Cornell’s charter bus pulled into campus a few minutes late on Saturday morning, delaying the team’s departure for Beloit. It was the only thing that would slow down coach Vince Brautigam’s Rams on this day.
The Rams ran off 34 unanswered points at the start and amassed 558 total yards in a 48-8 Midwest Conference thumping of Beloit at Strong Stadium. Cornell (2-2 overall) improved to 2-0 in road games and climbed into the top half of the MWC standings at 2-1.
The rout marked the most points scored and largest victory margin recorded by a Ram team since a 63-6 win over Dubuque in the 2003 season. The eight points allowed are the fewest in Brautigam’s three seasons at the helm.
Quarterback Juan Flores passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in compiling 356 yards of total offense. He finished 18-of-28 passing for 284 yards with a pair of touchdown strikes to Justin Cox, who had 122 receiving yards on seven receptions.
Freshmen D.J. Hall and Spencer Shepherd each had a touchdown run for the Rams, who gained a season-high 261 yards on the ground. Hall led all rushers with 83 yards on 18 carries. Flores netted 72 yards on nine rushes, while Shepherd ran for 66 yards on just eight attempts.
Cornell’s defense forced Beloit (0-5 overall, 0-4 MWC) into four turnovers, including an interception junior Jeremy Demlow took back for a touchdown. The Rams held a 29-9 edge in first downs and limited the Buccaneers to 204 total yards. Cornell punted just once in the game.
The Rams averaged 6.7 yards per play and executed touchdown drives of 70, 67, 73, 28, 83 and 79 yards. Cornell had eight different players catch a pass, including Ben Knake’s five grabs for 64 yards.
Cox started the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown reception by Cox with 8:57 left in the first quarter. The Rams made it 14-0 on Hall’s 1-yard run early in the second quarter. The scoring drive was kept alive with a big 16-yard reception by freshman Ra’Shad Green on fourth-and-13.
Cornell stretched the margin to 21-0 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Flores with 5:18 to go in the first half.
The Rams delivered the knockout blow early after intermission. On Beloit’s third offensive play of the half, Demlow intercepted a Will Coyne pass and raced 47 yards for a touchdown. On Beloit’s ensuing possession, junior Nick Brautigam snatched an interception that set up another quick Cornell score. Cox was on the receiving end of a 28-yard pass from Flores that put the Rams ahead 34-0 with 12 minutes to go in the third quarter.
Flores capped a 20-point third quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run, extending the lead to 41-8. Shepherd completed the scoring with an 8-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
Cornell’s defense collected four sacks and 10 total tackles for loss. Senior Vincent Osborne was credited with four tackles and two sacks. Jacob Courtright and Geoffrey Miller each had two tackles for loss. Brautigam finished with a team-high six tackles.