Harvard defeated Carlisle on Saturday 17 points to 5. The score, however, gives no indication of the closeness of the game nor the relative strength of the two teams as first constituted. Carlisle, going into the game with the reputation of playing straight football and relying on mere strength to win, began at the start a series of trick plays and unusual formations that entirely upset Harvard's defense. These plays resulted in a touchdown for Carlisle in less than five minutes. Then Harvard by a temporary rally took the ball to Carlisle's thirty-five yard line, where Daly kicked a field goal. This bit of individual playing alone kept the teams tied during the first half of the game, since Harvard was clearly outplayed during the rest of the half. Finally, however, toward the end of the game Harvard had more success in stopping Carlisle's attack, and through greater endurance and with a better re-enforcement of substitutes, was enabled in the last six minutes of play to score the two touchdowns which won the game. In all-round team play the Carlisle eleven showed superiority over Harvard until several of the best Carlisle players were injured. Then Harvard's fresh substitutes turned the tide and pulled the team out of what promised to be a tie. Carlisle excelled Harvard in offense and in tackling. Their trick plays were run off with remarkable smoothness, and they were used at the times when they could do the most effective work. Their tackling was fast, the runners being usually downed for a loss, while Harvard did the worst tackling of the season. Roberts was continually allowed to make long runs in the open field simply through the slowness of the Harvard team in getting down under punts. Harvard's slowness also lost many chances to get the ball on fumbles, and as jumbling was Carlisle's greatest weakness, the failure to take advantage of it was especially unfortunate. The defensive work of the whole team changed completely during the game. At the start it was demoralized by the Indians' fast and aggressive playing. The first sign of improvement was shown a little later in the first half, when Carlisle's was held for downs on the five-yard line and from that time on Carlisle's gains became less. This was one of the encouraging features in Harvard's playing. A similar, although not so great a change, took place in the team work. Carlisle had an advantage in the concerted playing of its entire eleven until the middle of the second half. From that time on however, Harvard's interference improved steadily.
Of the entire Harvard team only two men, J. Lawrence and Ristine, were up to their usual form. Lawrence charged vigorously, making Wheelock the weak spot in the Carlisle team. Ristine followed the ball quickly, stopped several plays from behind and prevented gains around his end. His playing was better than that of Hallowell, who since his injury has been unable to play his position well. Eaton was a little weak at his position in defense, and Graydon, who took his place, could open no holes. The guards and centre were slow and barely held their ground against lighter men. Daly hesitated noticeably in running in the open field and was a little slow at times, but his interference for the backs was the best he has yet done. Devens and Kendall could both gain ground, but they showed no persistency after getting through the line, Devens especially throwing away good chances by lying still when thrown. Putnam had plenty of strength in his running, but did not make enough use of his interference. The opportunity he lost by this was shown by the success gained by Kernan and Swann, who stuck to their interference throughout and made use of every advantage given them. Kernan also showed skill in throwing off tacklers which was lacking in the other backs. Stillman was weak in line bucking, but his punting was excellent. With good work by the ends he would have gained much ground by this, as his punts averaged forty yards.
Carlisle kicked off to Daly. Then Stillman punted to the middle of the field. Carlisle gained fifteen yards around the ends, and Wheelock tried a goal from the forty-five yard line. It was blocked, but Carlisle got the ball. Another unsuccessful attempt at goal gave Harvard the ball and Stillman punted it to the forty-five yard line. Then Carlisle began a steady advance to the goal. Gains of five to ten yards around Campbell and Hallowell carried the ball to the fifteen yard line. Pa mer easily broke through Eaton and scored the touchdown. Wheelock missed the goal.
Shortly after the next kick-off Stillman ran twenty yards on a fake kick and Daly got twenty-five yards more on a double pass. Ten yards for offside play and Putnam's two gains amounting to fifteen yards then took the ball to the twenty-five yard line. No more gains could be made, and Daly kicked a drop-kick goal from the thirty-five yard line.
After the kick-off a forward pass by Harvard gave Carlisle the ball on Harvard's twenty yard line. Carlisle then adopted the turtle back formation and by line plays worked up to the eight yard line. Harvard then made a plucky stand and took the ball on downs, Stillman punting out of danger. A few moments later Daly tried a goal from the forty yard line and Burnett tried one from the middle of the field, but both failed. The half soon ended with the ball on Harvard's forty-five yard line. Score, 5 to 5.
At the opening of the second half both teams found that they were unable to gain, and Stillman and Wheelock began a series of punts. Stillman's punts were longer than Wheelock's but Roberts ran them back so much that Harvard steadily lost ground. This lasted until seven minutes before the end of the game. Then Kernan took Putnam's place, and by heady running began to get through Carlisle's line for gains. After an exchange of punts Harvard got the ball on the forty-five yard line. It then seemed that Harvard could do no better than make a tie. On the next play, however, Kernan broke through a hole made by J. Lawrence and picking up his interference started for the goal. Devens, Daly, Barnard and Stillman all helped him along, and by shaking off one or two tacklers himself, he got past the whole Carlisle team for a touchdown. J. Lawrence kicked the goal.
Kernan was now hurt and Swann took his place. He, like Kernan, made use of his interference, and on his first play, soon after the kick-off, circled right end for thirty-five yards. He and Stillman carried the ball ten yards further, but Stillman fumbled on the twenty-five yard line. Carlisle tried to punt, but Bowditch broke through, blocked the punt and got the ball. Swann and Stillman then took it through the line to within two yards of the goal, and Swann finally plunged through the line for the touchdown. J. Lawrence kicked the goal on a punt-out.
Daly returned the kick-off to the middle of the field but Carlisle punted back at once. Stillman fumbled badly in trying to make the catch and Rogers recovered the ball and started for the goal with almost a clear field. Daly, however, downed him on the ten yard line. Time was called before the teams could line up.
The line-up was as follows: