It was a pleasure to watch.
This Harvard team was essentially the same as the one which lost horrendously to Cornell and Columbia only short weeks ago. Yet here it was, running up the biggest score--34 to 21--any Crimson squad has made against major opposition since the war, and looking good while doing it.
The tally could have been higher, had not Coach Lloyd Jordan sent in his reserves with five minutes to play. As it was, only a fumble prevented them from scoring, too. Everything seemed to move well. Timing was sharp, blocking crisp, and defense well above average.
As Brown Coach Alva Kelley said afterward, "We tried every kind of defensive maneuver; none of them did any good."
The Crimson attack moved with reassuring authority at all times. Five substained scoring drives proved that this was a team victory, even though hard-driving Tommy Ossman carried the ball over each time. Ossman's superb faking on the optional pitchout play--combined with excellent trap blocking--opened the with excellent trap blocking--opened the defenses every time. And to prove that he wasn't limited to up-the-middle plays, the 192-pound fullback took off on a 20-yard pitchout sweep around right end to score the last touchdown.
Running played the big part in this win, although Paul Crowley's nice falling catch of a 26-yard pass by wingback John Ederer set up the first score. But the Crimson threw only seven passes all told, two of them in the last 25 seconds.
Ossman, Claeby Combine
It was the consistent power of Osaman--122 yards in 27 tries--and the fine outside work of tailback Dick Clasby which sustained the scoring marches. Clasby threw two scanty passes, but his double threat was enough to keep the Brown defense drawn well back. On at least two occasions, Clasby, back to pass, could find no receivers, so he had to run. He made ten yards each time, totalled 126--in 29 tries altogether.
Ederer, now seemingly set in the starting wingback post, played a good game too. He was the man to whom Ossman usually made his fake; when the ball was pitched to him, he ran well. But the fake was opening such wide holes that Ederer carried only eight times.
The running attack's success was a fruitful repetition of the Crimson's drive last week, when Harvard pushed 47 yards for a score through the Princeton defense--the country's "best."
Five Long Drives
Against Brown, the varsity mounted five scoring offensives, the shortest of 57 yards duration, the longest an impressive 75 yards. And although Brown managed to tie the count once at 7 to 7, the outcome was never really uncertain: the Crimson running attack, which was to amass 22 first downs, was just not stopable.
It took the Crimson almost the whole first period to break the scoring ice. After some futile opening scrimmages, the home team let a Brown punt roll dead on its own 32. An Ossman fake and a Clasby slant, followed by a Brown penalty, put the ball on the Bruin 39. Then Ederer took the ball on a reverse, swept wide, passing to the diving Crowley on the Brown 13. It took two more fakes by Ossman to score at 12:30. Left-footed Bill Monteith kicked the first of four placements, and the Crimson led, 7 to 0.
Brown Ties Score
After Bruin Ken Kessaris fumbled the ensuing kickoff, safety man Don Cottey picked off a Clasby pass, and ran it back to the Brown 35. Smashes through tackle moved the ball steadily, until quarterback Carl Leone hit Joe Bowdring in the end zone with a ten-yard pass. Fred Pendletons conversion tied it up.
But the Crimson took the kickoff, and went 60 yards in 13 running plays: fakes, end runs, and straight bucks. Ossman scored on one of the latter at 8:23 of the second quarter.
After a stiff Crimson defense--and an opportune fumble--held the Bruins on their own 33, Bob MacConnell punted to Bill Healey on the Crimson 24. John Nichols--an outstanding performer all day--threw a key block at midfield, and Healey made it to the Brown 37.
The efficacy of Ossman's faking was very evident on the next play, when he pitched out, for the first time, to Ederer, who snaked his way to the 21, through the baffled Brown defense. Ossman powered on six of the next seven plays for the score, to give the Crimson a 21 to 7 halftime lead.
Brown rolled back early in the second half as nice running by halfback Kessaris sparked a 64-yard push. Reserve fullback Ed Lawrence finally bulled for the second score at 4:13. Pendleton again converted.
Quarterback Gill O'Neil, better known as a blocker, started the Crimson on on its way again, taking the kickoff on his 29 and ripping to the 47. Harvard kept right on moving, mostly on the ground, although Ederer flipped once to Clasby for 13 and Ossman compounded his fake by pretending to pitch out, then passing over the line for 12 more. Ossman utilized a straight buck at 11:07 to score the touchdown which broke Bruno's back. The Bruins were able to score early in the fourth quarter, mostly using a clever optional pitchout. Leone would circle end, waiting to see if the defensive end moved up to meet him. If so, he would flip to the trailing halfback. If the end hung back, Leone would keep the ball and run. This continued until Leone sneaked over from the two-yard line, but Brown was still not in the ball game although it trailed by only seven points.
Blitz Shows Well
Less faking, more speed and drive, highlighted the final Crimson march, which started on the Harvard 36 and ended with Ossman's pleasantly surprising sprint into the end zone at 8:31.
Then Jordan put in the second team. But with fullback Jerry Blitz faking and running as well as Ossman, the Crimson boomed to the five, only to fumble. The locals retrieved the ball with a minute left, and almost scored when Brian Reynolds passed to Hardy Cox on the final play. But Cox was dropped on the 12, and the Crimson had to settle for an abundantly satisfactory 34 points.