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Although no one really won Saturday's Harvard-Dartmouth game. Harvard could ultimately come out ahead in the long run. Harvard's 21-21 tie with the Big Green could definitely work to the Crimson's advantage as the remainder of the Ivy League season unfolds.
Saturday's tie not only enabled Harvard to maintain its share of first place in the League, but it shifted the pressure to co-leader Dartmouth. The Crimson and the Big Green have identical 2-0-1 records.
"We're even up now." Crimson coach Joe Restic said yesterday. "This puts us in a very good position."
Looking over the remainder of the schedule. Harvard does seem to have the better deal. Dartmouth has yet to face Yale. Cornell and Columbia--teams that were considered, along with Harvard, to be contenders for the Ivy League crown. Harvard has already beaten both Columbia and Cornell.
"Even though we best them. I know how tough Columbia and Cornell are," Restic said. "Dartmouth has some tough ball games ahead."
While Restic is enthused about the overall League picture, he is visibly displeased, even after a weekend of cooling off, with Saturday's officiating that penalized Harvard 95 yards while giving the Big Green no penalty yards.
"I have never gone through a ball game where one team was hit with nearly a hundred yards in penalties and the other team got none," Restic said. In his weekly report to the League office. Restic has voiced his displeasure on the officiating inconsistencies, and has offered to go over the films with the game officials.
Rash of Penalties
Against Dartmouth, Harvard was hard hit by a rash of illegal procedure penalties. The infractions were brought on by the positioning of Harvard's wide receivers. The Crimson wide men were called again and again for being too deep in the backfield. According to Restic, the wide men were lining up on the head linesman, who is supposed to be positioned on the line of scrimmage.
Despite his complaints about the officiating, Restic had praise for the Crimson defense. "The way Dartmouth played was due to more than poor execution on their part," he said. "We took their ball game away from them."
For Harvard fans, though, even superb defense could not make up for the offensive weaknesses which muddled the Restic system beyond recognition. Eric Crone could not get untracked all afternoon at quarterback, and with his performance went the Crimson offense as a whole. His indecisiveness in key situations made it impossible to overcome the illegal procedure infractions that plagued Harvard.
"Eric didn't get a chance to move the ball club, because penalties put us in too many holes," Restic said yesterday.
Whether the Crimson's non-offense was due to Crone's lack of opportunity to move the Crimson attack--the optimistic view--or to a downright inability to move the club--the pessimistic one--Restic stuck with him down to the bitter end.
"I had thoughts about taking him out," the Crimson coach said. "But we were in situations where we had to pass. It's awfully tough to throw when everyone in the place knows you're going to. He didn't get a chance to operate."
Harvard fared well for the second straight week with no major injuries. Tim Manna, Mark Wheeler and Bob Kircher all were banged up Saturday, but none of them are expected to miss action this week.
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