November 22, 2005

Bears Take First Ivy League Title

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Brown is the color of the Ivy League this season, as the Bears cemented sole possession of the Ancient Eight title with a win over bottom-feeders Columbia this past Saturday. Meanwhile, Harvard and Yale played to a three-overtime classic and Princeton earned a share of second place with a win over Dartmouth. Cornell earned its second road victory of the season, beating Penn, 16-7, at Franklin Field.

Brown 52, Columbia 21

Defense may win championships, but when your team scores 36 points per game in league action, it might not even matter.

Running back Nick Hartigan led the Bears (9-1, 6-1 Ivy), earning 229 yards on 31 carries and setting the league record for touchdowns, as Brown dominated the Lions (2-8, 0-7) in New York, clinching its first outright Ivy League championship in school history.

Hartigan scored three touchdowns on Saturday, raising his career total to 51 – thereby passing the benchmark set by former Cornell tailback Ed Marinaro ’71.

The Bears took a 10-7 lead into the second quarter, and with 11:15 left in the frame, Brown quarterback Joe DiGiacomo found David Turner for a 23-yard touchdown score. Less than five minutes later, DiGiacomo completed his second touchdown pass to Efren Blackledge, before Hartigan lifted the Bears’ advantage to 31-7 with a 5-yard end zone run.

The Lions were able to cut their deficit to 17 after Brandon Bowser caught a 1-yard touchdown pass, but Columbia was blown out yet again. Brown tacked on 21 more points in the third quarter and earned its highest point total this season.

Prior to 2005, Brown was Ivy co-champions in 1976 and 1999. Columbia ends the 2005 season in last place in the Ivies.

Harvard 30, Yale 24

With tailback Mike McLeod running 5 yards into the end zone to give the Bulldogs a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter, it seemed as if Yale (4-3, 4-6) would break a four-game losing streak against its bitter Ancient Eight rival, Harvard (7-3, 5-2).

But the Crimson, behind running back Clifton Dawson – who earned Ivy Player of the Week honors for his 213 all-purpose yards – rallied to force overtime and eventually defeated Yale in the third period of extra time in New Haven, Conn.

After McLeod’s touchdown, with 7:36 left, Dawson caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Liam O’Hagan to make the score 21-10. Then, Harvard’s Steven Williams picked off a pass from Yale quarterback Jeff Mroz and returned it 18 yards for another score. A missed Crimson two-point conversion and a Yale field goal gave the Bulldogs a 24-16 lead with 6:26 left to play.

But O’Hagan led his team on a 9-play, 66-yard drive, culminating in an Alex Breaux 22-yard touchdown reception. O’Hagan ran the ball in on the ensuing two-point conversion, tying the game and forcing overtime.

Harvard had a chance to convert a 37-yard game-winning field goal in the first overtime, but Matt Schindel missed wide right. Both teams conceded turnovers in the second period of extra time, before Dawson ran in from 2 yards out in the third overtime to seal a win that took almost four hours to complete.

It was the first overtime game in 122 meetings between Harvard and Yale, and the first triple overtime game in Ivy League history. Harvard finished in a tie for second this year, while Yale tied for fourth.

Princeton 30, Dartmouth 0

The Tigers (7-3, 5-2) earned a share of second place and its first shutout in six years as it controlled the Green from start to finish behind a 25-carry, 119-yard performance by tailback Rob Toresco and the terrific play of Jay McCareins in Hanover, N.H.

Taking a 13-0 lead at halftime, McCareins, known for his big-play ability throughout the season, caught a missed field goal with 2:48 left in the third quarter and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown, extending Princeton’s lead to 20. After Dartmouth (2-8, 1-6) fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Toresco rushed 15 yards into the end zone just 15 seconds after McCareins’ score. Dartmouth finished in seventh place in the Ivies.

Archived article by Brian Tsao
Sun Assistant Sports Editor