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NEW HAVEN, Conn--What a way to end.
Harvard played today's game here the way it has all season, with stretches of offensive and defensive brilliance marred by lapses in judgment and form.
During the second quarter the Crimson offensive moved like clockwork as Mike Giardi led Harvard on a 75-yard charge upfield in five plays.
At the same time the defense held firm against the explosive Yale I-Bone run, keeping the Elis solid for two full quarters.
But the story beneath all this was the Crimson's disconcerting inability to keep momentum, capitalize on Yale errors and execute plays with efficiency.
On defense the Crimson consistently missed tackles and misread plays allowing Chris Kouri to register his seventh 100-yard game of the year.
Kouri tore up the middle and Jim Gouveia exploded the left side with startling ease--each time leaving Crimson linebackers just one step behind.
On third down and one with 8:31 remaining safety Greg Belsher missed a tackle on Kouri on the left side to give the Elis the ball on the seven, setting up Yale's final touchdown.
On special teams Harvard's woes continued. Two flubbed punts allowed the Elis to pick up touchdowns.
But the Crimson's most painful error came in the end with 3:44 left. Matt Johnson tore up the right--as he has so many times in the past--only to lose the ball upon being hit at the line of scrimmage.
It was Johnson's superb efforts in the last three games that gave Harvard the spark it needed to win. This time the senior came up empty.
Perhaps it is only fitting that Harvard's season ended this way. Key mistakes plagued the talented Crimson all season long, keeping them from reaching their full potential.
The season--for all intents and purposes--ended last week, The Game showed us why.
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