MOUNT VERNON, Iowa - Cornell totaled more first downs and nearly matched Dubuque's potent offense in total yards, but the Rams couldn't keep up on the scoreboard in a 40-17 Iowa Conference loss Saturday afternoon at Ash Park Stadium.
Cornell freshman running back Jason Propheter got the Homecoming crowd going with a 63-yard sprint down the Ram sideline for a touchown in the second quarter. The Rams (2-4 overall, 0-4 IIAC) hung in the game trailing 19-7 at halftime.
Dubuque (6-1 overall, 4-1 IIAC), which received votes in this week's national polls, broke it open with three third-quarter touchdowns to make it 40-7 heading into the final period.
The Rams scored the game's final 10 points, getting a 26-yard field goal from Anthony Bridges, followed by a 26-yard touchdown connection from Juan Flores to James Scully with 6:16 remaining.
Flores led a Cornell offense that netted a season-high 389 total yards. The Rams had 21 first downs to Dubuque's 20 and held a four-plus minute advantage in time of possession.
Flores equaled his career high with 256 yards passing, completing 20-of-28 attempts with one interception. Freshman wideout Brit Connor posted season-bests of 96 yards and seven receptions. Scully had four catches for 63 yards. Propheter led the ground game with 74 yards on 12 carries.
The Spartans finished with 431 total yards - 69 below their season average - and got six passing touchdowns from junior Wyatt Hanus. Michael Zweifel was on the receiving end of four scoring strikes.
Freshman cornerback Myron Seabrook picked off a Hanus pass deep in Cornell territory that prevented a Spartan score early in the second quarter. It was Seabrook's fifth interception in his last five games.
The Rams got a big game from freshman safety Alex Latow, who collected a team-best 12 tackles. He had 10 solo stops and one tackle for loss. Tyler Geissler and Tyler Bailey had nine tackles apiece for the Rams. Bailey was in on two tackles for loss, including a quarterback sack.
Cornell outgained the Spartans in total yards in the first half, 221-201, although left points on the field with two drives stalling near the Dubuque red zone. Cornell was intercepted at the Spartan 20 in the first quarter, and turned the ball over on downs at the Dubuque 23 midway through the second quarter.
The Rams finished 2-of-12 on third-down situations and were penalized 13 times for 114 yards. Cornell freshman Preston Ritchie had a 26-yard touchdown run called back on a holding penalty with the Spartans leading 19-7 late in the second quarter.
Cornell travels to play IIAC co-leader Central (5-2, 4-1) in a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 22 in Pella. The Dutch are coming off a 70-7 road win over Loras.