The University football team succeeded in defeating the United States Naval Academy eleven at Annapolis on Saturday, but only by the score of 6 to 0. The playing of the University team was fairly encouraging, on the whole, when the fact is taken into consideration that the team is still in a very unsettled condition, due to many petty injuries and the necessary experiments to find suitable linemen to fill the places of Osborne and Kersburg of last year's team. Although many of the men are being tried out in new positions from day to day, the team is slowly rounding into shape.
The Navy's defense on Saturday was very strong, and time and again Harvard tried guard and tackle plays only to be held with no gain. On the other hand, the Navy seemed unable to gain through the University line, and when not punting made most of their gains around the ends. In the second half punts were repeatedly exchanged, Newhall relieving Burr of some of the kicking on account of the latter's injury. With Burr's ankle in good condition, Harvard would have had a great advantage over Douglass, the Navy punter, and as it was, Burr's kicks outdistanced his opponent's by from five to ten yards. One minute, the ball would be in the Navy's territory in Harvard's possession, only to be lost on an intercepted pass or kick, and then the condition would be reversed. This continual punting and passing caused many careless fumbles on both teams, with the Navy the chief offender. Harvard followed the ball far better than the Navy and recovered fumbles to good advantage.
Bird and M. C. Peirce at end did fairly well in getting down under punts, but on the defense Peirce was very weak, the Navy backs circling his end frequently for substantial gains. Butt, who played halfback for the first time, fumbled a good deal, and Cutting, who was put in his place, proved much steadier. None of the backs were able to gain around the Annapolis' ends, Dague and De Mott, who are remarkably good men. Grant's passing was not all that could be desired, but he held his own with Stingluff, a man considerably heavier than he.
Harvard won the toss and received the kick-off. Newhall returned the kick, taking the Navy by surprise. Burr recovered the ball and ran to the 30-yard line for a total gain of 70 yards. A penalty for holding then put the ball back 15 yards and Newhall made an onside kick which the Navy secured. Harvard got the ball again, and Burr caught Newhall's forward pass, running it to the 15-yard line. Here Harvard was held for downs on line plays. Douglass punted on the first down. Newhall tried a forward pass from Annapolis' 45-yard line, but Lange got the ball. Douglass then made a pretty 25-yard end run and kicked on the next play. Parker blocked the ball, W. Peirce recovered it and car- ried it over for the goal. On the next kick-off, the ball went over the goal-line and Douglass punted out to the middle of the field. During the rest of the half the ball repeatedly changed hands from one end of the field to the other on fumbled punts and forward passes. The last play was a 13-yard run to Harvard's 40-yard line by Newhall after catching a punt.
The second half was a continual exchange of punts and onside kicks, the only features being a 20-yard run by Rand and two 15-yard runs by Douglass. Time was called with the ball in the University team's possession on their 25-yard line.