Harvard was defeated by Pennsylvania on Soldiers Field, Saturday afternoon, in the last football game of the year, by a score of 17 to 14. But it was a defeat to feel proud of; the Harvard team playing much better than it has played before this year, and at times, especially in the second half, clearly outplaying Pennsylvania.
It was a beautiful day for football, and but for the strong wind blowing in the second half, it would have been a perfect day. The field was in good condition. The seats were all sold, the Pennsylvania delegation of about 800, occupying the two center sections on the east side. The visitors cheered very well, but their cheers were drowned by Harvard's. Seldom in recent years has Harvard cheered so vigorously as last Saturday, when the team played against such heavy odds.
The shifting of the wind which gave Brooke a great advantage in the second half, the blocking of two of Brewer's punts, and his failure to kick two goals lost Harvard the game. Both teams played a good defensive game, but Harvard played much the better offensive game. The Pennsylvania team was by no means as strong as was reported, for on the offensive, barring Brooke's work, they were exceedingly poor, only gaining five or six times during the entire afternoon the necessary five yards. Most of Pennsylvania's gains were made on trick plays, the chief gain being a crisscross around right end.
The determination of the Harvard men to win the game, if possible, was evident as soon as the game began. Although the score was always against them, they played with great spirit and pluck, never once stopping. The way in which the ball was rushed 70 yards by short rushes without being lost once, and a touchdown scored, was as good a piece of football work as any Harvard team has ever done.
The Harvard line put up a very strong game and was superior to the Pennsylvania line. F. Shaw played a steady game as long as he could and Doucette filled his place well. Norton Shaw had a hard opponent in Woodruff, but he played a good game in every way. Holt clearly outplayed Wharton. His breaking through to stop the interference and block punts was one of the features of the game.
At tackle Harvard had rather the best of it. Gould and Rice clearly outplayed Wagonhurst and Farrar. The former player being the weakest man in Pennsylvania's line, at which Harvard, in the latter part of the game aimed most of her attacks.
Cabot, with one exception, played star game on the end, his tackling, time and again, bringing down the Pennsylvania backs before they had fairly started. Newell, on the other end, was not quite so successful.
Beale surprised every one by his good work, running the team with coolness and judgment.
Wrightington played the best game behind the line. He could always be relied upon for a good gain when called upon. He captained the team ably in every respect.
Dunlop played in poor condition but bucked the line for steady gains. Brown only played a short time but did well as long as he was in the game.
C. Brewer played his last game for Harvard after four years of faithful service on the eleven. His nervousness was the cause of his failure to do as well at critical times as he would have done on another occasion. He did not gain so much ground as usual, but he played a hard, conscientious game.
Pennsylvania won the toss and chose the ball. Brooke kicked to Brewer who tried to return it but punted low. U. of P. got the ball on Harvard's 15 yard line. Almost instantly a Pennsylvania back fumbled and it was Harvard's ball again. This time Brewer punted out of danger to the 30 yard line.
Three times the Harvard line stood its ground, then the ball was passed to Brooke, as if for a punt, but he ran around Newell's end to the 10 yard line. The ball was taken in 15 yards, and, after one try to rush, Brooke kicked a beautiful goal from the field.
Harvard kicked off, and immediately got the ball on the 35 yard line because Brooke tried to run contrary to the rules. Twice in succession umpire Bliss gave Harvard 5 yards, but Harvard lost the ball on downs 15 yards in front of the U. of P. 's goal.
Brooke attempted to punt, but Holt broke through and blocked the ball, Newell falling on it for a touchdown. Brewer missed the goal. Score, Pennsylvania 5, Harvard 4.