September 28, 2004

Ivy Football Heats Up

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Tragically the leaves are beginning to change and the winds of fall are beginning to blow yet again, but as summer fades into memory our hopes are lifted as the football season kicks into gear. The second week of the season saw more exciting Ivy action light up scoreboards all across the country; ending with mixed results for the members of the nation”s oldest football conference.

New Hampshire 45, Dartmouth 24

After coming up just short in the opener against Colgate, Dartmouth looked to rebound against interstate rival and 15th ranked New Hampshire; yet once again the end result was not in the Green”s favor. Despite seeing quarterback Charlie Rittgers torch New Hampshire”s defense for 349 yards and three touchdowns, the Green”s secondary was equally as generous, allowing quarterback Ricky Santos to throw four touchdowns for 374 yards for the Raiders. Contrary to the hopes of the Green faithful, improving on their 0-2 start will be a formidable challenge — they open their Ivy League season against nationally ranked Penn this week.

Princeton 24, San Diego 17

The second week of the season saw yet another Ivy team in sunny San Diego and much to the dismay of the Torreros, the Ivies continued to rule the Sunshine State. The Tigers staked themselves to a 21-0 second quarter lead thanks to the stunning combination of two defensive touchdowns in the span of thirteen seconds. Not to be outdone, the Torreros came back with 14 points of the more conventional variety — two offensive touchdowns — yet they could only manage another field goal after the half. Princeton quarterback Matt Verbit also threw for 185 yards; good enough to move into third on the Tigers” all-time passing list.

Villanova 16, Penn 13

This match-up of two nationally ranked teams and interstate rivals proved to be as good as it looked on paper as each fought hard to assert their dominance. Early on though, Villanova managed to quiet the Franklin Field crown by running up sixteen unanswered points going into the fourth quarter. The Quakers did provide a glimmer of fourth quarter hope; however, as they brought the game to within three points with a little over a minute to go in the game. While the Quakers did end up a little short on Saturday, they look to continue their Ivy dominance when they begin conference play next week against Dartmouth.

Bucknell 42, Columbia 13

Coming off a tightly contested game with the Red last weekend, the Bison exploded for 520 yards in what can only be described as a unique offensive strategy. In the air, the Bison threw for 112 yards and four touchdowns — getting contributions from three different players. Not surprisingly, the rushing game provided the bulk of the attack as eight different ball-carriers ran for 422 yards, including a team-high 123 from starting quarterback Darius Wilson. Even with the game out of reach, Columbia continued playing hard and put up two second half touchdowns.

Harvard 35, Brown 34

The closest and most exciting game of the week came from two Ivy League teams with little interest in defensive football and tremendous interest in putting the fans on their feet. In a game that witnessed a staggering 1,010 total yards, the most amazing statistic is the 31-10 half-time deficit that the Crimson was able to erase — it gained the lead with 12:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. Harvard running back Clifton Dawson produced another three touchdown game, including a one yard run to capture the victory for the Crimson. Brown tailback Nick Hartigan ran for two touchdowns to go along with 175 yards on the ground. The Bears hope for a similar offensive showing next week when they face next-door neighbors Rhode Island, a team is averaging 365 yards on the ground this season.

Archived article by Matt Gorman
Sun Contributor