The stunned Dartmouth fans sat silently for several minutes after the gun had ended Harvard's 17-13 upset victory Saturday. Not for 15 games had the Green rooters seen their idols fail to vanquish their opponents. At the post-game press conference, Indian coach Bob Blackman shook his head and said, "We knew we would lose sometime, but it's hard to believe the way it finally happened."
Over 15,000 Harvard partisans could hardly believe it either. They had just seen a Crimson squad play some of the best football of any Harvard team in recent years. And they had found a new hero in a reserve quarterback whose passing and play calling had thoroughly dazzled a Dartmouth club favored to repeat as Ivy League champion.
The triumph ran the Crimson's unbeaten streak to nine games, longest since 1921, and pushed Harvard into second place in the Ivy standings, just behind unbeaten and untied Princeton. It also increased speculation in the Cambridge vicinity that the Crimson was indeed rolling toward an Ivy championship.
Few observers cared to contest that prediction on the basis of the varsity's performance Saturday. After getting the traditional miscues over with early in the first quarter, the Crimson began playing football--for real. Once the Indians had scored after their interception of Mike Bassett's pass on Harvard's first play from scrimmage, the Crimson allowed the vaunted Dartmouth offense only one more first down for the rest of the half. Dana Kelly found few holes in the Crimson forward wall, and gained only 56 yards on the ground all afternoon; and 20 of these came in the first three minutes.
With the appearance of Bill Humenuk late in the second quarter, Harvard's offensive success began to approach that of its defense. In less than two minutes, the reserve quarter-back carried the Crimson 51 yards to the Dartmouth one yard line before time ran out. The most amazing part of the march was not really Humenuk's passing; he's done that before. Now his receivers were holding onto his missiles. Tom Stephenson made a beautiful diving catch at the Dartmouth 23 and Frank Ulcickas then latched onto a short Humenuk bullet before John Dockery ended the series of completions with his catch on the one.
And it continued all afternoon. Humenuk kept mixing his passing plays with the Crimson's traditional running plays and never let the Indians regain their balance. Jerry Mechling, whose defensive work coach John Yovicson singled out for special praise after the game, gave Humenuk his next chance by intercepting a Dana Kelly pass at the Dartmouth 48 and returning it to the 35.
Humenuk crossed up the Indians nicely by sticking to run- ning plays. On the second play from scrimmage, Scott Harshbarger took a pitch out around left end, danced his way across the field, and outraced two Dartmouth defenders to the goal line. John Hartranft's dependable conversion tied the score.
Finally the Dartmouth defense which had held opponents to an average of 60 yards a game before Saturday began to stiffen. But after two fruitless exchanges of the football, a 60-yard van Oudenallen punt put Dartmouth on its own 20. A frustrated Tom Spangenberg, Dartmouth's excellent halfback who has been injured a good part of the season, crashed into the Harvard line once too often.
A hard tackle jarred the ball loose from the Indian halfback and Harvard's Bob Barrett wrapped himself around the loose ball at the Dartmouth 27-yard line. Humenuk tried Dockery off left tackle, but three yard gain wasn't satisfying enough. His pass to the fleet halfback in the end zone on the next play was batted down. However, the next play satisfied every Harvard fan in the stadium, as Humenuk dropped a perfect touchdown pass into the outstretched hands of Ulclckas. As usual, Hartranft added the PAT.
As the fourth quarter opened, Dartmouth, on its own 32-yard line, began getting desperate. With its ground attack stalled, Kelly went to the air. The Dartmouth quarterback completed a short pass to Spangenberg, but found that the effort only netted him a four yard loss.
Kelly resolved on the long bomb, and sent Scott Creelman down the middle of the field. Creelman had the Harvard defender, Bill Grana, beat by a good step, and when Kelly let go with a near perfect strike, everyone in the Stadium thought Dartmouth had its second touchdown of the afternoon. Everyone except Grana, that is. The Crimson fullback, in a play that obviously will get better with each telling, and was great enough to begin with, made a leaping, one-handed interception, startling himself almost as much as everyone else.
Given possession, of the football in such a magnificent manner, Humenuk had little choice but to respond accordingly. Mixing his plays well, he marched the Crimson 60 yards to the Dartmouth four where with a fourth down and one, Yovicsin decided to go for an insurance field goal. Completing a perfect day, Hartranft added the three points with a kick that split the uprights.
By this time Kelly had learned his lesson and, after the kickoff, with time as an added factor, he passed the Indians rapidly downfield to the Harvard 25. After a quick pass to Spangenberg was broken up by Rick Belzer, Kelly threw long to Creelman deep in the end zone. Jerry Mechling was right with the Dartmouth receiver and both went up for the ball.
The official ruled pass interference, however, and awarded Dartmouth the football on the Harvard one yard line. The Harvard line held three times, but with the aid of a personal foul penalty, Kelly finally drove the one-half yard into the end zone for the useless score. Tom Bllodeau broke up Kelly's pass for the