ITHACA, N.Y. – After Cornell evened the score on its first drive of the second half, the Bucknell football team scored 16 unanswered points en route to a 26-18 victory Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.
John Chiarolanzio completed 11 of 16 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, John Burdick kicked a school-record four field goals and Ben Richard led a stifling defense with 11 tackles help the Bison (3-3, 0-1 Patriot League) take two in a row from the Big Red (1-4, 1-1 Ivy League) in Ithaca, N.Y. for the second time in program history.
On its first drive of the second half, Cornell covered 65 yards in six plays, highlighted by a 25-yard reception by Dalton Banks and S.K. Howard's 14-yard rush. Davy Lizana capped the scoring drive with a nine-yard touchdown reception, making it a 10-10 game.
Omar Garcia helped swing the momentum back in Bucknell's favor, returning the resulting kickoff 49 yards up the Bison sideline to the Big Red 46. Burdick ultimately finished off that drive with a 38-yard field goal. After Jared Morse blocked a punt, Bucknell started its next drive on the Cornell 24. Burdick completed that abbreviated drive by splitting the uprights from 33 yards out.
Alan Butler put an exclamation mark on Bucknell's strong third quarter, making a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard score. Butler's touchdown, his first of the season, completed an eight-play, 80-yard drive. During that scoring drive, Chiarolanzio found Andrew Podbielski for a 31-yard gain and Marcus Ademilola for a 14-yard gain. Chad Freshnock also had a 14-yard run.
At 3:16 of the fourth quarter, the Bison extended their lead to 26-10 on a 28-yard Burdick field goal. On four carries during that drive, Joey DeFloria accounted for 52 of the Bison's 60 yards.
While Owen Peters caught a four-yard touchdown pass with 39 seconds left on the clock, and Banks found Jack Gellatly for the two-point conversion, Jack Horan recovered the on-side kick to seal the win for the Bison.
The Bison opened the scoring on the second play of their second drive when Chiarolanzio connected with Horan for a 64-yard touchdown. Chiarolanzio hit Horan in stride at midfield, and two Big Red defensive backs clipped each other, allowing Horan to scamper to the end zone uncontested.
Bucknell outgained Cornell in the first quarter, 114-28. The teams combined for just six first downs, four of which belonged to the Bison.
At the 10:43 mark of the second quarter, Gerrit Van Itallie downed a punt on the Cornell one-yard line. After Josh Sweet scampered for eight- and 10-yard gains on back-to-back plays, the Big Red appeared to be on the move. But Bryan Marine forced Sweet to cough up the ball on his next carry, and John Hunt recovered it to set the Bison up on the Cornell 24. The Big Red defense held fast, stuffing Freshnock two yards short of the end zone on a 3rd and goal, and Burdick finished off the abbreviated drive with a 19-yard field goal.
The Big Red got on the board with 38 seconds left in the first half. After a roughing the passer penalty advanced Cornell to its own 49, Banks completed 17-yard passes to Collin Shaw and James Hubbard to reach the Bison 17. With the Big Red facing a 3rd and 7 on the Bison 14, Roger Mellado sacked Banks for a loss of four yards, forcing Cornell to settle for a 35-yard field goal.
Six different Bison receivers reached the double digits in yards, with four doing so on only one catch. DeFloria rushed for a season-best 99 rushing yards.
Richard tied Maxwell McCormick for the game-high with 11 tackles. Brandon Benson was next with nine while Aaron Brown, Simeon Page, Marine and Mellado each had eight. Page also had a team-best two sacks.
Bucknell outgained Cornell, 306-287, and led in time of possession, 31:47-28:13.
The Bison return to action on Saturday, Oct. 21 when they travel to Lafayette. That game, slatted for 3:30 p.m., resumes Patriot League play.
Burdick became only the second Bison to kick four field goals in a single game. The first was Steve Barimo in a 54-33 victory over Lafayette on Nov. 4, 1989.
The only other time the Bison won two-straight games against Cornell at Schoellkopf Field was when they won three in a row in 1987 (20-6), 1990 (42-21) and 1995 (10-7). Bucknell won the 2015 meeting, the last in Ithaca, N.Y. by a 19-14 margin.
Alex Pechin played a key role in the win, dropping all four of his punts inside the 20. On average, Cornell started its drives on its own 20 while Bucknell began on its own 40.
Before Morse, the last Bison to block a punt was Connor Golden. He accomplished the feat on Oct. 4, 2014 at Bryant. It was the first punt block the Big Red allowed since 2011.
At halftime, Chiarolanzio had completed six of six passes for 102 yards. He had more passing yards than the Big Red had total yards (101). The Bison limited the Big Red to just 36 rushing yards in the first half.
Horan's 64-yard touchdown reception was the second longest of his career. In the 2016 season opener against Marist, he caught a 71-yard touchdown pass.
This was the second-straight game Chiarolanzio completed a pass of at least 50 yards to Horan. Against Monmouth on Sept. 30, Chiarolanzio found Horan for a 76-yard gain in the first quarter. That was Horan's longest reception and Chiarolanzio's longest throw.