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Cornell 45, Yale 6

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ITHACA, N.Y. - Those NBC Sports Network viewers who tuned into the Yale-Cornell football game expecting to see an aerial display by the Big Red's highly touted junior quarterback, Jeff Mathews, got that and a little bonus.

Freshman running back Luke Hagy rushed for 88 yards and two first-half touchdowns in support of another stellar performance by Mathews as the Big Red rolled to a 45-6 Homecoming victory over Yale before a crowd of 15,333 at Schoellkopf Field.

Hagy, a two-time all-state running back from Mt. Lebanon High near Pittsburgh, scored on runs of 11 and four yards in the first half for the Big Red (1-1), which bounced back from a season-opening 34-27 loss at Fordham a week earlier.

Mathews was his usual surgical self, completing 29-of-39 passes for 340 yards and four touchdown, two apiece to Kurt Ondash and Luke Tasker.

It was Mathews' eighth career 300-yard passing game, tying a Cornell record, and fourth in a row

Freshman Eric Williams completed 27-of-37 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown for the Bulldogs (1-1). Austin Reuland had six catches for 79 yards and Grant Wallace had the touchdown catch among his five receptions.

The Big Red racked up 115 yards of offense in the first quarter, but needed huge mistakes by Yale, deep in its own territory, to get its first two touchdowns.

Cornell drove the ball smartly on the game's first possession, marching to the Bulldogs' 15-yard line before a penalty and Beau Palin's sack of Mathews put the drive in reverse.

Faced with second-and-26 at the Yale 41, Mathews completed two straight passes to set up a fourth-and-two, and threw incomplete to Tasker, who was met with a jarring hit by Yale cornerback Colin Bibb.

But on the Bulldogs' first offensive play, safety Andrew Nelson stepped in front of Williams pass' in the left flat and intercepted it while falling to he turf at the Yale 11.

One play later, at the 8:55 mark, Hagy was in the end zone with his second career rushing touchdown and the Big Red's first this season.

Cameron Sandquist of Yale muffed a punt later in the quarter and Dylan Chayes recovered for Cornell at the 14-yard line. One play later, Mathews hit Tasker in the back left corner of the end zone, and John Wells' second extra point made it 14-0 with 3:37 left in the first.

Following another fourth-down stop by the defense, Cornell was on the move again, and this time got the payoff after a sustained march. Hagy capped an eight-play, 62-yard drive with his second touchdown run of the day from four yards, giving the home team a 21-0 lead

Williams' second interception of the day, near midfield by cornerback Michael Turner, led to the Big Red's fourth touchdown, a five-yard pass from Mathews to Ondash.

And Cornell wasn't done with its first-half onslaught. Mathews found Ondash on the goal line from four yards with 1:29 to go, and Wells converted his fifth extra point to make it 35-0.

Mathews hit Tasker from 21 yards for the Cornell's final score late in the third quarter.

Yale ended Cornell's bid for its first shutout in 19 years when Williams hit Wallace from seven yards with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

NOTES: Among the former Big Red players in attendance Saturday for Homecoming festivities were former All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist Ed Marinaro, and current New York Giants offensive tackle Kevin Boothe. ... Shane Savage, a preseason All-American receiver for Cornell and All-Ivy selection last year, missed the game because of a leg injury suffered in last week's loss at Fordham. ... Cornell last shut out an opponent on Nov. 6, 1993, a 21-0 defeat of Yale. .. Yale had won the previous two meetings with the Big Red, and leads the all-time series, 44-29-2.

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