November 16, 2004

Harvard Clinches Ivy League Championship

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While Cornell football rattled off a fourth league win in New York on Saturday, it was at Philadelphia where two undefeateds — Penn and Harvard, slugged it out for the de facto Ivy League title. In the biggest game of the season, the Crimson asserted itself as the top team in the Ancient Eight, earning at least a share its first league championship since 2001, and soundly defeating the former Ivy front-runner Penn.

No. 13 Harvard 31, No. 22 Penn 10

The Crimson’s dominance as Division I-AA’s only undefeated team comes in large part to a stingy defense and potent offense — two qualities which were encapsulated in last weekend’s game. Harvard (9-0, 6-0 Ivy) held Penn (7-2, 5-1 Ivy) to 263 total yards on offense, while the Crimson gathered 447, in a day where quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for two touchdowns.

After Penn hit an early field goal, Harvard’s offense went into motion and scored with 2:20 left in the first quarter when Brian Edwards caught a 19-yard pass from Fitzpatrick for a touchdown. Just before the half ended, a 10-play, 57-yard drive culminated in Crimson running back Clifton Dawson, who rushed for 161 yards on 33 carries, scoring on a one-yard run.

After a field goal and a 43-yard pass from Fitzpatrick found Corey Mazza in the end zone, Harvard virtually sealed the game late in the third quarter. With fourth-and-five from Penn’s 18, the Crimson executed a fake field goal play, as holder Robert Balkema completed a pass to linebacker Bobby Everett, who ran in for the score – giving Harvard a 31-3 lead with a quarter to go.

Harvard snapped Penn’s 20-game winning streak against league opponents, as it won for the first time in 24 years at Franklin Field.

Yale 21, Princeton 9

With the other Ivy teams battling for consolation spots, Yale (5-4, 3-3) bounced back from a disappointing loss to Brown a week ago to defeat Princeton (4-5, 2-4 Ivy). Boosted by running back Robert Carr’s 160 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the Bulldogs pulled away in the fourth quarter after a Princeton special teams miscue.

After Princeton punt returner Greg Fields misplayed a Yale punt, it was recovered by the Bulldogs deep into Tigers’ territory. Carr scored on a five-yard run three plays later with 13:11 left in the game. The running back scored his first touchdown of the day towards the end of the first quarter.

While Princeton had its opportunities, it was forced to settle for three field goals. Tigers quarterback Matt Verbit threw for 205 yards, becoming the 12th player in league history to surpass the 5,000-yard mark. Yale quarterback Alvin Cowan passed for 143 yards and a touchdown while Fields caught nine passes for 106 in the loss.

Dartmouth 20, Brown 7

Dartmouth (1-8, 1-5 Ivy) earned its first win of the season, as Green running back Chad Gaudet ran for 137 yards and a touchdown to defeat Brown (5-4, 2-4 Ivy). After a field goal in the first quarter gave Dartmouth the lead, a fumble by Brown quarterback Joe DiGiacomo was recovered by the Green on the Bears’ 12. The Green was able to capitalize three plays later, as a Gaudet seven yard run extended Dartmouth’s lead to 10 at the half.

Early in the fourth quarter, Dartmouth sealed the game through a 12-yard pass from Green quarterback Charlie Rittgers which found Andrew Hall. Brown was able to tack on a touchdown towards the end of the game, but its normally strong ground game was stifled.

Bears running back Nick Hartigan, who averaged 127.4 yards per game, was held to 65 yards on 15 carries while wide receiver Jarrett Schreck caught 11 passes for 140 in the loss. The win snapped Dartmouth’s eight game losing streak – the longest slide of its history dating back to 1881.

New York Football 0, Crappy Teams 4

In what might be the worst two weeks ever for New York football fans, both the Giants (5-4) and Jets (6-3) imploded into mediocrity.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Senior Editor