Friday, November 13, 2009

Senior Day and a Battle for the Ivy League Title

Today's Video: Fair Harvard

It's the last home game of the 2009 Season for the Harvard Crimson (6-2, 5-0), the last chance for the seniors to play in front of their families and friends on Soldier's Field at Historic Harvard Stadium. Of course, it's also their last chance to walk off Soldier's Field after a win, and this is a big one as they face fellow Ivy League leader Penn (6-2, 5-0). The winner of this game is guaranteed a share of the Ivy League title. The loser needs help next week to get it. For all intents and purposes, this is an Ivy League Championship Game, and Harvard's seniors will be trying to end Senior Day on a high note, with the team's third straight Ancient Eight title and the chance to claim it all next week against Yale.

Looking back at last week for these two teams, we'll start with Harvard, who was on the road for the first time in awhile as they traveled to NYC to face the Columbia Lions. The Crimson lead the way throughout thanks to a balanced rushing attack that saw six Crimson rushers garner 151 yards and three touchdowns (2 for Gordon, 1 for Scales). QB Collier Winters also had an effective game throwing for 214 yards and a touchdown, but he also tossed two interceptions on the day. Still, the Crimson were comfortably up 34-0 in the fourth before conceding two consolation touchdowns to the Lions for the 34-14 victory.

Penn, meanwhile, faced their rival Princeton, and hopefully, the basketball rivalry will be more competitive than the football one was, as Penn ran away with a 42-7 victory. QB Kyle Olson had three touchdown passes and 238 yards, while Lyle Marsh fell just shy of the century mark on the ground as part of Penn's 215 yards rushing. After 21 straight points, Penn let up a Tigers touchdown, before putting up another 21 points in the second half. Princeton had only 25 rushing yards on the day, and gave up three turnovers while forcing none.

We'll have more on this match-up on Saturday morning at 11:30 AM as James Yoon and Charlie Hobbs will take over the pre-game coverage duties, before sending it out to Alasdair Wilkins, Kara Hollis, and Scott Reed over at Harvard Stadium.

Now let's go around the Ivy League, after the jump.

It's a battle for New York as the Columbia Lions (2-6, 1-4) travel to Ithaca, NY to take on the Cornell Big Red (2-6, 1-4). Cornell is coming off a heartbreaking 2OT loss to Dartmouth last week, after a missed 36 yard FG in the second OT left Cornell three points short in their 20-17 loss. Cornell had 224 yards rushing, which still was short of the rushing effort by Dartmouth's Greg Patton, who put up 245 on the Big Red defense. Columbia, meanwhile, fell to the Crimson last week at home. They were shutout until late in the 4th Quarter, when they were able to get two touchdowns to bring the score to a more respectable looking 34-14. Jerry Bell and Sean Brackett combined for 294 yards in the losing effort, but the Lions were held to a -18 yards rushing and committed 6 turnovers to Harvard's 4.

Two teams from the top half of the Ivy League face each other in Providence as the Brown Bears (5-3, 3-2) host the Dartmouth Big Green (2-6, 2-3). Brown last week was facing a usually staunch Yale defense, but the Elis could not contend with Bruno's passing attack as Kyle Newhall threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns as part of 494 yard day for the Brown offense. It was a close 14-12 lead for Brown going into the half, but two unanswered touchdowns opened the game up for Brown in the third and Yale just was not able to battle back, falling 35-21. Dartmouth, meanwhile, had an exciting game against Dartmouth, earning their second win in three games after a seventeen game losing streak. The Big Green trailed Cornell 10-0 late, but a 52 yard scamper from Greg Patton and then a field goal in the dying minutes sent the game to OT. After Cornell and Dartmouth traded touchdowns in the first OT, the Big Green started with the ball in 2OT and grabbed a FG which Cornell could not match. Greg Patton had 245 yards on the day, breaking Dartmouth's single game rushing record.

In the late game, the Princeton Tigers (2-6, 1-4) host the Yale Bulldogs (4-4, 2-3) in their last home game of the year. Princeton was on the wrong side of a drubbing by rivals Penn, to the tune of 42-7. Princeton was outgained 453-215, and also had three turnovers to zero for Penn. Yale, in their loss to Brown, got 285 yards and two touchdowns from QB Patrick Witt, but he also threw three picks, part of Yale's four turnovers, and the rushing game had a tough time getting anything going.

That's going to wrap up our blog coverage of the game but do tune in for the pregame at 11:30 AM and the game beginning at 12:00 PM here on 95.3 FM and

Blog Note: Also, we would like to congratulate senior play-by-play man Alasdair Wilkins on a great career in the Harvard football booth on this senior day. Alasdair will be around with basketball and Sportstalk going into the next term, but this is his last home football game, so we wanted to thank him for all of the stuff he's done. Congrats Alasdair, thank you, and have a great broadcast!

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