(photo courtesy of Cortland Athletics)
What a beautiful day for football. 10,000 people assembled this past Saturday to watch Cortland win their seventh straight Cortaca Jug. For those who don’t know, after each Cortaca the score of the game and winner is etched into the side of the Jug. After 58 years of Cortaca, we have filled up two jugs worth of games. This win was added to a brand new Jug. The last time either team had a Cortaca win streak this long was when Ithaca won 9 straight from 1973 to 1981. We witnessed history here folks.
Cortland jumped out to an early lead over Ithaca in the first half and went into halftime with a 21-6 lead. Sophomore QB (and fourth stringer at seasons start) Brett Segala lit up the Ithaca defense for 246 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. Their defense played aggressive and had the clamps on Ithaca the entire half. The second half was a different story as Ithaca came out firing and pulled the game to within 21-16. Cortland, on both sides of the ball, didn’t seem to have the same juice they brought to the table in the first half.
A late touchdown pass from Segala to Chris Osterman pushed the lead to 28-16 and essentially put the game out of reach. The best drive of the game for Cortland fans wasn’t even when they had the ball. On what ultimately ended up being Ithaca’s last drive of the game, they were trying to piece together a last minute come from behind win. Cortland ended those hopes with four straight sacks to get the ball back and eventually run the clock out. A fitting way to get the seven peat.
Both teams were led by star wide receiver play. Cortland’s Jon Mannix had 11 catches for 190 yards and touchdown. This guy is an absolute monster. If I had to give an NFL comparison to Mannix, I would say Eric Decker. He runs great routes and has very good hands. He may not be the tallest or fastest guy but he uses his size to his advantage and on multiple occasions found himself behind the Ithaca defense.
For Ithaca, wide receiver Will Gladney had 11 catches for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a gorgeous grab in the back corner of the end zone in which he went up over the defender and came down with two feet inbounds. While only a freshman, Gladney will be a staple in this matchup for years to come. On multiple drives he found himself in the sweet spots of Cortland’s zone coverage which put Ithaca in a spot to score. However, when facing up against Cortland DB Max Jean, Gladney was held in check. Jean had a great stop on Gladney on a quick slant route up against the goal line, one of the toughest plays in football.
We talked to Jean after the game and he had nothing but praise for Gladney. He was very excited to matchup with him when he got the opportunity to and when he did, he took full advantage of it. This is a matchup he’s looking forward to being a part of for his next couple of years here at Cortland. We asked what it was like to have an island named after him after this game. His response? After a smile and a laugh, “I just hope I don’t fall off like Darrelle Revis.”
On a side note, Ithaca QB Wolfgang Shafer… do I need to say more? What a name. Possibly the best name in all of football. It sounds like a name you’d hear out of a Key & Peele skit. He’s inspired me to name my kid Wolfgang. Seriously though, what a badass name.
In the end, Cortaca 2016 was a success. Each year, we as students earn a little more trust back from our school and the community. The clean slate a new jug presents us should represent our behavior as students moving forward. It was a great win for the Cortland football team as well as the Cortland community. We can now shift our attention to looking for the eight peat!
By Greg Armstrong and Jordan Mitchell