PRINCETON, N.J., Nov. 6--While two makeshift backfields were performing about equally, a superior Harvard line outplayed Princeton's here today to give the Crimson a 14-9 win--its first over the Tigers since 1946. Although it was as close and sloppy as the varsity's five previous games, the third victory was played in weather as perfect as the outcome. It was no day to be in Cambridge.
And Crimson fans and objective observers among the 30,000 in Palmer Stadium this afternoon would disagree with Princeton partisans who called the win a fluke. No one can say positively that the absence of Royce Flippin and Dick Frye plus the limited participation of Dick Martin and Dick Emery hurt the home team more than the visitors were handicapped by losing Matt Botsford and Dexter Lewis for the whole game and Jim Joslin for the last three quarters.
Joslin averaged 5.4 yards for seven carries before he left the game with a charley horse. If needed desperately, he could probably have returned during the final period, so the sophomore should be ready by Saturday.
Double Wing Variations
Even without Joslin, however, Princeton Coach Charley Caldwell must have considered the Crimson superior to his own team, for he resorted to outlandish single and double wing variations all afternoon. That varsity Coach Lloyd Jordan dressed a better squad was proved all the more by the coolness and competence with which it adjusted to and then stopped the unorthodox Tiger attack.
This is not, however, to discredit a Princeton team which held the Crimson even in first downs, gained only 41 fewer yards, and dropped two perfect passes in the Harvard end zone. But except for these lapses, the varsity defense was as good as it had to be--twice halting the Tigers inside its 20.
Reacting particularly fast to Princeton's numerous, nameless variations were defensive halfbacks Bob Cowles and Tony Gianelly. The veteran Cowles played the same vicious ball he has played for three years, while Gianelly made two key pass interceptions and tackled harder than he has all season. In continuing to progress with each game, the big sophomore picked up one-third of the team's rushing total, including several crucial first downs.
Melgs Possible All-Eastern
But it was the Harvard line--particularly guard Bill Meigs--which was largely responsible for the victory. Meigs proved once again that he has the ability to make the All-Eastern eleven this year. And next season if the publicity department pushes him as hard as he pushes rival lines, he could make the All-American squad.
Other standouts Saturday were Line Coach Ted Schmitt's 814-pound tackle quartet of Bill Frate, John Maher, Orville Tice, and Dick Koch. The end play was also good, with Bob Cochran in the limelight again and with Bob Morrison playing perhaps his most and best ball of the season.
And these men were sharp offensively as well--shaking loose among others Joe Conzelman, who is still hobbled by an injury, and Sam Fyock for long gains. Several of their runs were made from the wingback slot as Coach Jordan astutely slipped in several sequences of left formation with Cowles and Babe
Students must submit their ticket application for the Yale game to the H.A.A. by 5 p.m. today. Each student participation card entities its holder to one free ticket. Extra tickets cost $5. Simourian alternating at tailback.
While this maneuver was a wise one under the circumstances, some other Crimson tactics were inconsistent and indefensible. It is hard to reconcile an ultraconservative policy of punting with third down and seven on one's own 20 in the middle of the score-less first quarter with the extreme daring of passing from one's own 25 while leading, 14 to 6, in the fourth quarter.
As it was, however, Princeton was unable to capitalize fully on these mis-calls despite its early lead. Four punts were exchanged in the opening period, with the Tigers finally rolling to the Harvard two during the sixth and final sequence.
Then, with fourth and one on the third play of the second quarter, fullback Dick Martin dived over center for the score. Martin's attempted conversion was wide.
The next ten minutes and six sequences of the game were a repeat of the first period defensive duel until Princeton wingback Bill Agnew took a deep reverse hand-off on his 20 and was buried under an avalanche of snowy-jersied Crimson tacklers, who jarred loose the ball so that Moigs could recover on the eight.
After Gianelly picked up three yards on first down, reserve tailback Bing Crosby headed off tackle and reached the two before the ball was knocked out of his arms into the end zone and finally recovered by Cochran for a touchdown. End Joe Ross, who had led the line charge on Agnew, booted the extra point giving the varsity its 7-6 half-time lead.
Agnew was not the only victim, for the Crimson gang tackled all afternoon. It was as if Line Coach Schmitt, End Coach Joe Maras, and Backfled Coach Josh Williams had a bet to see which could produce the most tackles. Fortunately for Harvard, and unfortunately for Princeton, the bet came out a draw.
Jordan's three assistants deserve much of the credit for the team's showing in the second half. Their conditioning program and acute scouting analyses helped the team outplay the Tigers when it needed to most.
After finally halting Princeton on its 14, the varsity staged a lightning eight-play offensive drive to clinch the game at 8:31 of the third quarter. Fyock opened it up with the team's only two pass completions out of 13 attempts during the afternoon.
And then from his own 45, the senior tailback cut off tackle down to the Tiger 35 before lateralling off to Gianelly, who tore down the sidelines for another ten yards. On the very next play, the tail-wing series worked to perfection as Cowles sped around the Princeton weak side for the final 25 yards. Frate's conversion put the varsity an impressive eight points to the good, 14 to 6.
It looked less impressive, however, early in the fourth quarter when Jack Kraus intercepted the pass which should never have been thrown on the Harvard 35 and carried to the 15. After gaining a first down on the four, four downs later, the Tigers picked up two yards on two attempts through the line.
But on third down, tailback Sid Pinch, a converted wingback, faded to pass and was smothered on the 13 by Meigs and Morrison. Not caring to try the Crimson line again, Martin angled a successful field goal at 4:46. The ball was set down on the 21. The boot put the Tigers only a touchdown away from victory, but they never again entered Harvard territory.
The win brought the Crimson varsity football teams a nice even total of 500 victories since the sport was taken up in 1874, but 502 would be even nicer. During the same period, the College lost only 173 games while tying 37 others.