In the first game of the season the University team had no trouble in defeating Bates by the score of 15 to 0. Harvard used two elevens during the progress of the game, sending in team A for the first and third periods, and team B for the other two. All scoring, which consisted of two touchdowns by Wendell and a goal from the field by Milholland, was done by the first team, which alone seemed to be able to penetrate the Bates line for any great distance. However, owing to fumbles behind the line, unsuccessful forward passes and fumbles by Bates, the team had no opportunity to demonstrate its ability to advance the ball by consistent rushing. Both touchdowns came as a result of fumbles by Bates close to their own goal, and Milholland would not have been called on to try a drop kick had not the University team been penalized for holding directly under the goal posts.
On the defence the line showed up well, often sifting through and smothering a play before it got started. Gardiner and Smith seemed to follow the ball closely, the latter recovering fumbles down the field on two occasions. The team play, however, was crude and the eleven seemed to outplay Bates by individual superiority. The backs, especially when team B was on the field, received very little interference from the line, and whenever they broke through were promptly smothered by Bates secondary defence.
Potter's onside kicking was well-timed and accurate, and he gave the ends an excellent chance to recover the ball, by not kicking either too far or too quickly. Of the forward passes, only one was successful, the others being either outside or wide of the mark. He ran the team with snap and speed, showing a versatility of attack fairly well developed for this stage of the season.
The offence was ragged, Wendell being the only back who could gain at will. Morrison and Gruastein showed up well at times, but would make good gains only to be stopped short on similar plays a few minutes later. Skin tackle plays and plunges through the centre of the line seemed to be the most successful.
In punting, Harvard was immensely superior. Potter and Felton got off long spirals with the wind, and the ends were so effective in getting down that after the first few attempts at running in Bates always signalled for a fair catch.
On the whole the work was crude and marred by fumbles, and though there seemed to be power in the line, it did not play well together. The second team showed less offensive strength than the first and except on the ends was defensively superior to its opponents. Yet in the whole game, Bates made less than 40 yards and only one first down by rushing the all, while the University team advanced it over 100 by the same means.
The Game In Detail.
Captain Fisher won the toss and chose the goal at the open end of the Stadium to receive the kick-off. Jenckes received the ball but was downed in his tracks on the 35-yard line. Rushes and a five-yard penalty against Bates took the ball to the centre of the field, where Felton punted to Hill. The latter, however, fumbled, and Gardiner recovered the ball on the 20-yard line. Wendell and Morrison went through the line to the 8 yard mark, where Potter tried a forward pass to Smith which failed. Strong defence forced Bates to punt, but a poor pass gave Harvard a chance to break through and tackle Dennis before he could punt, Bates losing the ball on downs. On the next play Wendell plunged through tackle for the first touchdown. Gardiner kicked an easy goal. Score, Harvard 6, Bates 0.
Bates kicked off again and Morrison returned the ball 10-yards to the 45-yard line. From there Potter made a successful onside kick to Gardiner for a gain of 35 yards. Potter made 5 yards through centre but lost the ball on the next play; on an attempted forward pass. Bates was again forced to punt from her 15-yard line, but another poor pass and fumble by Dennis let Captain Fisher in to recover the ball on the 10-yard line. Wendell was again given the ball and broke through the right side of the line for the second touchdown. Gardiner kicked the goal. The quarter ended after a few plays and exchanges of punts with the ball in Harvard's possession on her 40-yard line.
In the second period the substitute eleven got in the game and Bates managed to hold it without difficulty. The nearest Bates came to a score was in this period when Butler recovered Gardner's fumble on his 25-yard line and started down the field with no one to stop him. Campbell, however, caught him from behind before he could get more than 10 yards. The half ended with Harvard holding the ball in the centre of the field.
The first eleven again entered the game in the third period and received the kick-off. Potter ran the ball back 10 yards and then made a beautiful punt of 50 yards to Bates's 10-yard line. tried to rush the ball out but was forced to punt to her 40-yard line. From there Potter made a forward pass, the only perfect one of the day, to Smith, netting 20 yards. From there Wendell crossed the goal line on a magnificent plunge but was called back and the University team was penalized 15 yards for holding. An offside penalty of 5 yards and plunges brought the ball to Bates's 4-yard line, where Morrison fumbled and Bates recovered the ball. After a punt out by Bates the University team rushed the ball to the 28-yard line, from where Milholland, who replaced Howard at left end, made a clean goal from the field, ending the scoring for the day.
In the last period the substitute team again went in and, though it kept the ball safe in Bates territory, it could not score. Once the ball lay on the 10-yard line., when Gardner tried a forward pass. The ball dropped to the ground, however, and was recovered by a Bates player. The play from then on was entirely in Bates's half of the field.