Official Preview Now Online
Let's hear the news!
A nice overview of the football team on this first day of training camp is now live on the Columbia Athletics site.
I won't editorialize about any of the comments in the preview other than to say that it's great to hear as much as we are about the team at this juncture. This blog aside, the amount of information available to Columbia fans has really jumped in recent years and I think that's a good thing.
Game of the Day (Day 31)
October 7, 1995
Columbia 24 Penn 14
The Penn Quakers of the early 90's were a formidable group. They were stacked with All-Ivy players on both sides of the line, and they rarely made mistakes.
After just being edged out for the Ivy title in Coach Al Bagnoli's first season in 1992, the Quakers started rolling in 1993. They finished '93 and '94 with undefeated season, and their winning streak was at 24 by the time they came up to Baker Field on a rainy Saturday in early October.
The Quakers boasted future Major League Baseball star Mark DeRosa at quarterback, all-time Ivy great and All-American Miles Macik at wide receiver, and many, many more.
But this would prove to be the zenith of the Mike Cavanaugh era at Columbia, and with Cavanaugh doing the work at QB and Rory Wilfork dominating things on defense, the 1995 Lions were at the top of their game.
There was also a major contribution from free safety Joe Cormier, a talented free safety who was the catalyst at the beginning and then again at the end of this game.
Cormier's interception of DeRosa gave the Lions the ball early in the first quarter and Cavanaugh faked out a defender for a 34-yard TD run moments later.
But Penn fought back and tied it at 7. The Lions struggled to make it 10-7 at the half on a 27-yard field goal by Joe Aldrich.
Penn took the lead on a 40-yard DeRosa-to-Mike Fabish TD pass, but midway through the quarter Roy Hanks returned a punt 39-yards for the go-ahead TD.
But down just 17-14, Penn had plenty of time left. The Quakers moved to the Lion 34 before disaster struck. On second down, DeRosa was sacked for 7 yards. And on third down he was sacked for 12 more yards and fumbled. Senior Eric Keck recovered that fumble at the Quaker 47.
The Lions milked the clock but kept moving forward on the possession until Cavanaugh took it in from the 2 for the 24-14 lead.
Cormier sealed it on the ensuing Penn possession with his second interception.
Cavanaugh finished the game 10 of 15 passing for 147 yards and rushed 29 times for 92yards. Wilfork had 11 tackles, four of them for a loss, one of which was a sack.
It was easily one of Columbia's greatest victories of all time. Within a month of the win, Cavanaugh and Cormier had both suffered career-ending injuries. The 1995 season fell apart without them.
But that day against Penn was just perfect.