While Columbia, Princeton, Penn, and Dartmouth battled the likes of Duquesne, San Diego, Villanova, and New Hampshire, respectively, on the gridiron this past weekend, the other half of the league began jockeying for early-season positioning in the race for the Ivy League title. Yet, that does not mean that the teams playing out-of-conference games were not able to make a statement. The Red, one of the teams that began its Ivy slate over the weekend, failed in its mission to garner a 1-0 record in league play, as it lost 37-17 at the Yale Bowl to the Bulldogs. Here’s how the rest of the league fared.
No. 15 Harvard 38, Brown 35 (2 O.T.)
The Crimson and Bears, the other two teams to begin Ancient Eight play, opened conference action with a bang, as they played what could prove to be the most exciting league game of the year.
Brown opened up a 16-0 first-quarter lead behind a pair of Joe DiGiacomo touchdown passes, but Harvard was able to climb all the way back, tying the game at 22 with seven seconds left in the third. In the final frame, DiGiacomo, who finished 16-of-19 for 287 yards, threw his third scoring strike of the game, but Harvard answered with running back Clifton Dawson, who plunged into the end zone from three yards out with just 15 seconds remaining in the contest, and sent the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, both squads’ kicker hit a field goal, but in the second extra session, Brown kicker Steve Morgan missed a 42-yard attempt, which opened the door for Harvard.
After Dawson, who finished with 189 yards and three touchdowns en route to being named co-Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week, brought the ball down to Brown’s 12-yard line after four carries, Crimson kicker Matt Schindel nailed a 29-yard field goal to give Harvard head coach Tim Murphy his 100th career collegiate victory.
Columbia 23, Duquesne 13
In one of the more surprising developments of the weekend, Columbia, which won just one game last season and had not begun a season 2-0 since 1996, earned a come-from-behind victory over Duquesne on Saturday.
The Lions were held to just four first downs and no points in the first half, but they broke through in the second session, as quarterback Craig Hormann hit Brandon Bowser for a pair of touchdowns and kicker Jon Rocholl knocked three balls through the uprights, to give Columbia 22 second-half points.
Rocholl, who hit field goals from 40, 46, and 22 yards out, also handled the punting duties and booted one 74 yards. For his efforts, the freshman was named the Ivy League’s Special Teams and Rookie of the Week.
Princeton 20, San Diego 17
The Tigers’ Jay McCareins was a rude host to San Diego on Saturday, as he intercepted three passes, including one he returned 99 yards for a touchdown. The score proved to be the game-winner.
McCareins’ three picks were just part of his historic day, as he also recorded four pass breakups, 69 punt return yards, and 47 kickoff return yards, en route to being named the Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Princeton, who held on to win by three after taking a 13-3 lead into the locker room at halftime, also had a solid performance from quarterback Bill Foran, who threw for 62 yards and scored on a four-yard rush scamper.
No. 2 New Hampshire 49, Dartmouth 20
In the battle for the Granite Bowl, the Green defense allowed 547 yards of total offense to the Wildcats’ offense, which was led by quarterback Ricky Santos, who rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 267 yards and three scores, completing 24-of-32 pass attempts.
Yet, New Hampshire’s balanced rushing attack was the Green’s downfall, as five Wildcats rushed for at least 48 yards. As a team, New Hampshire rushed for 280 yards and four touchdowns.
Villanova 28, Penn 24
Under the Franklin Field lights on Saturday night, the Quakers, down by four with 2:23 left in the game, thought they might be able to make a miraculous comeback, as they used a facemask penalty and a Hail Mary to set up a play from the Villanova four-yard line with four seconds left to play. Yet, Penn quarterback Pat McDermott, who completed 25-of-37 pass attempts for 334 yards and one touchdown, was sacked from his blind side before he could make a throw on the game’s final play.
The Quakers, who gave up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, were led by running back Joe Sandberg, who tallied 104 rushing yards and a score on 18 carries, and had 99 yards receiving on seven catches.
The Penn defense had two interceptions and allowed Villanova to rush for just 1.7 yards per carry, but could not stop quarterback Frank Jankowski from completing touchdown passes of 13 and 26 yards in the fourth quarter, which put the Wildcats up for good.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro
Sun Sports Editor