Ivy Football Roundup
It was a weekend of surprises in the Ivy League. Princeton's offense came alive and outperformed Brown. Quakers quarterback Gavin Hoffman continued his string of impressive offensive performances. And perhaps most improbable of all, the Big Green of Dartmouth won a game.
The team with one of the best offenses in Division I-AA was outplayed and outperformed Saturday by the Princeton Tigers. Princeton (2-3, 2-0 Ivy) scored 55 points and defeated Brown. The Bears (3-2, 0-2), who came into the game with one of the league's most efficient offenses, managed a measly 28 points against a Princeton defense that turned in an inspired performance.
Freshman David Splithoff, the starting Princeton quarterback as a result of injuries to Tommy Crenshaw and Jon Blevins, completed 13-of-17 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns. Splithoff also turned in 48 yards rushing as part of the Tigers' balanced attack.
Splithoff was not alone in helping the Tigers stay tied for first atop the Ivy League standings. Field goal kicker Taylor Northrop made two field goals and was a perfect seven-for-seven on extra points. Princeton linebacker Chris Roser-Jones led the Tiger defense in resisting the Brown attack and recorded two interceptions, four blocked passes, and 11 tackles.
Before Princeton's offense ever stepped on the field, they were facing a 7-0 hole. On its opening drive, Brown strung together 11 plays for 65 yards and recorded the game's opening tally. After that, the game was all Princeton. Splithoff threw two TD passes of 74 and 59 yards, both to wideout Nate Lindell, and Andy Bryant had a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown for the suddenly juggernaut-like Tiger offense.
That explosive offense is what awaits the Crimson next Saturday in Princeton, New Jersey.
Penn 43, Columbia 25
The Quakers' tailback Mike Verille scored a pair of touchdowns and amassed 111 yards. Penn's quarterback, Gavin Hoffman, passed for 235 yards on 19-of-27 passing. Hoffman tallied three TDs and hooked up with six different receivers during the game.
Columbia scored on its first two possessions of the game, and at the start of the second quarter the Quakers trailed 13-9. With Columbia beginning its drive deep in its own territory, however, Lions' QB Jeff McCall was intercepted by Penn's Fred Plaza. Two plays later, Hoffman found Verille for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Columbia's next possession offered no relief for the Lion offense as Penn's Brian Drake forced a fumble which led directly to another of Verille's touchdowns. Turnovers truly were the story of the day as Penn forced three turnovers leading to two TDs while the Penn offense refused to turn over the ball once.
Dartmouth 31, Holy Cross 14
Dartmouth's offense and defense came together with consistent performances to help the Big Green. The key to the Dartmouth offense was Mann, who threw four first half TDs in addition to his 260 yards on 23-of-37 passing, led Dartmouth's offense up and down the field at will.
Dartmouth's opening drive ended in a missed field goal and the next drive resulted in a Dartmouth punt. The Big Green came alive when safety Todd Jelen forced a fumble at the Holy Cross 29-yard line. The turnover led directly to Dartmouth points, as Mann soon found tailback Scott Wedum for a six-yard TD pass. That score put the Big Green up 7-0.
The following Crusader possession resulted in another turnover, as Dartmouth linebacker Gordon Quist intercepted Crusader QB Erreick Stewart. Mann converted that turnover into still more Dartmouth points, finding Wedum again on the receiving end of another six-yard pass. Up 14-0, Dartmouth would add 14 more points in the second quarter, putting the game out of reach.
Colgate 23, Cornell 16
Starter Tom McCune left the game in the first quarter with a hand injury and Kirklin took over. The Red Raiders took some time to fire on all cylinders, and Cornell led 9-7 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Kirklin and the Red Raiders began a drive down the field, highlighted by a 32-yard run to the Cornell six-yard line by Colgate running back Randall Joseph. Kirklin took the ball in, after a penalty, for the go-ahead score.
Joseph was responsible for clinching the game for the Red Raiders, as his 60-yard TD run with 2:25 remaining in the fourth put Colgate up, and out of reach, 23-9.
Yale 24, Fordham17
Fordham put the first points of the game up on the board after a Yale fumble at their own 41. Fordham converted the turnover into a touchdown, with QB Mike Mucci hitting Javarus Dudley on a 29-yard pass.
Rashad Bartholomew would knock in the first Yale score from the one-yard line after a long and halting drive. On that drive, a 30-yard TD pass was called back for holding and Yale nearly stalled out at the Fordham 32 when it faced a third-and-14. Yale QB Peter Lee connected with wide receiver Eric Johnson 16 yards downfield for the first down and kept the drive alive.
Bartholomew broke a 60-yard run on Yale's next drive and set up a another pass from Lee to Johnson to put the Bulldogs up 14-7.
Fordham and her fans got back into the game, scoring on a field goal and a 18-yard TD pass from Mucci to wide receiver Kendal Creer to put Fordham ahead 17-14.
Fordham also stopped Yale on its next possession, but the Elis would put together a 58-yard drive, 44 of those yards gained by Bartholomew, that culminated in a three-yard Bartholomew TD run. Yale added a field goal with 3:16 remaining to help seal the victory.