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Crimson Opens Season Against UMass

Harvard Must Stop Pennington

By Peter A. Landry

The University of Massachusetts, with a 37-0 rout of Maine already under its belt, invades Cambridge today to launch Joe Restic's second season at the Crimson helm. For Restic's squad, which hasn't yet played a game, the 1:30 p.m. contest will be the season's opener.

Harvard-UMass matchup will provide the first test for the Crimson, and, what happens today will give a good indication of what Harvard football fans can expect this season.

The game shapes up as a duel between UMass's superb senior quarterback Peil Pennington and the Harvard secondary. If the Crimson is to win, the defensive halfbacks must stop Pennington's aeriel show that accounted for 288 yards last weekend Pennington hit 14 of 25 passes, or 56 per cent, while decimating the Maine pass defense.

For Resitc the secondary has been a consistently vulnerable spot in his defense. Last year the defensive backs got burned when the opposition threw deep and since the people who played there a year ago are still there, the Crimson pass defense has to be suspect.

Restic hopes to counter the potent UMass attack (which besides Pennington features fleet halfback Paul Metallo, who romped for three touchdowns last weekend and split end Steve Schubert) with a few offensive flourishes of his own. The Crimson offense will once again feature multiple sets, backs in motion and a lot of passing. Captain Ted DeMars, last season's rushing leader with 704 yards, will hold down one halfback shot and will handle the bulk of the ball carrying. Transfer Mark Wheeler, back in action after sitting out last year, will start at the other halfback position. Wheeler has what Restic describes as "breakaway speed" and, while he is not very big (165 pounds), he is the type of runner who can "break a game open -- go the length of the field for you," according to the coach.

Early Passes

Harvard will pass early and often against UMass, regardless of who wins out in the quarterback derby. Restic can choose from so less than four seasoned signal callers and not be hurt appreciably by a decline in performance. Veterans from last year's varsity Eric Crone. Jim Stoeckel, and Frank Guerra are back for another go-around, and last year's fresh man phenom Lefty Milt Holt are all vying for the starting nod. Restic refuses to announce his starter until game time, a tradition he established last year, and there is virtually no way of pinning down who will get the nod. Crone, Stoeckel and Guerra have an advantage in varsity experience, but Restic would not flinch at throwing a sophomore (Holt) into the pressure cooker as last year's Dartmouth start by Stoeckel proves Holt showed well in the Brown scrimmage completing 8 of 10 passes and as Restic is quick to point out, the sophomore has the most experience in the coache's offensive system. Holt started all six games for the Yardling squad a year ago.

The Crimson ends should be busy, whoever is the quarterback. If he's healthy, Jeff Bone will start at split and over highly touted sophomore Pat McInally. "On what he's done, Jeff deserves the nod," Restic said yesterday. Unfortunately Bone is nursing a badly strained ankle and has been on crutches most of the week. If be is unable to perform McInally will get a starting job The rangy wide receiver who amazed everyone with his performance a year ago as a freshman, has the makings of a super receiver. At 6'6" few defensive backs can match his reach, and McInally, who played at a lightweight 160 pounds last year, has added nearly 50 more pounds over in a summer conditioning program. McInally has the knack for breaking ball games open, and knows what to do after catching the pass.

John Haggerty, coming off a fine junior year, will be the tight end. Haggerty is a strong blocker and has the speed to go deep.

The interior line hasn't much depth, but the frontliners are solid. Steve Snavely will start at center, flanked by transfer Doug Crim and Bob Kircher at the guards. At tackle, Bill Ferry will pair with Tim Manna, who has outed last year's starter Monte Bowens. However, Restic is quick to point out that Bowens will see plenty of action. Behind them though, the interior is largely untested and could be a liability if any of the starters gets hurt.

Strong Defense

Harvard's defensive front seven are as strong as any in the Ivy League and should give UMass a tough time of it. The ends, Mitch Berger on the left, and Mike McHugh on the right, are both returning veterans, and Restic calls them "as fine a pair as you'll see this year."

At tackle three-year starter Ed Vena will hold down the right, with junior Mike O'Hare at the other starting slot. Vena will supply the Crimson with strong inside pressure, to complement the outside thrusts of Berger and McHugh.

Linebacking is also one of Harvard's fortes Junior Sandy Tennant, a robust 210 on a 5'10" frame will anchor the middle and play middle guard when the Crimson shifts to a five-man line. Tennant likes to hit people and makes football a year-round occupation. Mike Ferguson will defend the strong side at outside linebacker with junior Bob Kristoff taking the back side. The frost big and strong averaging well over 200 pounds per man.

The secondary is the same as last year with one exception. Steve Golden has taken over for departed captain and standout Dave Ignacio. The halfbacks will be Mike Murr, Wes Shofner and barry Matmowskt. The quartet is a veteran unit but there is not much speed back there, and if Pennington gets time to throw it will be a long afternoon for Harvard.

Restic wants to attack UMass's 4-3 prestyle defense with a balanced attack, establishing a ground game to open up the pass. There isn't a limited game plan as such because Restic's offense doesn't work that way. "We'll know in the first four series what we can do," he said yesterday. "We have the flexibility and the variations. We'll adjust to what they throw at us."

Defensively, Harvard must stop the pass and contain Metallo and 250-pound fullback Dick Cummings. "We cannot give them the long pass." Restic said in a bit of coachly understatement. "We have to shut off Pennington and contain the ground attack."

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