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Harvard's victory over Pennsylvania on Saturday was similar to those of the last two years. Pennsylvania, as usual, pinned all her faith on offense alone, and confined all her efforts in that line to one play, the guards back formation. Harvard, on the other hand, used all styles of play, and although accomplishing nothing extraordinary in any one of these, was able to outplay Pennsylvania sufficiently to win by a good margin. In the first place the Harvard team showed so much quickness on the defense that Pennsylvania's powerful offense was practically useless. In all, Pennsylvania gained many yards, but the gains were not consecutive and, without gaining that is steady, no team can win except on flukes or on its opponents' mistakes. Pennsylvania, therefore, was unable to pull out a victory by its own peculiar style of play, while Harvard, knowing the rudiments of the game thoroughly and having a fair amount of team play in all styles of offense, had little difficulty in scoring on Pennsylvania's untrained defense.
Aside from the quickness with which the entire Harvard team broke up the guards back formation and the excellent judgment displayed, the team by no means played a first-class game. Although a very creditable victory was won, the Pennsylvania game showed that the playing of the team is still far from being thoroughly developed and that many faults exist which will need much hard practice to correct and which will prevent any danger from over-confidence.
Although the Harvard team was as heavy as Pennsylvania's, the men showed none of the clumsiness which sometimes mars the work of a heavy team. The steadiness and the unusual speed with which the entire eleven plunged into the plays were the principal causes of Harvard's victory. This offset the Pennsylvania attack, and when that was done the team gained its opportunity to win. Here again, in the attack, quickness was the essential feature. The interference was not very smooth, it was not especially steady and was not strong, but the speed and the vigor with which the plays started was sufficient to make long consecutive gains around and through the cumbersome Pennsylvania line. This speed, however, to be successful in later games must be effective by team play. The perfection of this team play and the acquirement of a more varied defense are the principal tasks now to be accomplished.
These last deficiencies are not as yet faults, for it is yet too early to expect final form, but the game did reveal many real and important faults which must be eradicated. The greatest of these was fumbling, although the game was not close enough to give the fumbles their full significance. Pennsylvania's touchdown was the direct result of a fumble, coupled with offside play, and on three occasions Harvard lost chances to score in the same way. Carelessness was another noticeable fault. When the team saw that it had almost a sure victory it let up in its efforts and although very slightly, enough to show its effects. Harvard was penalized twice, and although this seems a small number it was sufficient to cause a temporary demoralization.
Pennsylvania as a team was sufficiently outclassed to lose the game but it was not the failure of the guards back formation nor the slowness of the defense which allowed Harvard to roll up such a large score. Overconfidence or nervousness, in the first half, gave Harvard chances that steady, careful playing would have prevented. In the second half this wore off, and the teams were more evenly matched.
The game gave great opportunities to judge of the individual strength and weakness of the Harvard players. The most noticeable player was J. Lawrence. His charging was excellent, having none of the unsteadiness which spoiled his work early in the season, and showing more speed than before. He gained the advantage of his opponent on almost every play, followed the ball closely and was of great value in taking advantage of Pennsylvania's misplays. The only fault in his playing was his occasional failure to break up the interference which carried Hare around his end Sawin was another player who attracted attention by brilliant work. He followed his interference as far as was practicable and seemed to know just when it was advisable to leave it. His running was fast and heady, and made him the greatest ground gainer of the day. Captain Daly was more effective than usual in spite of two misplays. Through his judgment Harvard's attack was distributed in such a way as to take the most advantage of Pennsylvania's weak spots. Besides this he did some brilliant running in broken fields. He made anywhere from five to twenty yards after receiving punts, and once threaded his way through almost the entire Pennsylvania eleven for forty-five yards in spite of the fact that he had fumbled the punt before making the run. All of the men in the line did better than was expected. The guards, Barnard and Lee, both against men supposed to be their superiors, succeeded in holding their ground. It was only when running with the ball and tackling at the ends that Hare showed his superiority, for Harvard gained through Hare as easily as Pennsylvania gained through Barnard. On the other side Lee easily outclassed Teas, and it was through this part of the line that Harvard found it easy to gain. At the tackles J. Lawrence and Eaton both played brilliantly and opened excellent holes for the backs. Eaton's work was the best he has done this year. At the ends Campbell and Hallowell were far below their form of last year, but they were more effective than they have been in recent games. They got down well under kicks, but were not very sure of their tackles, and often it was another man who downed the runner. Campbell stopped all of Pennsylvania's end plays but Hallowell was not as reliable, and was boxed several times when Hare circled his end. At centre Sargent was quick and active, and put plenty of spirit into his play, but was unsteady in his passing. Once he passed the ball back over Daly's head and several other times he sent the ball so low that only very quick work by the punter made it possible to get the ball away. In the back field Harvard had an excellent combination in Sawin, Kendall and Ellis. Sawin was successful on end runs, Kendall could be used to advantage against the tackles while Ellis could be depended upon in bucking the centre. Although not so successful as Sawin in making long runs, Kendall was fairly reliable and made steady short gains. Ellis struck the line low enough to get plenty of force in his plunging and high enough to use his ability to hurdle. Of the substitutes who went into the game, Bowditch filled his position best. Besides defending his end well, he got into the mass plays quickly and several times tackled the runner before he had fairly started. His interference for the backs was better than Campbell's. Gierasch took Sawin's place, and although he was a little slow at times he was just as successful as Sawin in gaining on end runs. His tackle in the middle of the field alone kept Hare from making a touchdown on his long end run. Stillman, Devens and Ristine did fairly well, but were not as effective as the men preceding them.
None of the Harvard eleven were seriously hurt. Kendall injured his sore shoulder and Ellis and Sawin hurt their weak knees, but Hallowell and Campbell were taken out of the game merely to save them from overwork. Captain Daly strained his arm slightly but was able to play the game out.
Of the Pennsylvania team Hare was the star. His general playing was better than that of any other man on the field, and had it not been for him Pennsylvania would have had no strength whatever. Besides playing his position in good style he gained more ground than all the rest of his team taken together, and made most of the tackles on Harvard's end plays. His only fault was slowness in getting his punts away, and this resulted in a touchdown for Harvard. No other man on the Pennsylvania team approached Hare in playing. McCracken and Wallace gained a little ground, but could only do it occasionally. Grave's playing was marred by costly fumbling, and all of the other men showed glaring weaknesses.
The more important movements of the game were as follows: Shortly after Hare's kick-off two twenty yard runs by Sawin and two exchanges of punts gave Harvard the ball in the middle of the field. Ellis plunged six yards through the centre, and on the next play Sawin circled Davidson's end for twenty yards. Kendall and Ellis carried the ball to the twenty-five yard line. Then Sawin with excellent interference got around Davidson's end again and did not stop until Daly had pulled him across the goal line. J. Lawrence kicked an easy goal after a punt-out.
The second touchdown came only a few minutes later. Graves's fumble of a punt and Kendall's fumble after being tackled gave Pennsylvania the ball on her twenty yard line. On Hare's attempt to punt J. Lawrence broke through, blocked the ball, kicked it over the line and fell on it. He also kicked the goal.
The last touchdown was made a minute before the end of the half. After a long punting duel Harvard began a concerted attack at Pennsylvania's forty yard line. Short plunges by Ellis, Sawin and Kendall carried the ball twenty yards and an end run by Sawin took it to the ten yard line. Kendall and Ellis made five yards through the centre, and finally Sawin broke through Zimmerman for the touchdown. The half ended a minute later with the ball in Pennsylvania's possession on her thirty yard line.
With the score 17 to 0 against them the Pennsylvania eleven began the second half with renewed vigor. Two minutes after the kick-off Sawin made a fumble on Harvard's twenty yard line. Pennsylvania was then given ten yards on Hallowell's offside play. On the next down Hare easily circled Hallowell's end and scored the touchdown. He missed an easy goal.
That was the end of the scoring. Harvard gradually worked the ball toward Pennsylvania's goal several times, but fumbles and holding prevented any further scoring. When time was called Harvard had the ball on Pennsylvania's five yard line, and with more time would probably have made the touchdown.
The line-up was as follows:
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