Cornell defense held Brown’s Jake Willcox to a season-low 208 yards on 19-of-39 passing, including the three picks and two touchdowns. He completed just five of his first 15 passes for 19 yards. Willcox led the run game, however, rushing for 51 yards on seven attempts. Brown’s leading receiver, Wes Rockett, was held to one reception on six targets. Miller’s one catch led all Bears receivers for 61 yards Graham matched the number with 61 yards on two catches.