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Princeton Uses Big Plays, Strong Defense to Take Down Cornell

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Behind two explosive passing plays in the first half and another strong performance from the best defense in the FCS, the Princeton Tigers (4-3, 3-1 Ivy League) defeated the Cornell Big Red (3-4, 2-2 Ivy), 14-3, at Schoellkopf Field on Saturday afternoon. 

Tigers quarterback Blake Stenstorm completed 20 of 32 passes for 299 yards with touchdown passes of 77 and 33 yards. Wide receiver Tamatoa Falatea broke free for the first score midway through the first quarter, and Stenstorm connected with Luke Colella just before halftime. 

Cornell placekicker Jackson Kennedy made a 31-yard field goal to cap a 7-play, 61-yard drive to get the Big Red on the board early in the second quarter. 

Big Red quarterback Jameson Wang went 26-of-42 passing for 234 yards with an interception. Wide receiver Nick Laboy caught five passes for 55 yards. 

Cornell’s defense kept the game within reach. Cornerback Paul Lewis III led the Big Red with six tackles, and linebacker Nic Paschall and defensive lineman Brendan Chestnut recorded their first-career sacks. Cornerback Trey Harris broke up a career-best three passes.

FIRST QUARTER

  • The Big Red opened with some momentum, but a miscue on fourth down forced Wang to dump the ball, resulting in a turnover on downs.
  • The Big Red defense stood strong, forcing a three-and-out on Princeton’s first possession, but the Princeton defense held Cornell to its first punt of the day.
  • Princeton scored on the first play of the ensuing drive when Stenstorm connected with Falatea on a 77-yard pass to take the lead, 7-0.

SECOND QUARTER

  • The Big Red began the third quarter on the Princeton 19-yard line, and got its first points of the day off a 31-yard field goal from Kennedy.
  • The Tigers looked to be marching down the field to score again, getting a first down at the Cornell 27-yard line. A Henderson sack and false start turned the first-and-10 into a second-and-22 where the Big Red secondary held strong, forcing two incompletions including a pass break-up by Damon Barnes, which led to a Princeton punt.
  • It was punts back-and-forth until 1:06 remained in the half. Princeton took advantage of a pass interference call to get back on the Big Red’s half of the field. The Tigers connected on a 33-yard pass to take the 14-3 lead headed into halftime.

THIRD QUARTER

  • The Big Red defense opened the second half by forcing a punt, but the Big Red luck turned south after the Princeton defense forced a fumble which they recovered to take over at their own 46-yard line.
  • Paschall came up big for Cornell, sacking Stenstrom for a nine-yard loss and getting the Tigers punting unit back on the field.
  • The Big Red was held to a three-and-out, but Kennedy users his leg to pin the Tigers back at the seven-yard line for his fourth punt over 50 yards this season.

FOURTH QUARTER

  • Neither team could find points in final quarter. The defensive battle saw just two Princeton first downs across the quarter
  • Cornell had ten first downs, five of which came in the final drive of the game. The final drive ended on an incomplete pass meant for Davon Kiser as time expired.

UP NEXT

• The Big Red begins a road for a two-game road stand when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa. to take on a Penn team that is receiving national attention.
• Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4 at Franklin Field. Fans at home can catch the game on ESPN+.