Bison Football Rally Falls Short in 21-19 Loss at Cornell
Sept. 20, 2003
ITHACA, N.Y. - Cornell quarterback Mick Razzano threw for 216 yards and a touchdown and also ran for two scores to lead the Big Red to a tense 21-19 victory over Bucknell Saturday at Schoellkopf Field.
Bucknell, which tasted defeat for the first time in 2003 after a pair of victories, nearly overcame a nine-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, but freshman kicker Ryan Korn had his 27-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright with 1:43 remaining in the contest.
Raphael Darrington rushed for a career-high 107 yards and quarterback Daris Wilson rushed for 106 and passed for 125 as the Bison racked up a season-high 390 yards of offense. Cornell (1-0) logged 375 total yards, with 241 coming in the first half.
The Big Red took a 21-12 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter on Razzano's 5-yard scoring scramble. But one play after a 34-yard hookup with Albert Marquardt, Wilson dove in from five yards out to make it a 21-19 contest.
Bucknell got the ball back on a punt with 7:32 remaining but could not convert a third-and-one inside its own 30-yard line. Punter Ryan Berry got the Bison out of trouble with a 51-yard punt with no return, and the defense followed with a three-and-out.
Taking over at its own 42 with five minute remaining, Bucknell overcame a holding penalty early in the drive and methodically marched to the Cornell 10. Wilson converted a third-and-10 pass to Marquardt and another 10-yard pass to Nisan Trotter to spark the drive.
After setting up the left-footed Korn just inside the right hash mark, the rookie kicker, who had earlier converted field goals of 31 and 37 yards, pushed the potential go-ahead boot squarely off the left upright.
Still, Bucknell had another chance after stopping Cornell on three straight running plays and got the ball back at the Cornell 49 with 38 seconds remaining. But Kyle Thomas intercepted Wilson's pass along the right sideline on the Bison's first play to thwart the comeback attempt.
Despite rushing for 178 yards Bucknell could not find the end zone in the first half. After a David Ulmer fumble recovery on Cornell's opening possession, the Bison drove to the Big Red 14 but had to settle for Ryan Korn's 31-yard field goal.
After Cornell took a 7-3 lead on Razzano's 56-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Hill, the Bison again moved into the red zone but settled for a 37-yard field goal from Korn with 3:21 left in the first quarter.
Razzano's 11-yard TD scramble gave the Big Red a 14-6 lead, but the Bison struck with a big play just before halftime when Dante Ross returned a punt 46 yards for his first collegiate score. It was Bucknell's first punt return touchdown since Nov. 7, 1998, when Eric Slaughter returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a score against Holy Cross. Ross totaled 105 yards on six punt returns on the day.
Darrington rushed for 96 of his 107 yards on only five carries in the first half. It was the second straight game and the 19th time in school history that Bucknell had two 100-yard rushers in the same contest.
After completing only one pass for one yard in the first half, Wilson heated up in the second half and finished with nine connections in 16 attempts for 125 yards.
Joshua Johnston led Cornell with 78 rushing yards on 18 carries.
Bucknell visits another Ivy League foe next Saturday when it travels to New York City to face Columbia at 7 p.m.