As championship hopes were being crushed in Ithaca, there were celebrations going on in New Haven.
With its comeback win over Princeton, Yale improved to 5-1 in Ivy League play and clinched at least a share of the conference championship. Dartmouth and Columbia, with their wins over Brown and Cornell, respectively, are now both 4-2 and could share the league title should they win their upcoming matchup and Yale loses to Harvard in The Game next week.
Above all, week seven of league play provided some more clarity, eliminating the possibility of a crazy seven-way tie. Cornell, Penn, Harvard and Princeton were eliminated from title contention with the Bulldogs’ victory.
Here is a recap of the penultimate week of Ivy League football:
Yale 35, Princeton 31
Yale clinched an Ivy League championship in dramatic fashion, downing preseason league favorite Princeton after trailing 14-0 early in the game and 24-14 at halftime. Then facing a 24-7 deficit after a 58-yard touchdown strike from Chad Kanoff to Tiger Bech with less than two minutes remaining in the half, the Bulldogs responded right away with a 58-yard touchdown of their own, as Jaeden Graham hauled in a deep pass from quarterback Kurt Rawlings.
That touchdown provided the first of 21 unanswered points for Yale, who scored two third-quarter touchdowns to take its first lead of the game, 28-24. But the Princeton offense was not done, responding 2:05 after Yale’s third score to take back a three-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
An 80-yard Bulldog drive early in the quarter, capped by freshman Zane Dudek’s touchdown run, proved enough, as the Yale defense then shut down the Tigers to preserve its 35-31 lead. Dudek dominated, recording three touchdowns and 180 rushing yards, to power the Yale offense. Having clinched at least a share of the conference championship, the Bulldogs can ensure they maintain sole control of the crown with a win against Harvard next week in the Ivy League’s biggest rivalry.
Dartmouth 33, Brown 10
The Green rolled past 0-6 Brown at Boston’s Fenway Park to remain in the title chase after shutting out Cornell last week. Dartmouth used a 17-point second quarter to take a huge halftime lead over the Bears, who are still winless in league play in the 2017 season.
Quarterback Jack Henneghan threw two touchdown passes to receiver Hunter Hagdorn and Dartmouth’s defense shut down the Bears’ weak offensive attack, limiting Brown to only 28 rushing yards and 13 total first downs. Dartmouth will have to beat Princeton next week at home and pray for a Yale loss to try and clinch a share of the league title, while Brown will head to New York City and try to spoil Columbia’s title hopes and salvage an Ivy win on the season.
Penn 23, Harvard 6
Running back Tre Solomon’s 77-yard touchdown on the first play of the game gave the Quakers a lead they would never give up. With the win, Penn improves to 3-3 in league play, while Harvard Crimson falls to 3-3 heading into The Game against Yale next week. Solomon ran for 181 yards on the day — the Quakers averaged seven yards per carry on the ground — and Penn held Harvard to just two field goals, thanks in large part to its third-down defense, which held the Crimson just 2-for-13.
Penn, winners of three-straight, wraps up its season welcoming Cornell next Saturday, while Harvard plans to play spoiler to Yale’s outright title hopes in enemy territory.