Oct. 27, 2001
Taylor Northrop showed the eight NFL scouts in attendance that he can kick a 56.9-yard field goal in a pressure situation. Unfortunately for Princeton, he did it on a 57-yard field goal attempt.
Northrop's potential game-tying 57-yard field goal with 5:53 to go smacked off the top of the crossbar and came back into the end zone, enabling Cornell to hang on to a 10-7 win over the Tigers in front of 11,685 at Princeton Stadium.
"It felt good when I hit it," said Northrop, who would have kicked the longest field goal in Ivy League history had it had another few inches to it. "I knew the distance, but I didn't feel I had to try to drill it. I just tried to hit it good and keep it straight. It looked good."
The loss dropped Princeton to 1-5, 1-3 in the Ivy League, while Cornell gave head coach Tim Pendergast his first career victory. The Tigers are at undefeated Pennsylvania next Saturday in a 12:30 kickoff. Princeton led 7-0 against Cornell after a nine-play, 98-yard drive midway thorugh the second quarter, a drive that ended when David Splithoff threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Chiusano. Princeton used a 30-yard Cameron Atkinson run and a 26-yard Splithoff to Patrick Schottel pass to set up the score.
Cornell, though, answered on its next possession, going 78 yards in 10 plays to tie it at 7-7 when Ricky Rahne threw a 14-yard TD pass to Keith Ferguson with 25 seconds remaining in the half.
The game stayed 7-7 through the third quarter, and the Big Red took their first lead when Peter Iverson snuck a 40-yard field goal over the crossbar with 13:25 to go.
Princeton, starting at its 30, drove to the Cornell 20, but a false start, a hold and a sack backed the Tigers up 20 yards. Still, Northrop came on to attempt the 57-yarder, which hit the top of the crossbar dead center.
"I thought it was going to be good," Princeton coach Roger Hughes said. "Taylor's made it from 65 yards in practice. I thought it was going in."
Princeton's defense held Cornell twice after that, but the Tigers were unable to move the ball for another field goal attempt.
NOTES -- Brandon Mueller led Princeton with 10 tackles ... KEvin Kongslie had eight ... Splithoff finished 14 for 25 for 176 yards and the touchdown, while Atkinson finished with 76 yards on 14 carries before leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury that has him doubtful for next week ... sophomore tight end Randy Bly led Princeton with four receptions, the first four of his career ... Evan Simmons ran for 106 yards for Cornell. Rahne was 20 for 30 for 176 yards and finished his career against Princeton with 765 yards ... Princeton's Charlie Gogolak's 54-yard field goal in 1965 is the longest in league history ... Northrop needs one more field goal to tie Alex Sierk's school record with 36 ... Blake Perry, who had started all 15 games of his career prior to the Cornell game, will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his two broken wrists, Jay McCariens, starting in Perry's place, made seven tackles