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Written by: Mark Ross on Friday, September 11th, 2020
Coming into the 2020 season Cornell Head Coach Ed Dawson knew it would take time for his young Raiders team to gel. Any Head Coach would agree that summer workouts, and team camps are a key for development but with the Covid Pandemic taking away teams spring workouts, and cutting into some summer workouts many coaches had a wait & see frame of mind going into tonight’s week 1 games. Playing a veteran OLSH Chargers team that is loaded with size, and talent, Dawson was looking forward to how his young team would respond. “I told the players at halftime & after the game I was proud of them – losing 9 starters from last years team, & only having two weeks to get ready I couldn’t ask more of this squad effort wise, we made some young mistakes but those are fixable considering we only had about two weeks to get ready to play tonight.”
Relying on their experience, and size OLSH ran their way to an opening night win 34-26 at Frank Letteri Stadium. Olsh flexed its muscle, and established its running game early and often proving to much for the young Raiders to handle down the stretch. Led by the ground game of veteran players Jay Pearson & Stephen Greer (both scored twice) , & the impressive throwing of Sophomore QB Neimiah Azeem the Chargers offense was able to stay one step ahead of Cornell all night. “Give credit where credit is due we knew what they had, and what they were going to do, they are a good football team, but I was happy the way our players stepped up, we have some things to clean up, but tonight was the first night some of these young men ever played on the same field with each other. We still don’t have our full offence in, and defensively we kept it simple, we used a base defense all night, we played guys all over and they responded well.”
Offensively the Raiders were able to hang close for most of the night thanks to the play of Timothy Henderson (54 yard TD reception), Ameer Hibbler (98 yard TD run), and over all play of EJ Dawson. “We have playmakers, that will only get better, we have a good young offensive line that will only get better, and a defense that likes to get aggressive, they work hard and come to play – we will respond, I am looking forward to the next couple weeks.” With a 2020 roster that includes over 35 players, and a talented 7th & 8th grade program, considering where the Cornell program was just a few short years ago, there will be plenty of better days ahead for Ed Dawson and his talented group of Raiders.
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