PRINCETON WINS THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, DEFATING HARVARD 36 to 6.
Harvard kicked off in the middle of the field, and Lamar attempting to run after getting the ball, was tackled by Harvard, and this within twenty yards of Princeton's goal. More good work by the Harvard rushers, getting through every time soon saw the ball close to the Princeton line, but in returning the ball from a kick of Moffat's, Kimball kicked the ball over the line, and it had to be started from the 25 yard line. The ball was only a minute or two in coming back dangerouly close to the Princeton
Hurd next made a brilliant run regaining all the lost ground, but was forced out at the other side of the fleld. The ball was lost by Kimball at the next pass and the Princeton man who got it was only stopped by Peabody when he had passed all others. Willard's kicking still kept the ball at the same general locality and he was soon enabled to make a try for goal. The kick was good but the ball went a little to one side. It was now Princeton's turn and by good rushes aided by continued off-side punting the ball went far up the field. Moffat made a fine kick over the Harvard line, Peabody muffed it behind the line and a Princeton man at once made a touchdown from which Hodge kicked a second goal.
The contest had been very close up to this time with the ball first on one end of the field and then changing to the other. It was, therefore, no surprise when Harvard forced the ball on Princeton ground after the kick off by Willard. Good kicking and the continued impetuosity of the rushers soon made it dangerous for Princeton to make any slips. It was just at this time that one of her men did so. Baker. standing on the lines, muffed the ball after a long kick by Willard, and Thayer immediately touched it down at one side. Peabody punted it, Kimball caught it and Bemis kicked a goal. The ball after being put in play at the centre went to the Harvard end where it stayed for the few remaining minutes of the inning.
The second half or inning was not less interesting but less favorable to Harvard. The rushers did not tackle well and Princeton played with a snap and audacity exceeding that displayed in the first part of the match. The ball was started by Harvard and Harvard gained ground but soon lost the ball. Lamar, short and stocky, made one of his beautiful runs, dodging under the arms of the Harvard rusher attempting to tackle him about the shoulders. The ball was then for a time mostly in the air, Moffat and Willard having a kicking contest. Princeton sometimes tried to rush after catching long flies, but was always tackled and lost ground. Willard made one very fine catch over his head, a feat which was received with much applause. Two rushes by the skillful Princeton dodgers carried the ball within the Harvard 25-yard line. A quick pass from a down to Lamar, who was standing far at one side was not anticipated in time by Harvard. Our men were literally caught napping, and Lamar was over the line and made a touchdown before he could be stopped. Hodge kicked a goal, the ball just grazing the top of the bar as it went over.
At the next kick-off by Harvard the great Moffat muffed the ball and Gilman pounced upon it. Notwithstanding a bad kick by Kimball the ball was kept well down at the Princeion end for some length of time. Here, the second casualty occurred. Baker, one of the Princeton half-backs was injured in the leg and compelled to retire in favor of Toler. Moffat and Willard then had one of their kicking matches without appreciable result. Princeton, unable to gain in this way, resorted to their superior passing and rushing and made much headway. Harvard was careless and tackled poorly again, so that a Princeton rusher was through them and scored another touchdown ere they knew it. Hodge kicked the fourth goal, making the score 24 to 6.
The ball, after put in play, was forced for an instant onto Princeton territory. But only for an instant. Lamar was at it again With his snakelike movement he wound in and out among the Harvard men and before stopped had gained many yards. From the down which ensued after this rush a fine side pass was made to Lamar who had a chance for a fine run around Harvard's line, but Hurd was watching and soon had Lamar sprawling on the ground. The next fine work done for Harvard was the steady catching in quick succession of long flies by both Willard and Kimball. Despite their efforts the ball would approach their end of the field. Moffat made a fair catch within range of the posts and Hodge proceeded to try his luck at a goal from the field. He failed. De Camp was more lucky, catching the ball on the run he continued running until he was safely over the line and had made a touchdown. Hodge tried for the goal, but failed again.
Willard's usual kick put the ball in play from the 25 yard line, and Gilman with Hurd's assistance, carried it well alohg. Breaking through by Harvard with Brooks in the lead, forced the ball up the field, only to have it returned by Moffat's powerful kicking. Loose work by Harvard ensued and Harris rushed the ball through and made the last touchdown, from which a goal was kicked. Another burst of speed by the Harvard rushers carried the ball well towards the Princeton end, where Moffat's kicking again came into play to relieve his side. It was at about this time that the crowd persisted in enroaching on the limits of the field, and hampering the players when the ball was kicked fair. The ball was once more forced upon the unwilling Harvard men's end, and amid a general back and forth movement was secured by Lamar, who crossed the line with it. Bemis followed him and before he could make a touchdown, had taken it away and touched down for safety. Time was called at once. The score standing 36 to 6 in Princeton's favor.
Omitting all comments on the faults of Princeton's play, let us look upon its merits. First there was the machinelike play of the team as a whole aided by the efficient umpire, which was a pleasure to see. The backing up of the man with ball always enabled him to pass it when in a strait, and the warding off of opposing tacklers made his path easy. Much of this latter was unfair as it was off-side, but it was done with such system that the thoroughness of preparation required cannot but be admired. The intentness on the game of the men was also good. Likewise their ability to tackle and rush as well as to kick well was noticeable. Harvard tackled badly. This was the chief fault and to it the size of Prince ton's score is due. Then, neither of the half-backs can rush worth a hurrah and only one or two of the rushers. This want was severely felt, for it compelled Harvard to gain all ground by kicking, or by the getting tnrough of the rushers. But this leaves the ball in the hands of the other side and when near the enemy's goal line the ball is either secure in their possession, or, if in Harvard's, of little use because there is no one able to carry it through for a touchdown. Inability to score. Harvard has paid but comparatively little attention to passing among the backs, each one playing an independent game, whereas the Princeton backs were always aiding one another when one had the ball. Harvard blocked and got through well, but the rushers did not always keep their minds on the game. The umpiring, too, was not reduced to that cold science noticeable in Mr. Connor.
Mr. Hull of Yale as referee was very able and satisfactory. The Princeton's umpire was Mr. Connor ; Harvard's, G. C. Adams, '86. The teams : Harvard-Rushers, Hurd, Homans, Gilman, Winslow, Brooks, Phillips, Thayer, Simpkins ; quarter-back, Bemis ; half-backs, Kimball and Willard ; back, Peabody. Princeton-Rushers-H. Hodge, Irvine, Bird, (captain), Griffith, Harris, Wannamaker, Decamp ; Quarter-back, R. Hodge; half-backs, Baker, Toler, Lamar ; back, Moffatt.