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Harvard Triumphs in The Game, 26-21

Rally Not Enough for Elis to Overcome Harvard's Second-Quarter Advantage

By Matt Howitt

Three years ago, in Joe Restic's last game after 23 years as the coach of Harvard football, host Yale held off a furious fourth-quarter Crimson charge and escaped with a 33-31 victory.

Saturday, in Carm Cozza's last game after 32 years as the coach of Yale football, host Harvard held off a furious fourth-quarter Eli charge and escaped with a 26-21 victory.

Which just goes to show you: what goes around comes around in one of the most ancient of gridiron rivalries.

Harvard (4-6, 2-5 Ivy) established a 21-0 first-half lead over abominable Yale (2-8, 1-6), but the Elis turned the trampling around with an intense charge and three touchdowns in the second half. Yale recovered an onside kick and promptly put six points on the board for its second touchdown and only a five-point deficit, but Harvard's tremendous defense held off a final Bulldog attack and sealed the triumph.

Despite the late-game jitters, how sweet success is for coach Tim Murphy and Harvard. Murphy can put the final feather in his inaugural cap--an Ivy League home victory--after three long seasons at the helm.

The Crimson held off a late Eli rush, unlike last year when Harvard snatched victory from the jaws of the Bulldogs in the game's final minutes.

And Cozza got the ultimate Harvard farewell: a loss at The Stadium.

"I'm just happy," senior tailback Eion Hu said. "Happy, happy, happy."

In the second half, Yale stormed back to the tune of three touch-downs, two of which came in the fourth quarter. The Elis attempted an onside kick with two minutes remaining in the game, but Jeff Compas dove on the ball, and the Crimson took possession.

Although a first down would have kept the Bulldog offense off the field for the rest of the game, Harvard gave the ball back to Yale on three plays. Hu ran the ball thrice from scrimmage but could not get the requisite 10 yards.

With the edge of the field lined with sets of Harvard and Yale student fans ready to celebrate one outcome or the other, the Harvard defense--the one thing the Crimson has been able to count on this season--held firm. Well, sort of. The Bulldogs advanced the ball across midfield but could not score. It was good enough.

The Harvard defense also scored the game winner. Junior defensive linemen Tim Fleiszer and Brendan Bibro ganged up on Yale tailback Jabbar Craigwell in the end zone for a safety at the start of the fourth quarter.

"We were a little worried, but in the end we wanted it a little bit more," defensive linemen Chris Smith said.

Yale rose from the dead in dramatic fashion. Quarterback Kris Barber Yale  21 Harvard  26

connected with Clint Rodriguez for 43 yards over the middle on third-and-19 from the Yale 31-yard line. Barber then scrambled left for a 19-yard pickup. The senior then took the ball in on a two-yard keeper for the score.

Barber hooked up with Health Ackley for a 20-yard pass for Yale's second touchdown of the fourth quarter after Tony Kim recovered a John Lafferty onside kick at the Harvard 46-yard line.

A decision in the second quarter undid the Elis. Trailing 7-zip, Cozza decided to go for it on fourth-and-eight at the Harvard 40-yard line. Quarterback Blake Kendall connected to Ackley, but Ackley had his feet out of bounds.

The play seemed to energize Harvard. The Crimson drove in for a touchdown on the ensuing series and put another one in before the end of the first half for the 21-0 margin.

Two consecutive penalties, first a face mask call that reversed a punting situation for Harvard and then a holding call, seemed to chew the life out of the Bulldogs on the drive after the failed fourth down conversion.

And that's when junior receiver Colby Skelton and Harvard seemed to put it in gear. Skelton ran a reverse to the right side of the field, and there was nary an Eli to been seen. The play propelled the Crimson 38 yards downfield to the Yale five-yard line; however, Skelton tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the play.

An unscathed Eion Hu put the ball in the end zone on a two-yard rush one play later.

Hu controlled the ground game in the second half and reprised his fantastic performance in last year's Game. Hu's 177 yards surpasses his effort in last year's game by two yards. Hu also broke the Harvard record for number of carries in a game (41) and became the first Harvard back to rush for more than 3,000 career yards.

Harvard put another one on the scoreboard right before halftime. Freshman quarterback Rich Linden and Jared Chupaila, who had eight catches for 100 yards, hooked up on the drive for a 19-yard pass, and Linden kept the ball on a draw play for the touchdown in The Stadium's closed end.

After a rocky first couple of drives at the beginning of the game, Harvard settled down, and Linden heated up. After the Crimson sent Yale three and-out on the Elis' third drive of the game, Linden engineered a 68-yard, 10-play drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andy Laurence.

Yale had plenty of chances in both halves but consistently failed to capitalize until the fourth quarter. The Elis did score at the end of the third quarter when quarterback Barber connected with Rodriguez for a 12-yard touchdown pass.

Ryan Korinke also added a 25-yard field goal for the Crimson in a drive that consumed 7:13 of the fourth quarter.

HARVARD, 26-21. at Harvard StadiumYale  0  0  7  14  --  21Harvard  0  21  0  5  --  2

connected with Clint Rodriguez for 43 yards over the middle on third-and-19 from the Yale 31-yard line. Barber then scrambled left for a 19-yard pickup. The senior then took the ball in on a two-yard keeper for the score.

Barber hooked up with Health Ackley for a 20-yard pass for Yale's second touchdown of the fourth quarter after Tony Kim recovered a John Lafferty onside kick at the Harvard 46-yard line.

A decision in the second quarter undid the Elis. Trailing 7-zip, Cozza decided to go for it on fourth-and-eight at the Harvard 40-yard line. Quarterback Blake Kendall connected to Ackley, but Ackley had his feet out of bounds.

The play seemed to energize Harvard. The Crimson drove in for a touchdown on the ensuing series and put another one in before the end of the first half for the 21-0 margin.

Two consecutive penalties, first a face mask call that reversed a punting situation for Harvard and then a holding call, seemed to chew the life out of the Bulldogs on the drive after the failed fourth down conversion.

And that's when junior receiver Colby Skelton and Harvard seemed to put it in gear. Skelton ran a reverse to the right side of the field, and there was nary an Eli to been seen. The play propelled the Crimson 38 yards downfield to the Yale five-yard line; however, Skelton tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the play.

An unscathed Eion Hu put the ball in the end zone on a two-yard rush one play later.

Hu controlled the ground game in the second half and reprised his fantastic performance in last year's Game. Hu's 177 yards surpasses his effort in last year's game by two yards. Hu also broke the Harvard record for number of carries in a game (41) and became the first Harvard back to rush for more than 3,000 career yards.

Harvard put another one on the scoreboard right before halftime. Freshman quarterback Rich Linden and Jared Chupaila, who had eight catches for 100 yards, hooked up on the drive for a 19-yard pass, and Linden kept the ball on a draw play for the touchdown in The Stadium's closed end.

After a rocky first couple of drives at the beginning of the game, Harvard settled down, and Linden heated up. After the Crimson sent Yale three and-out on the Elis' third drive of the game, Linden engineered a 68-yard, 10-play drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andy Laurence.

Yale had plenty of chances in both halves but consistently failed to capitalize until the fourth quarter. The Elis did score at the end of the third quarter when quarterback Barber connected with Rodriguez for a 12-yard touchdown pass.

Ryan Korinke also added a 25-yard field goal for the Crimson in a drive that consumed 7:13 of the fourth quarter.

HARVARD, 26-21. at Harvard StadiumYale  0  0  7  14  --  21Harvard  0  21  0  5  --  2

Barber hooked up with Health Ackley for a 20-yard pass for Yale's second touchdown of the fourth quarter after Tony Kim recovered a John Lafferty onside kick at the Harvard 46-yard line.

A decision in the second quarter undid the Elis. Trailing 7-zip, Cozza decided to go for it on fourth-and-eight at the Harvard 40-yard line. Quarterback Blake Kendall connected to Ackley, but Ackley had his feet out of bounds.

The play seemed to energize Harvard. The Crimson drove in for a touchdown on the ensuing series and put another one in before the end of the first half for the 21-0 margin.

Two consecutive penalties, first a face mask call that reversed a punting situation for Harvard and then a holding call, seemed to chew the life out of the Bulldogs on the drive after the failed fourth down conversion.

And that's when junior receiver Colby Skelton and Harvard seemed to put it in gear. Skelton ran a reverse to the right side of the field, and there was nary an Eli to been seen. The play propelled the Crimson 38 yards downfield to the Yale five-yard line; however, Skelton tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the play.

An unscathed Eion Hu put the ball in the end zone on a two-yard rush one play later.

Hu controlled the ground game in the second half and reprised his fantastic performance in last year's Game. Hu's 177 yards surpasses his effort in last year's game by two yards. Hu also broke the Harvard record for number of carries in a game (41) and became the first Harvard back to rush for more than 3,000 career yards.

Harvard put another one on the scoreboard right before halftime. Freshman quarterback Rich Linden and Jared Chupaila, who had eight catches for 100 yards, hooked up on the drive for a 19-yard pass, and Linden kept the ball on a draw play for the touchdown in The Stadium's closed end.

After a rocky first couple of drives at the beginning of the game, Harvard settled down, and Linden heated up. After the Crimson sent Yale three and-out on the Elis' third drive of the game, Linden engineered a 68-yard, 10-play drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andy Laurence.

Yale had plenty of chances in both halves but consistently failed to capitalize until the fourth quarter. The Elis did score at the end of the third quarter when quarterback Barber connected with Rodriguez for a 12-yard touchdown pass.

Ryan Korinke also added a 25-yard field goal for the Crimson in a drive that consumed 7:13 of the fourth quarter.

HARVARD, 26-21. at Harvard StadiumYale  0  0  7  14  --  21Harvard  0  21  0  5  --  2

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