Foresters Ride Big First Half to Victory at Cornell

Foresters Ride Big First Half to Victory at Cornell

Senior running back Joey Valdivia became the program's all-time leading rusher and scored five first half touchdowns in the Lake Forest College football team's 56-28 victory at Cornell College on Saturday.

Valdivia entered the game just 19 yards behind John Klasen, who ran for 3,389 yards from 1992-95. His 6-yard touchdown run with 6:36 to play in the opening quarter gave him 17 yards on the day and he started the Foresters' next possession with a 7-yard carry to set the record. Valdivia scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, including three on the ground, and finished the afternoon with 126 rushing yards on 20 attempts. He has now run for 3,496 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career.

Freshman receiver Chase Allen had a breakout game on Saturday, catching nine passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Junior quarterback Jagan Cleary completed 16 of 22 attempts for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His 191.31 pass efficiency rating on the day is the ninth-best mark in program history, giving Cleary six of the top 10 entries in team history in that category. Junior wideout Chris Edomwande had seven receptions but came just nine yards short of his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving day.

Cleary connected with Allen on a 14-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first quarter and with Valdivia on a 34-yarder in the second. Valdivia also scored on runs of 4, 20, and 7 yards in the second quarter and, along with Cleary, did not play on the second half.

Lake Forest accumulated 420 yards of offense in the first two periods and took a 42-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Foresters finished the contest with 329 passing yards and 266 on the ground for a total of 595.

Cornell reached the end zone twice in the third quarter and scored again early in the fourth to make the score 42-19.

Sophomore signal-caller Billy Degnan then led the Foresters on a 7-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by freshman tailback Alex Adams. It was the first career score for Adams, who finished the game with a season-high 58 yards on 15 carries.

After the Rams scored another touchdown, junior quarterback L.J. Smith took the visitors 67 yards in eight plays, the last a 21-yard touchdown run by junior running back/wide receiver Nick Edlund.

Degnan and Smith completed seven of their 13 combined pass attempts for 97 yards.

A Cornell field goal with just 24 seconds to play closed out the scoring.

Junior linebacker Charlie Timmerman led the Lake Forest defense with a career-high 16 tackles, including a sack among his 3.5 tackles for loss. Freshman linebacker Michael Salazar also reached double figures with 11 stops. Sophomore linebacker Johnny Laponte and freshman safety Nick Pilafas each recorded his first interception of the season and Pilafas returned his 41 yards early in the second quarter.

Senior kicker Charles Courtney became the third player in school history to make eight extra points in a game and climbed into third place in team annals with 68 in his career.

The Foresters' 6-0 start to the season is the program's best since the 1938 team posted a final record of 7-0. Lake Forest is also 2-0 in Midwest Conference South Division play Cornell fell to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the division.

Lake Forest will return home to face Grinnell College next Saturday at 1:00 p.m.