PHILADELPHIA--The two best receivers in the Ivy League--and possibly, the entire East--displayed their wares Saturday as an aroused Harvard football team downed high flying Penn.
Don Clune gained 56 more yards, but Pat McInally stole the show with a one-handed catch of a 30-yard touchdown pass with only 86 seconds remaining, giving Harvard a 34-30 breathtaking victory and a choice piece of the Ivy lead.
Jim Stoeckel broke his own Harvard records for completions (20) and attempts (37)--both set in 1971 against Dartmouth--with a 27 for 48 performance, and hard-running fullback Neil Miller gained 130 yards in 25 attempts as Harvard came from behind twice in the second half.
Plunges for Inside Yardage
Down 14 points late in the second quarter, Stoeckel worked the short side of the field masterfully in drive after drive. Sending Miller plunging into the line for tough inside yardage. Stoeckel opened up the outside for the option and short passes to McInally and tight end Pete Curtin.
McInally--hit at the line and drawing double coverage in the secondary--broke loose in the first quarter for an 80-yard touchdown, only to have it called back by an offsides penalty.
After that, wherever his 6 ft. 4 in. frame went, a swarm of Penn defenders, led by their star defensive back Ken Bald, diligently followed. And Stoeckel repeatedly hit Curtin, Miller or Steve Dart in the hole in the secondary that was left.
Methodically wearing down the Penn defenders--Harvard ran 19 more plays than Penn--Stoeckel put three points on the board with a 20-yard Bruce Tetirick field goal. The field goal made Tetirick the leading scoring kicker in Harvard history.
In the third period, Harvard scored quickly from 45 yards out in two plays. Miller ran for 34 yards up the middle on the first, and then Stoeckel faked to him, faked the pitch to Dart, and cut back sharply, scoring standing up. Another Tetirick field goal--this one from 33 yards--narrowed the Penn lead to one point.
Penn gave up the go ahead touchdown when Bald fumbled a Stoeckel punt at the seven with three minutes still remaining in the third period. Having learned the lessons of the Dartmouth debacle, Stoeckel handed the ball three straight times to Miller, who punched it over from the two.
Penn then began playing as if their scholarships depended on it--last week, a temporary decision was announced to continue high funding for Penn athletics, and this game was supposed to prove the value of the investment.
Lofted Pass to Goal Line
Quarterback Marty Vaughn began to pick apart the Harvard zone. Four straight Don Clune receptions moved the ball to the Harvard 23, where the defense stiffened. On fourth down, Vaughn faked into the line, and as Harvard's secondary came up to stop fullback Glenn Casey, Vaughn dropped back and lofted a perfect pass to Ron Wixted, all alone at the goal line.
The final Harvard drive featured a heart-stopping fourth and 13 pass to McInally for a first down at midfield, setting up his sensational touchdown grab.
Incredibly, the fireworks were not over. Penn came charging back on Vaughn passes to Bellizeare, reaching the Harvard 40 before junior John Clark--who also blocked a punt in the second quarter--intercepted a deflected pass at the 9.