Football fans who watched the varsity squeak by Colgate Saturday were wondering yesterday just how long it would take Dartmouth to catch on to the Crimson's single-wing.
Saturday, it took Colgate about 15 minutes to get used to the varsity's style of offense. That was about 15 minutes too long, however, and the Red Raiders came off 21 to 20 losers in their first Stadium appearance. It was Colgate's first defeat in four games.
While Colgate gained admirers by staging a spirited comeback after being 21 points down, the Crimson gained stature by showing the rare ability to force "breaks" and then capitalize on them.
The breaks which were turned into touchdowns by the Crimson came early in the game, when the Red Raiders were still befuddled by the single-wing which they were playing against for the first time.
Although the element of luck figured largely in the game, a recapitulation shows that the breaks were just about even. The Crimson's good fortune was just better timed.
One bad break for the Crimson which wasn't obvious to the casual spectator was the absence of Hank Toepke, who had been scheduled to start at inside tackle on offense.
Toepke twisted an ankle at the light drill Friday; it swelled up so badly that he did not dress for the game. Thus Captain John Nichols was called upon to go both ways much of the time, although he had not practiced offense all week.
Only one minute, fifteen seconds had elapsed Saturday when tailback Dick Clasby slashed off right tackle for 12 yards and the Crimson's first score. That touchdown had been set up by halfback Bob Cowles, who returned an intercepted pass to the Colgate 12.
Three minutes later, Clasby went off tackle 42 yards on the same play to put the ball on the Colgate 19. One play later, wingback John Ederer passed to end Paul Crowley for another score.
With 30 seconds remaining in the quarter, the Crimson took over again on the Colgate 26 after a punt. Fullback John Culver, Clasby and Ederer took turns moving the ball, Culver bombing over from two yards out for the touchdown.
Bill Monteith then kicked his third straight extra point and the Crimson had what seemed to be a comfortable lead. But then the Red Raiders began to find themselves.
Quarterback Dick Lalla, who had seen his first passing attempt turned into a Harvard touchdown, returned to the game to spark a drive which was climaxed by halfback Fred Totten, who piled through center a yard for the score totten kicked the extra point.
Lalla, passing from the fullback slot to guard an injured leg, used his protection "pocket" beautifully.
He was to account for two more touchdowns directly, throwing 23 yards to end Fred Chandler late in the second period and then hitting Dick Ross with an 13-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.
Totten added the extra point after the second touchdown, but missed on the third, which meant the ball game.
Harvard, meanwhile, had moved the ball inside the Colgate 20 five times in the second half, but couldn't put it over, as the heralded Red Raider defense stiffened.
The Crimson did score once, on a Clasby to Ederer pass, but it was ruled that Ederer had stepped out of the end zone. The Crimson lost another touchdown when Culver fumbled on the one-yard line late in the fourth quarter and the ball was recovered by Colgate for an automatic touchback.
The breaks went both ways late in the game. The Crimson ended up on top because it had parlayed its early good for tune and Colgate's early confusion into 21 points