After a season of hard conscientious effort, the Harvard football team went down in defeat before the Yale eleven at New Haven on Saturday by a score of 23 to 0. The final game found the elevens of both universities in the best of condition and a contest resulted that was fully worthy of the large crowd of 30,000 spectators who witnessed the play. It was a defeat, decisive and convincing, but one which the pluck and unremitting endeavor of the losers rendered almost as satisfying as a victory. Even after Yale had scored two touchdowns in the first half, such was the power already made evident by the Harvard team that a successful outcome was still expected with a large degree of confidence. To those who knew the real strength of the Harvard eleven it was a great surprise that Yale was able to fight its way down the field for four touchdowns, and the fact that the feat was accomplished shows that Yale had one of the finest teams that ever represented that university.
The game itself was remarkable in some ways. The spectacle of two teams, either of which had the ability to gain through the other, ending the contest with such a one-sided score was certainly unusual. It is also seldom that a strong team is scored upon by a long run, yet there was one run of 74 yards straight through the line for a touchdown, and there were others similarly executed which, if not stopped by the man in the backfield, would have had the same result. With the exception of these plays and a few punts of extraordinary length, there was little of the spectacular. For the most part, the game was a long series of rushes with scarcely any variation from the accepted style of attack--the tackle-back formation -- which has come into use in all the important games of recent years. A few end runs were tried by both sides, but always with unsatisfactory effect. Yale had wonderful offensive strength and after once receiving the ball usually managed to make successive gains for some distance. The opportunities to score, however, were not confined to one team, as Harvard twice had the ball within 25 yards of the goal and was once held for downs on the 7 yard line. Again a drop-kick narrowly missed scoring by a few feet.
The whole explanation of the defeat is to be obtained from a comparison of the two elevens as teams. As individuals, the Harvard players did all that was possible to be done to stave off the disaster, but they did not work together as did the Yale men. In their respective positions, the Harvard men left little to be desired, but they had not learned to assist one-another. When the ball was to be advanced, it was the man who carried it that did most of the work, and though there were gains, some of them of considerable length, they were due almost entirely to individual excellence. On the other hand, the efforts of the man who carried the ball for Yale were but secondary in the attainment of the end. Every play in which Yale attempted to advance the ball brought out the combined strength of every man on the team and it was by their concentrated energies that they achieved that consistency in their gains that made the difference between victory and defeat. Harvard's defense was practically a one-man defense; not because the men were in-different to helping in other positions than their own, but because the Yale attack was so cleverly disguised that most of the Harvard players were drawn to the wrong side and only one man was left to stop a play that combined nearly every member of the opposing team.
There were many other causes that contributed to the final result. They were minor causes when considered at the same time with lack of team-play, but nevertheless had a great influence on the game. It was fumbling which gave Yale its first chance for a touchdown; a fumble was largely to blame for the failure to score when the ball was on Yale's 7-yard line, offside lost a number of yards in penalties, and holding once caused the loss of the ball. The game showed that the Harvard players had as good mastery of the individual positions as had Yale, but that without team-work and a strong defense it was useless to hope to win.
The excellent spirit and determination of the team was in no small measure due to the feeling inspired by Kernan, who in the face of defeat fought superbly from beginning to end and brought his duties as captain to a most praiseworthy conclusion. His work in the secondary defense was the best of the day, but his fumbling at other times was costly, though not always his fault. Bowditch played one of the best games that has ever been put up by a Harvard end. Time and again through his own efforts alone he stopped plays outside of tackle which but for him would have gone on unchecked for a possible repetition of Metcalf's long run for a touchdown. Both he and Mills, who was exceptionally active on the other side of the line, prevented all gains around their positions, and were kept from doing the same excellent work on punts only by the fine blocking and holding of Chadwick and the opposing ends. C. B. Marshall, in running the team, used admirable judgment, and by his work in the open, though his gains on kicks were necessarily short, showed that he is possessed of remarkable coolness. At centre, Sugden was opposed to one of the best players in that position in the country but was not in the least outplayed. A. Marshall, at guard, deserves the greatest credit for his able showing against Glass, who filled one of the strongest places in Yale's line. Scarcely a gain was made through this position on the Harvard team, and once at a critical time, Marshall broke through and tackled one of Yale's trick plays for a loss. Barnard bore the brunt of Yale's attack during the larger part of the game and though it was a severe task, did it commendably. Knowlton and Shea proved themselves to be effective tackles, both defensively and in carrying the ball. Putnam made a number of Harvard's gains outside of tackle and by keeping close to his interference was several times able to cover considerable distance around the end. Graydon played the same steady and reliable game which characterized his work last year and with proper assistance would have made even greater advances than he obtained by his own efforts. The substitutes, Whitwell at guard, Hurley at halfback, Stillman at halfback, and Clothier at end, who went in during the latter part of the game, all gave very good accounts of themselves.
Only a short time at the beginning of the game was required to show the superiority of the Yale team, and within ten minutes the first touchdown was scored. During the remainder of the half, the two teams played very evenly until Metcalf broke through the line for his long run and a touchdown. The beginning of the second half found an increased stubbornness in the Harvard defense, but a corresponding growth of determination in the Yale eleven which soon produced another touchdown and destroyed all hopes in the Harvard team of stemming the tide of defeat. Another touchdown just before the end of the game brought the score to its final figures and gave Yale a victory which in its extent, if not in its essential features, was almost as great as the one in 1900 and requited the defeat of last year.
At five minutes after two the Yale eleven came onto the field followed by the Harvard team. Kernan won the toss and chose to defend the south goal. After a little preliminary practice Bowman kicked off, but the ball went out of bounds. On the second trial Putnam, who caught the ball behind the goal line, fell to his knees, but regained his feet and advanced to Harvard's 12-yard line before he was downed. In three downs the ball was advanced 5 yards and then Kernan punted to Metcalf who was downed in his tracks by Bowditch on Harvard's 46 yard line. After Yale had netted 2 yards in two downs Rockwell tried a quarterback kick. Kernan who received the ball was thrown so heavily, by Glass, that he fumbled and Yale's forwards fell on the ball on Harvard's 30 yard line. Bowman was tried around right end but was thrown back for an 8 yard loss by Kernan and Bowditch. On the next play, however, Hogan made ten yards through right tackle. From this point the ball was carried to the 2 yard line by line plunges by Hogan, Chadwick, and Metcalf. On the next down Chadwick was carried over the line for Yale's first touchdown. Bowman kicked the goal. Score, Yale 6; Harvard, 0.
Shevlin received the kick-off on Yale's 15 yard line and advanced 8 yards before he was tackled by Mills. Chadwick made 4 yards outside of left tackle. Kinney failed to gain and Bowman punted to Marshall who was downed by Kinney in the centre of the field. Knowlton, Graydon and Kernan in short rushes, carried the ball to Yale's 36 yard line, where it was given to Yale for holding. After a small gain Bowman punted to Kernan who was downed by Shevlin on Harvard's 32 yard line. Putnam and Graydon made the necessary five yards in plays through guard and tackle, and on Harvard's first down Putnam was stopped without gain by Glass. Graydon made a yard through right tackle and Kernan punted to Metcalf. Bowditch tackled Metcalf as he was attempting to advance, and he fumbled the ball, but Shevlin secured it on Yale's 35 yard line. Chadwick gained a yard through left tackle before he was stopped by Bow- ditch. On the next play Metcalf worked his way through an opening made by Goss and Hogan and, dodging Marshall and outrunning Mills, ran 74 yards for a touchdown. Bowman kicked the goal. Score, Yale, 12; Harvard, 0.
Metcalf received Marshall's kick-off and ran it back 10 yards to the 18 yard line before he was stopped. Bowman dropped back as if to punt but the ball was passed to Hogan who, with the three centre men as interference, made 30 yards before he was stopped by Kernan and Marshall. Chadwick made a yard through right tackle but Yale was penalized for holding and the ball went to Harvard on Yale's 50 yard line. At this point the Harvard team showed better ground-gaining ability than at any other time in the game. The backs, aided by Mills and Knowlton on formation plays, carried the ball 42 yards by short line plunges to within 8 yards of Yale's goal.