November 1, 2005

Brown Beats Penn; Race For First All Tied Up

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While the Cornell football team effectively fell out of the Ivy League race, losing a dramatic 20-17 overtime decision to Princeton this past Saturday, the competition for the Ancient Eight title remained hot. Brown handed Penn its first loss of the season and Yale and Harvard stayed in contention by demolishing Columbia and Dartmouth, respectively. When the dust settled, Brown, Penn, Princeton, and Yale sat atop the league in a four-way tie for first place. With three games left for each team, here is a run-down of what happened around the Ivies last weekend.

Brown 34, Penn 20

Brown’s (6-1, 3-1 Ivy) offense continued the dominant form it has exhibited all season this past Saturday, as it beat Penn (5-2, 3-1 Ivy) in Providence, R.I., and vaulted to first place in the Ivies. As has been the case for most of the year, the Bears were led by tailback Nick Hartigan, who rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns off 39 carries.

The Bears kicked an early field goal after Penn quarterback Bryan Walker, playing in place of usual starter Pat McDermott, had a pass intercepted by Tim Cotter on the third play of the game.

After Brown’s Carson Brennan caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe DiGiacomo with more than six minutes left in the second quarter, Brown’s Jamie Gasperella picked off another Walker pass – a turnover which set up a 40-yard DiGiacomo touchdown run to give Brown a 17-0 lead. Hartigan was able to punch it into the end zone from a yard out a little more than two minutes later, and Penn finally got onto the scoreboard with 1:48 left in the half after Joe Sandberg caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Walker to make it 24-7.

Although Penn came out strong after the half – Scott Williams intercepted a DiGiacomo pass and returned it 80-yards for a touchdown – the Quakers could never get back into the game. Hartigan regained Brown’s 17-point lead with a 24-yard end zone run and another Bears’ field goal early in the fourth quarter put away the visitors for good.

Yale 37, Columbia 3

A 31-point second quarter was more than enough for Yale (3-4, 3-1 Ivy) to demolish Columbia (2-5, 0-4 Ivy) at Wien Stadium.

While Columbia put itself on the scoreboard in the first with a field goal, Yale running back Mike McLeod gave the Bulldogs the lead for good on a 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Yale quarterback Jeff Mroz then hit receiver Ashley Wright for two touchdowns, giving the visitors a 21-3 lead, before McLeod added to the lead with a 1-yard end zone run. Yale was able to kick a field goal on the final play of the first half to make the score 31-3.

Yale would kick two more field goals in the second half to seal the Lions’ fate. Mroz was 22-of-33 for 329 yards and Wright caught seven passes for 93 yards.

Harvard 42, Dartmouth 14

If Harvard (4-3, 2-2 Ivy) had a chip on its shoulder from a loss to Princeton a week ago, it showed. Walter Payton candidate Clifton Dawson rushed for 103 yards and three touchdowns – including one on a kickoff return – while Crimson quarterback Liam O’Hagan threw for a score and rushed into the end zone twice in Harvard’s win over the Green (2-5, 1-3 Ivy).

Harvard took a 14-0 lead going into halftime after a 7-yard touchdown reception by Ryan Tyler and a 1-yard Dawson run. The Crimson would bust the game open immediately after break, when Dawson returned the half’s opening kickoff with a 92-yard run for a score.

Although Green quarterback Joshua Cohen found Ryan Fuselier for a 13-yard touchdown reception to make the score 21-7, Dartmouth would get no further. O’Hagan scored his first rushing touchdown of the game with 10:02 left in the third quarter and Dawson earned his third score of the game off a 32-yard run.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor