Sprint Football Overcomes Slow Start, Wins At Cornell

John Barnett

John Barnett

Oct. 4, 2013

Final Stats

ITHACA, N.Y. - After scoring just two points in the first half, the Army sprint football team rebounded with 20 points in the second half during its 22-0 Collegiate Sprint Football League victory over Cornell on Friday evening at Schoellkopf Field. With the win, the Black Knights improve to 4-0 overall and 4-0 in league play, while the Big Red fall to 0-4 and 0-4.

Junior quarterback James Wartski completed 20 passes for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns for Army, while sophomore receiver Tucker Van Dyke hauled in four balls for 40 yards and a touchdown. Freshman wide out Joe Presti caught his first-career touchdown pass on his first-career reception. Sophomore running back Jesse Shackelford rushed for a team-high 94 yards, and sophomore kicker Warren Kay knocked in field goals from 25- and 27-yards.

On defense, senior defensive end Dylan Doty led the way with 11 tackles and three sacks, while sophomore linebacker Ryan Gallagher had eight stops and forced a fumble. Sophomore defensive back John Barnett totaled a pair of interceptions, and junior defensive lineman James Craft recovered a fumble.

For Cornell, senior quarterback Brendan Miller completed 14 throws for 93 yards, while sophomore back Benjamin Herrera made three receptions for 43 yards. Freshman quarterback Robert Pannullo ran four times for a team-high 22 yards, and senior John Kelder and sophomore Jino Park each had 10 stops.

Both defenses made things difficult on the offensive side of the ball in the first quarter and early goings of the second frame, until the Black Knights took advantage on a combination of defense and special teams to score the contest's first points. Sophomore Mark Dabeck booted a 31-yard punt to pin Cornell at its own four-yard line with 9:31 remaining in the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, the hosts completed a pass inside their own end zone before the Army defense swarmed the Big Red receiver and came away with a safety 5:37 into the second stanza. The Black Knights attempted the game's first field goal with 3:11 left in the half, but Kay's 31-yard field goal try was blocked by Cornell junior Chris Sitko.

Army fumbled on its opening possession of the second half before Gallagher forced a Cornell fumble following a sack 5:58 into the third. Kay knocked home a 25-yard field goal with 1:32 left in the third quarter to give the visitors a 5-0 advantage before converting a 27-yard try 2:32 into the fourth frame. Barnett intercepted Miller on the ensuing Big Red drive, and tacked on a 14-yard return, setting the Black Knights up at the Cornell 21. Wartski found Van Dyke for a 21-yard touchdown on the second play of the drive to extend Army's lead to 15-0 3:31 into the fourth quarter. Wartski and Presti hooked up on a five-yard touchdown pass 4:08 later, as the Black Knights moved in front 22-0 following Kay's extra point. Barnett notched his second pick with 6:50 remaining in the game to end Cornell's chances of a fourth quarter comeback and seal the victory.

The Black Knights wrap up their three-game road trip on Saturday, Oct. 12, when they face Mansfield for a 1 p.m. tilt.

Game Notes: Army improves to 55-16 in its all-time series against Cornell ...  the Black Knights open the season 4-0 for the second year in a row ... Saturday's win marks the 11th straight victory for the Black Knights dating back to last season ... freshman receiver Joe Presti hauled in his first-career reception and scored his first-career touchdown.

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