There can be no question that it would have been much better if Harvard and B. A. A. had not met on Soldiers Field yesterday afternoon. It was in every way the most unsatisfactory game that has been played on Soldiers Field this year. It began with a dispute by the B. A. A. and ended with a dispute.
A considerable number of B. A. A. supporters occupied seats in the west stand, while the east stand was filled with college men who wished to see the team play for the last time before the Pennsylvania game. There was but little cheering, and this was only when the team seemed to have a chance of winning. Instead of having for its aims the encouragement of the team, the cheering seemed to be merely an expression of satisfaction that the team was playing well.
In the first half the B. A. A. men played better, perhaps, than the Harvard men. Their line was stronger and their heavy backs did not find much trouble in getting through, especially to wards the close of the half when Harvard was very weak. In the second half, however, Harvard was much stronger, and good judgment was shown in playing a kicking game when the wind was favorable.
The B. A. A. eleven played with more snap than the Harvard men. Several times they got the ball in play before the Harvard men had prepared themselves for an attack. Their interference was far superior to Harvard's. B. Waters was especially prominent in the interference doing some effective blocking. The tackling of the Boston men was also good throughout and was superior to that of the Harvard men.
Poor judgment was shown by quarterback Smith when he did not make use of the strong wind in the first half. B. A. A. excelled in her rushing game chiefly owing to the good work of Anthony. His weight was a great advantage to him in bucking the line and this, together with his determination, generally enabled him to make good gains through the right side of Harvard's line. Curtis, also, did some good running, although his first beautiful run of the field, which did not count, seemed to take the life out of him.
Harvard's playing was a disappointment. There was no snap in the work, the slowness at quarterback seemingly affecting the entire team. Only once was there any effective interference for an end play. The tackling of the backs was lamentably poor. Both tackles were weak, B. A. A. having little trouble in gaining through the line. Gains were also made around both ends.
B. A. A. won the toss and chose the south goal, a heavy wind blowing from the north. Curtis caught the first kick off on the fly on B. A. A.'s 20 yard line, and ran with the ball before touching it to the ground. With the aid of splendid interference, he carried the ball over Harvard's goal line.
There was no question that it was Harvard's ball on B. A. A.'s 20 yard line where Curtis received it. One of the rules in the code which was agreed upon between Captain Waters and Manager Moore provided that the ball should be touched to the ground before the back catching it could run with it. Captain Waters, however, denied that he had agreed to any such rule, and, as a compromise, the game was begun over again.
Although through the carelessness of Curtis, Harvard was nominally saved from being scored against, yet the disgrace is hardly less than if the score had been counted. The fact remains that Curtis ran the length of the field and got by every man on the Harvard eleven.
After the kick-off had been repeated Harvard soon got the ball on Anthony's fumble. It was then pushed steadily towards B. A. A.'s goal. Wrightington's short punt showed good judgment, but unfortunately the ball went just over the line. Hamlen punted well when Harvard got the ball again, but Anthony's run of 40 yards immediately afterwards put the ball in the centre of the field again. Then the ball was pushed into Harvard's territory until it came to the 25 yard line, which was as near as B. A. A. came to scoring. When the half closed the ball was on Harvard's 50 yard line, but B. A. A. had gained steadily.
In the second half the B. A. A. men tried to delay the game as much as possible so as to take advantage of the darkness. After the ball had gone to Harvard's 30 yard line the men took a firm stand, and Hamlen's good punting, together with B. A. A.'s holding, gave Harvard the ball on B. A. A.'s 35 yard line. Wrightington then made a good run of 15 yards. Short gains brought the ball to B. A. A.'s 10-yard line, where Harvard lost it on downs. After one play by B. A. A., on which Anthony made 10 yards, time was called with the ball in B. A. A.'s possession on her 20-yard line. The line-up was:
HARVARD B. A. A.
Cabot, l.e. r.e., Gould.
Rice, l.t. r.t., R. Waters,
Holt, l.g. r.g., Lemoyne.
F. Shaw, c. c., Russell.
N. Shaw, r.g. l.g., Wilson.
Donald, r.t. l.t., B. Waters.
Newell, r.e. l.e., Fay.
Beale, q.b. q.b., Smith.
Wrightington, l.h.b. r.h.b., Anthony.
Hamlen, r.h.b. l.b.b., Dudley.
Dunlop, f.b. f.b., Curtis.
Referee-J. A. Crane, Jr. Umpires-Messrs. Fiske and Morrison. Linesmen-Lane and Woods. Time-15-minute halves. Attendance-2,000.