MT. VERNON - Sophomore Cory Donscheski rushed for 148 yards, and senior quarterback Matt Pearey passed for 164 more, as the Buena Vista football team finished the season perfect on the road (4-0) with a 30-12 victory over Cornell College (0-10, 0-8 IIAC).
Buena Vista, which came in outscoring their opponents 72-16 in the opening quarter, took the opening kick-off and went 50 yards down the field in 10 plays as Zach Kaufman's season-long 33-yard field goal put the Beavers in front 3-0. On the drive, Pearey was 3-for-3 for 38 yards, including a 20-yard strike to Dean Mosher which gave BVU a 1st-and-10 from the Rams 12.
Following a Cornell punt, BVU got the ball back but were forced to a three-and-out. However, Jake Vaughan slipped on the punt attempt and the ball was blocked, giving the Rams a first down at the Beaver 35.
Cornell was unable to take advantage of the field position as BVU senior Ben Chukuske recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, giving the Beavers a first down at their own 35.
Then, it was the Rams defense that stood up to the challenge, as Leif Goleman intercepted Pearey's pass attempt and returned it seven yards to the Beaver 36.
After a pass interference penalty on third down gave Cornell a 1st-and-10 at the BVU 29-yard line, the Beaver defense had seen enough and forced the Rams into a 42-yard field goal attempt that missed wide left.
Buena Vista took a 10-0 lead with 4:48 left in the first half when Donscheski picked up his 11th rushing touchdown of the season. The score was set-up by an Eric Bertelsen 41-yard grab two plays earlier.
Cornell then stormed right back on its ensuing possession. On the first play from scrimmage, running back Travion Hardman scampered 43 yards down to the BVU 10-yard line, setting up a 1st-and-goal situation. The Beaver defense looked like it was going to come up big yet again, forcing Cornell into a 3rd-and-goal from the eight, but quarterback Thomas Connor scrambled out of pressure and found the end zone on the far side. The PAT attempt missed wide right and BVU held onto a 10-6 advantage.
Buena Vista wasn't about to play it conservatively with only 2:49 left in the half as it marched 74 yards down the field on the ensuing possession. Jorge Mata capped off the drive with his first career touchdown grab from five yards out with 1:00 left on the clock to give the Beavers a 17-6 halftime lead. On the drive, Steven Maguire came up big with three catches for 44 yards.
Cornell got the ball to begin the second half, and after a 17-yard return, began its drive at its own 24 yard-line. It was the Beaver defense coming up big again, holding the Rams on fourth down and taking over at the Ram 26. Three plays later it was Donscheski again, this time from 15-yards out. Kaufman's PAT was no good and BVU held onto a 23-6 lead.
Buena Vista again held Cornell on fourth down and would later add to its lead when senior Alex Moss punched it through from three yards out. Kaufman's PAT was good and the Beavers took their biggest lead of the day, 30-6.
The Beaver defense, which put pressure in the back field all afternoon to register 14 tackles for a loss, held Cornell to a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, en route to capturing the 18-point victory.
Buena Vista out-gained Cornell in the contest, 307-286. Pearey finished the contest completing 13-of-17 pass attempts, including the one touchdown. Maguire led the way with 77 yards on six catches, while Mosher hauled in three for 35.
Defensivley, Alan Bladt led the charge with 12 tackles, including 11 solo. 5.5 of those tackles were for a loss, including one sack. Chris Dirkx followed with 10 tackles (3.5 for a loss).
Hardman finished with 127 yards rushing on 24 carries to lead Cornell with Connor completing 16-of-22 passes for 156 yards.
Buena Vista (7-3, 6-2 IIAC) closes out the regular season alone in second place for the first time since 1986.