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The Harvard freshman football team could not come up with the big play yesterday as it lost a close contest 7-0 to the more experienced Holy Cross J.V. Crusaders at Soldiers Field.
Undefeated Holy Cross, previously averaging 35 points a game, had tallied up an impressive 157 points in its four victories, while allowing only seven against. Although the tough Crimson defense held the Crusaders to one touchdown, Harvard's inability to find the endzone dropped the freshman record to 1-3.
The only score of the day came in the second quarter on a 28-yd. strike from Holy Cross quarterback Zane Zamenski to wide receiver Bernie Kueny. On first down, Zamenski dropped back into the pocket and hit Kueny two steps ahead of Crimson defender Stephen Waters. Crusader Ken Jepson's extra point was the last score of the day as both sides battled up and down the field during the remaining half.
"The team played pretty well today," freshman coach Mac Singleton said after the game. "We played against a more experienced team, and I think Harvard did pretty well," he said, adding, "It was a good defensive test for us before the Yale game--we aren't going to lose to Yale."
The Crimson defense more than proved itself against the high-scoring Crusaders, who were mostly second-string varsity players. "Cecil Cox, Brent Clapacs, and Emmet Walsh all played quite well," Singelton said, adding, "Their play kept us in the game."
With seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Holy Cross had a first down on the Harvard six-yd. line, but the Crimson defense held fast. On the first play, linebacker James Mueller stopped Crusader running back Sanford McMurtry at the line of scrimmage. On the next play, Cox hit McMurtry for a loss of four yards on an option lateral pass from the quarterback. Clapacs stung Holy Cross quarterback Tom Heffernan for a loss of six on third down, and Jepson's fourth-down attempt for a field goal was wide to the right.
Quarterback Dennis Vecchi, who ran for 22 yards and passed for 33 on the day, then began Harvard's longest drive of the game, which lasted 12 plays and spanned 60 yards. "It was close and tough and we had a couple big turnovers," Vecchi said, adding, "It's too bad we couldn't come up with the big winning play."
Freshman fullback Brian Cooke, who had 55 yards on the day, barreled his way through the Holy Cross line for several first downs, but the Crimson campaign stalled after a Crusader sack and holding penalty.
The team could have been 4-0 after the game today, Vecchi said. "If only we'd had an equal share of good breaks, fair calls, and lucky plays throughout the season," he added.
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