Crimson Power on Ground Overcomes Indians, 28-21
Big Green Tricks Not Enough to Get Victory As Varsity Line Excels Before 28,500
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Dartmouth quarterback Mike Brown just about exhausted his team's bag of tricks on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to gain a victory for the Big Green. A solid, hard-charging Crimson line made the difference as the varsity, never behind, fought to a 28-21 victory before 28,500 fans.
Quick kicks and fake quick kicks, short onside kick-offs, a fake statue of liberty play, and a fake field goal attempt were all in the Big Green's repertoire. All of them were tried, but none led to a score.
It was a tough afternoon for the visitors from Hanover. Twice they came from behind to tie the score, once in the first and again in the third period. But then, the Crimson, led by quarterback John Simourian, put together two touchdowns more, and when Dartmouth finally did score again, it was too late.
The Crimson offense was restricted almost entirely to the ground. And when the team scored, it was after slow, methodical drives. That the Crimson could and did win on the ground is a tribute to the great depth of the Harvard backfield and to the astute play-calling and running of Simourian.
First Half Stars Out
The Crimson's final two touchdowns in the third and fourth periods were both gained without the services of the three men who had been the offensive stars for the Crimson in the first half. Both fullback Tony Gianelly and right half-back Ron Eikenberry were forced to leave the game with injuries, and left halfback Walt Stahura, who scored the Crimson's 14 first half points, was thrown out of the game early in the third period for fighting. Big Green guard Bob Adelizzi was ejected with him.
Dartmouth's offense had none of the Crimson's power. The Big Green's running attack just wasn't there, gaining only 46 yards. But this poor showing was expected. Neither of the visitors' regular starting halfbacks even dressed for the game, and early in the first quarter one of the starters--Jim Burke--was injured. His replacement, sophomore Jim Henander, had not even played as a freshman because of injuries, although he performed surprisingly well.
Brown Sparks Dartmouth
Dartmouth's one offensive threat was the right arm of Brown. He completed eight of 15 passes for a total of 125 yards, but was rushed, and rushed hard, by the Crimson line. Six times he was caught behind the line of scrimmage, and each time the Dartmouth attack stalled.
Only once, as a matter of fact, did Brown's passing directly result in a score. And this was for Dartmouth's final touchdown, made with only 22 seconds left in the game. The Crimson had just scored a minute before to go 14 points ahead. On four plays which covered 56 yards, however, Brown passed the Big Green to within seven points of the Crimson, with Captain Bob Rex catching the touchdown pass in the end zone. The Crimson's second line was playing at this point, though, and Brown had all the time in the world to find his receivers.
Dartmouth never could go ahead in this game. In the first period, the Crimson scored the second time it got the ball. With Gianelly hitting the middle of the line harder and faster than he has all season and with Simourian, Stahura and Eikenberry going off tackle and around ends, the Crimson scored in seven plays. Stahura actually carried the ball over, but he was helped by Gianelly, who faked a dive over center.
Nine plays later, the Big Green had made the equalizer. A long pass from Brown to left end Dave Moss and a personal foul by Harvard--a 15-yard penalty--were the two big gainers. Brown himself scored on a quarterback sneak.
In the third period Dartmouth equalized the score once again on the most dramatic play of the day. Henander caught a Botsford punt on his own 15-yard line and, after outrunning two or three would-be Crimson tacklers, scampered down the left sideline to go all the way.
The play revealed all too well a consistent Crimson weakness throughout the contest. On punts and on kick-offs, the team moved downfield at half-speed, giving the Dartmouth runners plenty of time to find the holes and to pick up extra yardage. On one occasion, Stahura, after punting the ball, actually made the tackle as well.
The Crimson's second touchdown had come in the second quarter, following a quick kick by Rex from his own four-yard line to Harvard's 40. Botsford ran it back to the Harvard 49. In 11 plays the varsity covered 51 yards, all on the ground and largely with the running of Botsford and Eikenberry. A pitch-out from Simourian, who replaced Botsford, to Stahura was the scoring play.
During the final two periods, the Crimson's backfield usually had Jim Bell at fullback, Jim Damis and Jim Joslin at the halves, and Simourian at quarterback. Although Botsford could play, Simourian had the speed which the Crimson needed for its running attack.
Two breaks actually set up the final Crimson scores. In the third period, Botsford's interception of a Brown pass at midfield led to a touchdown seven plays later, with Damis bouncing off three Big Green tacklers to score off right tackle.
In the fourth quarter, a seven-yard punt by Big Green substitute fullback Dave Pratt gave the Crimson control of the ball on the Dartmouth 25-yard line.
The resulting touchdown nine plays later--scored by Simourian on his favorite play, the quarterback keep--seemed merely to ice the Crimson victory. But Brown's passing led to another Dartmouth score a minute later. The play, coming as it did at the end of the game, was reminiscent of Claude Benham's spectacular efforts for Columbia last week, with one difference. This week, the Crimson had a two-touchdown, rather than a one-point, lead.
It came as no surprise to anyone that Dartmouth's final kick-off, with only 22 seconds left in the game, was a short, onside kick. Rex had tried the same thing at the opening of the second half, and it had worked. At that time, Rex short-kicked to the left, and the ball was recovered by Moss. Both teams were offside, however, and so Rex had to kick again. It was exactly the same story, except that the time left halfback Jim Mueller recovered for the Big Green.
But at the end of the game, this play didn't quite work. Crimson right end Bob Cathcart fell on the ball, leaving the Crimson in control for the final seconds.