On Saturday, before a crowd of 40,000 people in the new Stadium the Harvard eleven, though not out-played individually, was defeated by Yale, 16 to 0. In every department of the game except kicking, Harvard was superior to Yale. The game played by the University eleven supposed to be one of the weakest Harvard has ever had, and crippled a few days before the game by the loss of its regular left tackle, was a superb exhibition of aggressiveness and determined spirit in the face of the most persistent ill-fortune. The vigorous attack and the determined defense shown by the University eleven made it the more regrettable that lack of judgment in directing plays at critical moments and a bad fumble prevented Harvard from at least scoring.
In punting, Mitchell out-classed LeMoyne; the former's kicks were from five to fifteen yards longer than LeMoyne's, and were invariably higher and carried better. LeMoyne's poor showing in punting was largely due to Parkinson's erratic passing. A synopsis of the ground gained by the two teams shows bow large a part punting played in Yale's victory. Although Harvard gained by straight rushing 130 yards more than Yale, Yale on punting gained 230 yards more than Harvard.
Of Yale's touchdowns one was directly the result of a blocked punt; and on another blocked punt Yale was enabled to get the ball within striking distance of Harvard's goal line. The first touchdown only was secured unaccompanied by a fluke of any sort.
But the playing of the Yale team is not to be disparaged on this account. As a team they seemed more quick to take advantage of every opportunity presented by Harvard's loose playing, and they utilized skillfully their superior punting ability. Their attack, when once the ball was within striking distance of Harvard's goal line was irresistible. Their defense, especially when the Harvard attack approached the goal line was stubborn and effective.
Three times Harvard had the ball within eight yards of Yale's goal line. In the first half after rushing twenty yards the ball was on Yale's six-yard line, with but two yards to gain for first down. Marshall dropped back for a drop-kick, but the kick was blocked, although Harvard secured the ball on the 32-yard line. From here the ball was rushed twenty yards, and Harvard was given five yards more for offside play. On the next play Nichols fumbled and another chance to score was lost.
Again in the second half after rushing the ball from Yale's 18-yard line to the 4-yard line. Nichols failed by six inches to score and the ball was Yale's on downs.
The Harvard eleven, both as a team and as individuals, cannot be given too much praise for their aggressive and powerful work in the face of the supposedly far superior team of Yale. Harvard's team proved that from being inferior, it was in many ways superior to Yale, and the failure on the part of the coaches to recognize early in the season the capabilities of the team contributed largely to the defeat. It seemed that the team work of the eleven during the game arose from the exigencies of the situation and the determined spirit of the individual players rather than from coaching in team play.
Of the Yale players, Mitchell was preeminent, both in his kicking and general ability. Rockwell at quarter played an effective game and his dash and certainty in running off plays contributed no little to the team's success. In the line Hogan and Shevlin were the most effective men, but because of the work of their opponents failed to show up as brilliantly as previously. Rora back at centre was aggressive and his work undoubtedly caused the erratic passing of Parkinson. Kinney failed to come up to expectations. All the Yale backs on their secondary defense were noticeably capable.
Of Harvard's players, Derby stands out as the most unexpectedly effective. Playing on the first eleven for only two days before the game, placed up against the most formidable player of Yale's line, and weighing nearly thirty pounds less than his opponent, his showing in the game was most creditable and although Yale's attack was largely directed at wearing him down, it was not until late in the second half that he had to be replaced.
The work of A. Marshall at guard stands out as a noteworthy culmination of a football career. Not only did he take care of his opponent, but he helped Knowlton in disposing of Kinney. Knowlton's work was highly commendable, especially in tandem plays through the line.
Bowditch at right end did all that could be expected of him, which is the highest possible praise. His work justifies his position as first end among football players of the day. That Metcalf made his long run around his end is due to the failure of the secondary defense and to unpenalized holding by Yale, rather than to any fault of his. Parkinson's playing at centre was aggressive and effective, but was shadowed by his lamentably poor passing. LeMoyne at guard, although a Freshman, played a game which would have done credit to an older and more experienced man, and in him the University has a guard who will prove most valuable during the rest of his career. In punting, he failed, however, to come up to expectations, although handicapped by Parkinson's poor passing.
Clothier, pitted against an end of national reputation, showed himself not inferior to Shevlin, and played a game more sportsmanlike than that of his opponent. Captain Marshall at quarterback, played a remarkable game, handling punts reliably, running back the ball spiritedly and carrying the ball for long gains around end. If it had not been for poor judgment, in attempting a drop kick with the ball on Yale's 8-yard line and but two yards to go for first down, and again in calling on LeMoyne to punt from within the 15-yard line after he had clearly been out punted on every occasion, Marshall's playing would have been above criticism. Nichols played for the most part a praiseworthy game, although not as brilliant a one as might have been expected. His dropping of the ball on Yale's 8-yard line and his failure by six inches to make the touchdown for which he was called upon, offset the value of the rest of his work. Schoellkopf's work in carrying the ball and his playing in general calls for high praise. At no time did he fail to respond to any call.
Hurley was a close second to Schoellkopf in general excellence of play and his work in the line, with Derby back, against Hogan showed him to be a defensive back of first quality.
Mills played a dashing game second only to that of Schoelikopf, a game which makes one wish the coaches could have found some place for him other than substitute.
The substitutes who were put in during the latter part of the game, played with a spirit all the more creditable because it was in the face of defeat.