He got the sack he wanted, he needed, last week. Now all he has left is The Game.
Harvard Captain Don Peterson sacked University of Pennsylvania quarterback Malcom Glover in the second quarter of last Saturday's Crimson-Quaker game, giving him 11 sacks on the year, a Harvard record.
The old record holder was last year's captain, Kevin Dulsky.
Peterson's personal accomplishment came in a season of team frustrations. Expected to repeat as Ivy League champion, the Crimson now stands 2-4 in the league.
Ironically, Peterson--having the best year of his Harvard career--has had to bear much of the blame for the Crimson's failures.
"I've learned that there are going to be good times and times that don't go your way," Peterson says.
Peterson, a defensive end, already has what so many Ivy League players hunger for--an Ivy League championship ring. Peterson and the returning players from the 1987 team earned those rings in the cold of the Yale Bowl in last year's Game.
In sub-zero temperatures, the Crimson froze out the Elis, 14-10, to capture its first outright title since 1975.
Today's Game, Peterson's last, will have a special spot in his memory. But he will re-live last year's Game again and again.
"What I will take from last year's Game is the feeling at halftime when we were down, 10-7," Peterson says. "There was this aura, this feeling of confidence in the locker room. And I can say that there was no one in that locker room who doubted we would win."
Like the more than 60,000 people who filled the Yale Bowl last year, Peterson will remember the cold. Fans in the stands could cover themselves in blankets and hats. Players had only their jerseys and helmets.
"I was pretty much able to block out the cold," Peterson said. "And after we had won, and the fans had rushed on the field, the wind started kicking up. Then I realized maybe we should take the celebration back into the locker room."
"I wound up having frostbite on three of my fingers that day," he adds. "But it was worth it."
Peterson got his first varsity start in the 1986 Game. Since, he has become one of Harvard's finest defensive players. Last year, Coach Joe Restic called Peterson one of the best defensive ends to don a Crimson jersey.
Peterson has never lost to Yale. So forget the 2-4 record, forget the dashed dreams. Today is a season in itself.
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