Cornell outlasts Mounties 35-26 in CSFL finale
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A roughing the kicker penalty following a missed 43-yard Cornell field goal midway through the fourth quarter helped turn a 21-20 Big Red lead into a 35-20 advantage as Mansfield dropped a 35-26 hard-fought decision in a CSFL season finale for both teams Friday night.
Mansfield opened the scoring when sophomore Charles Gruber intercepted a pass at the 50-yard line on Cornell's opening drive and returned it to the Cornell 37. Jeremy Estemera, who was named CSFL Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in last week's win over Franklin Pierce, ran for 16 yards on the first play and followed it up with a 21-yard touchdown scamper to give Mansfield a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter after the Mountaineers missed the extra point.
After holding Cornell to a three-and-out, Mansfield went on a 12-play 64-yard scoring driven kept alive my two fourth down conversions - one a two-yard rush by quarterback Ben Pepper on a fourth and one and six-yard pass from Pepper to Estermera on a fourth and three from the Cornell 23-yard line.
Estermera scored his second touchdown of the night on the next play with an 18-yard run. Mansfield converted on the extra-point to take a 13-0 lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Mansfield came right back on its next possession, driving 60-yards on 11 plays with Estremera pulling down a 7-yard touchdown pass from Pepper to a 20-7 Mansfield lead midway through the second quarter.
Cornell answered again, driving 67-yards on four plays with Abe Mellinger pulling in a 32-yard scoring pass from Miller to close to 20-14.
Mansfield opened the second half by pooch kicking the kickoff and it looked as if the Mountaineers may have recovered but Cornell was awarded the ball and went 57-yards on seven plays, taking a 21-20 lead on a 20-yard pass from Miller to Gruenenfelder.
Pepper had his second solid game at quarterback completing 16-of-36 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 22 yards.
Estremera ran for 85 yards on 20 carries including two touchdowns while David Wallace caught six passes for 71 yards.