October 22, 2003

Around the Ivy League

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Last weekend saw Ivy squads Harvard and Penn remain undefeated and primed for another showdown ala the 2002 meeting between the two teams. It also saw another team, Yale, fall for the first time this season, while Princeton picked up its first win of the year on the strength of a 99-yard pass play, the longest in Ivy history

Penn 31, Columbia 7

In the week leading up to the game, Columbia head coach Bob Shoop guaranteed a victry against the heavily favored Penn Quakers. In front of a home record crowd of 13,785 at Wien Stadium, the Lions made Shoop look like a genius after their first drive, as quarterback Jeff Otis connected with Travis Chmelka for a 41-yard scoring strike for a 7-0 lead. Unfortunately for Columbia, that would be all the scoring it would do on Saturday, as the Penn defense shut down the Lions for the final 56 minutes of the game, while the offense racked up 31 points.

Penn quarterback Mike Mitchell returned from a high-ankle sprain to throw for three touchdowns. Meanwhile, running back Sam Matthews racked up 190 yards on the ground and two touichdowns, including one on the ground and one through the air. With the win, Penn, the defending Ivy League champions, extended its Ivy League winning streak to 10 games.

Princeton 34, Brown 14

In a battle of the two cellar dwellars in the Ivy League, Princeton used one play to jumpstart its season. Down 7-6 and pinned at its own one-yard line, Princeton quarterback Matt Verbit found receiver Clinton Wu on a short slant pattern. Wu broke several tackles, and within seconds, he was in both the Brown endzone and the record books. The 99-yard play from Verbit to Wu was the longest play from scrimmage in Ivy League history, breaking the previous mark of 98 yards, most recently accomplished by Dartmouth in 1986.

Brown’s Nick Hartigan, the Ivy League’s leading rusher continued his bruising season, rushing for 156 yards on 40 carries. However, the Bears could not overcome the Tigers, who were led by Branden Benson’s 128 yards rushing and two scores.

Harvard 34, Lafayette 27

No Ryan Fitzpatrick, no problem for the Crimson machine. Missing their leader, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was out with a broken hand, Harvard looked to freshman running back Clifton Dawson. Dawson obliged, running wild against the Leopards for 218 yards on 26 carries. On four of those runs, he ended up in the endzone.

Lafayette led throughout, extending its lead to as much as 13 points midway through the third quarter. However, led by Dawson and quarterback Garret Schires, who threw for 201 yards and a touchdown, the No. 22 Crimson remained undefeated for the 2003 season.

Dartmouth 24, Holy Cross 20

The Green used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to overcome a late 11-point deficit in winning its first game of the season. Down by double-digits in the final quarter, Chris Little scored on a nine-yard run and Casey Cramer caught a two-point conversion to cut the Holy Cross lead to three.

After holding the Holy Cross offense, Dartmouth used an 88-yard drive to seal the victory, with quarterback Charlie Rittgers scoring on a one-yard sneak. In the win, Rittgers completed 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 260 yards. Pat Risha and Little combined for 177 yards on the ground.

Colgate 52, Yale 40

The Raiders extended Division I-AA’s longest winning streak, defeating Yale in an offensive fireworks show. The Bulldogs, losing for the first time this season, was led by quarterback Alvin Cowan’s team-record 466 yards of toal offense. 421 of those yards and three touchdowns came through the air. Tight end Nate Lawrie and receiver Ralph Plumb were Cowan’s targets of choice, as Plumb hauled in all three passing touchdowns while Lawrie caught 16 balls for 167 yards.

Colgate’s Jamaal Branch, one of the nation’s leading rushers, added to his gaudy season totals with 143 yards.

Archived article by Alex Ip