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HARVARD-YALE LIVE! BLOG 11/17/07

END OF THE GAME: 10,000 men of Harvard gained victory today. HARVARD 37, YALE 6, and Harvard is your 2007 Ivy League Champion.

0:37, 4th quarter: Murphy just got drenched with Gatorade on the sideline, and the Crimson is beginning to celebrate its first Ivy Championship since 2004.

1:21, 4th quarter: Hull's punt is downed at the 33, and Yale backup Ryan Fodor is in at quarterback.

2:46, 4th quarter: Pizzotti exits, to applause from the Harvard side. Winters enters the game, and promptly loses 5 on a designed run. The Crimson will punt again.

4:14, 4th quarter: Harvard recovers the attempted onsides kick, and Yale's Travis Henry takes a cheap shot at Steve Williams after the play, earning a penalty.

4:15, 4th quarter: THERE GOES THE SHUTOUT, AS CHRISTODOULOU RETURNS THE PUNT FOR A TOUCHDOWN. He's killed Harvard all game, as the special teams have faltered on multiple occasions. Kimball misses the extra point, his first miss of the season, and the score is HARVARD 37, YALE 6. Unofficially, that's an 87-yard return for touchdown.

5:40, 4th quarter: The runs continue, as Baakel takes two more carries for a total of -2 yards. On 3rd and 12 Harvard sticks with the ground game, and Baakel will be stopped after a short gain for another Crimson punt.

7:03, 4th quarter: After a Yale holding penalty negates a big gain, Polhemus has his third-down pass tipped at the line, bringing up a 4th-and-21 from the 10.

7:26, 4th quarter: McLeod is out of the game, with backup Ricardo Galvez taking over. He finishes with 20 carries for 50 yards an no touchdowns, the first time in 18 games he's been held without a TD.

8:07, 4th quarter: Harvard's just trying to run the clock out now, as Charles Baakel takes three consecutive carries in his final game. He's about a yard short on third down, and the Crimson punts to the Yale 21.

10:39, 4th quarter: The Yale Bowl is about 2/3rds empty now, as most Yale fans have headed for the exits. The Harvard students, to their credit, are still seated, but that may be because the shuttles back to Cambridge don't start leaving until 5pm.

10:39, 4th quarter: Matt Polhemus is absolutely WRECKED by Eric Schultz as he lets the ball go out of bounds, and Harvard takes over at the 34-yard line.

11:36, 4th quarter: Yale is threatening the shutout, moving to the Harvard 27, but Polhemus fumbles the shotgun snap and the Bulldogs face 4th-and-17 on the Crimson 34.

13:32, 4th quarter: A few things to watch for: Yale's Mike McLeod's 18-game touchdown streak is at risk here in the 4th. Corey Mazza is still looking for another touchdown catch to break the all-time Crimson receiving touchdowns record. Harvard, meanwhile, is on pace for the biggest win in The Game since a 45-7 Crimson triumph in 1982. The largest all-time margin was a 54-0 win by Yale in 1957, while Harvard's biggest win is a 41-0 win in 1915.

13:32, 4th quarter: JASON MILLER PULLS DOWN THE TOUCHDOWN PASS FROM PIZZOTTI, and Pizzotti has 4 touchdown passes, a career high.  Long adds the extra point, and it's HARVARD 37, YALE 0.

14:46, 4th quarter: Collier Winters comes in and runs to the 8, a 16-yard gain. He still has yet to officially attempt a pass in his career, as his 2nd-quarter attempt was nullified by a pass interference penalty.

End of the 3rd quarter: A Charles Baakel carry takes us to the end of the third quarter with the score HARVARD 30, YALE 0.

0:33, 3rd quarter: It's another draw for Ho, and he picks up 17 yards on 3rd-and-11, breaking a couple of tackles along the way. Yale is back on its heels against the pass, and Pizzotti's having a hard time finding receivers.

1:34, 3rd quarter: It's a three-and-out for Yale, and Mante prepares to punt for the 734th time today.

3:07, 3rd quarter: Harvard, meanwhile, goes three-and-out after Ho is stopped just short. Hull's punt is another great one, downed at the 6, and Yale captain Brandt Hollander picks up a personal foul penalty that pushes the Bulldogs back even further.

4:00, 3rd quarter: Correction, that interception ties the single-season record and sets the career interception record. Congrats to Steve Williams, probably the best-dressed man on the Crimson.

5:24, 3rd quarter: Polhemus drops back and throws ANOTHER INTERCEPTION TO STEVE WILLIAMS.  That's Williams' eighth of the season, setting a new single-season Harvard record, and tying the career interceptions record for the Crimson. Harvard takes over at the Yale 46.

5:32, 3rd quarter: The announced attendance, now that everyone's in from the tailgate, is 57,248, the largest crowd since the 1989 Game.

6:50, 3rd quarter: Ok, so maybe that was a little hasty--Pizzotti drops back on second down, only to lose 13 yards on the sack.  It's now 3rd-and-23, and after a Pizzotti draw to the 50, Harvard will punt.

7:22, 3rd quarter: Harvard's starting to grind the ball now, too. Ho picks up the first on back-to-back carries, and Yale's defense is putting up progressively less of a fight.

8:31, 3rd quarter: Ianuzzi gets hit while trying to catch the punt, incurring a 15-yard penalty and setting the Crimson up at the 48.

8:39, 3rd quarter: Sonny McCracken, the best-named player in the Ivies, demolishes Polhemus as he lets it go and forces an incompletion, bringing up another Yale punt. Tom Mante's leg may fall off by the end of the afternoon.

10:02, 3rd quarter: Completely unable to stop Yale's return game so far, the Crimson squib kick it. A pair of Bulldogs bat it around before covering it up at the 28.

10:21, 3rd quarter: Van Niel is stopped just short on the third-down catch, and Patrick Long adds a 20-yard field goal to make it HARVARD 30, YALE 0.

11:42, 3rd quarter: Cheng Ho with a little shake-and-bake on the screen, and he gets down to the 13. The Crimson is threatening again...

12:44, 3rd quarter: Near disaster as a low snap briefly eludes Pizzotti, but he recovers to complete a 12-yard pass to Cook for the first down.

13:32, 3rd quarter: It's a quick three-and-out for Yale, capped off by a Bagdis sack. The punt is very short, and Harvard takes over at the Yale 37.

Start of 3rd quarter: Yale returns it to the 41--a score here would change the momentum in this game after a big Yale stop before the half.

Halftime: A Yale student tries to take the Harvard flag, only to be caught and absolutely pummeled by several cheerleaders before security escorts him off.

End of 2nd quarter: A HORRIBLE spot from the officials and Pizzotti is kept out of the end zone.  Despite that, we'll go to the half with the score Harvard 27, Yale 0

0:03, 2nd quarter: Pizzotti is stopped just short on the sneak, and spikes it with just 3 seconds left in the half.

0:35, 2nd quarter: Collier Winters comes in and attempts his first career pass, but it won't matter because Jason Miller is knocked down a solid second before the pass gets there. The penalty puts the ball at the 2.

1:20, 2nd quarter: A Pizzotti pass into traffic is briefly intercepted by a Yale player, but the ball pops into the air and is caught by Mazza at the six while lying on his back.  It's been that kind of day for the Crimson.

1:29, 2nd quarter: An incompletion and a short Pizzotti run have put the Crimson in 3rd-and-8 at the Yale 23.

1:40, 2nd quarter: McLeod gets a yard, but Yale is forced to punt.  Mante's acting job after Harvard nearly blocks the punt gets no penalty, and Ianuzzi returns it to the Yale 25.

1:54, 2nd quarter: McLeod gets dropped at the 3 for a 7-yard loss, and Harvard takes a timeout in the hopes of forcing a Yale punt and a last chance to score. The Harvard student section takes the break as an opportunity to serenade the Yale offense with chants of "OV-ER-RA-TED."

2:10, 2nd quarter: Bagdis almost sacks Polhemus for a safety, eventually hits him as Polhemus throws incomplete.

2:23, 2nd quarter: Pizzotti, under pressure, is forced to throw it away and the Crimson will punt. Hull puts it out of bounds at the 10, and Yale will take over there.

4:08, 2nd quarter: Ho on another draw gets up to the 39, converting a 3rd-and-6. Delays and draws are the entirety of the running game today, but they've worked beautifully with Pizzotti flinging it all over the field.

5:23, 2nd quarter: Literally five Harvard rushers were in the face of Polhemus, and he gets crushed as he throws it away.  Harvard takes over at the 28.

6:00, 2nd quarter: Polhemus gets sacked at the 28 by Thomas, and Yale has another decision to make.  It looks like they'll go for it again, the second time today.

7:43, 2nd quarter: Another big return moves Yale to the 48, and Polhemus' first completion of the game moves the Bulldogs to the Harvard 32.

7:51, 2nd quarter: PIZZOTTI HITS COOK FOR A TOUCHDOWN PASS ON THE FIRST PLAY AND HARVARD IS ALL OVER THE BULLDOGS IN NEW HAVEN. Long adds the extra point, and it's HARVARD 27, YALE 0.

The Yale side is totally silent, and those still in the tailgate are missing out in a big way. The Bowl is mostly full, with a few seats left across the top of the right-hand end zone (opposite the scoreboard). Can we get to 60,000 in attendance?  The tailgate will close down in about 30-45 minutes, so we'll see.


7:57, 2nd quarter: YALE TRIES A FAKE PUNT IN ITS OWN 24, AND TOM MANTE IS TAKEN DOWN AT THE 15 WHERE IT'S HARVARD BALL.

8:20, 2nd quarter: McLeod loses 5 on third down, and Yale will punt again.  All the momentum is on the Harvard side.

9:34, 2nd quarter: HO PUSHES IT IN AND HARVARD HAS A THREE-SCORE LEAD. Patrick Long makes the extra point, and the Harvard side breathes easy.
HARVARD 20, YALE 0

9:50, 2nd quarter: Ho stopped at the 1/2 yard line.

10:16, 2nd quarter: Luft is open again, but this time is stopped at the 2. He's having a monster game, while Mazza remains quiet.

11:00, 2nd quarter: A draw to Ho gets to the 29, but he's 2 yards short of the first down. Harvard will go for it and...A GREAT SCREEN PASS TO HO picks up the first at the 21.

12:10, 2nd quarter: Pizzotti gets sacked for a 10-yard loss, then completes a pass to Cook for a 13-yard gain. One step forward, two steps back...

13:56, 2nd quarter: A good screen to Ho moves the ball to midfield for a first down. He looks great in the open field. An offsides penalty helps, too, as the Crimson move into Yale territory at the 45.

14:07, 2nd quarter: MCLEOD IS STUFFED ON 4TH DOWN, and Harvard takes over on its own 40.

14:45, 2nd quarter: Dorris drags down McLeod from behind to bring up 4th down.  Great tackle; he's been everywhere today for the Crimson.

End of the 1st quarter: The quarter wraps up after two runs by McLeod and Yale will face a 3rd-and-7 on the Harvard 45.

1:08, 1st quarter: Christodoulou returns the Long kick to the Harvard 48, giving Yale's offense a short field.

1:18, 1st quarter: Gordon is doing a monster job in blitz pickup--not bad for a freshman in his first Game.

1:18, 1st quarter: PIZZOTTI HAS ALL DAY AGAIN, AND HITS LUFT ACROSS THE MIDDLE, WHO BREAKS A TACKLE AND GOES 33 YARDS FOR A TOUCHDOWN. Patrick Long misses another extra point, his fifth miss of the season.
HARVARD 13, YALE 0.

3:01, 1st quarter: Luft drops a perfectly thrown ball at the 12, bringing up second down. Lots of drops today; the cold weather might be affecting that.

3:18, 1st quarter: Gordon gets three straight carries and picks up a first down at the Yale 34.  Gordon: the poor man's Mike McLeod?

3:32, 1st quarter: A Pizzotti pass hits Cook in the hands and bounces off, nearly intercepted by the Yale defender. Cook quickly redeems himself with a first-down catch on the ensuing third down.

4:10, 1st quarter: Polhemus overthrows Denny-Brown on 3rd-and-6, forcing another Yale punt. It rolls dead at the Crimson 42, and Harvard takes over there. Pizzotti has thrown a lot early on, with decent success, but hands off on a draw to Gino Gordon.

5:31, 1st quarter: Another great punt by Hull is downed just inside the 10, but it's disappointing to go three-and-out with such great field position.

6:59, 1st quarter: GLENN DORRIS STOPS A YALE DRIVE WITH AN INTERCEPTION ON THE SIDELINE AT THE YALE 44. That's Polhemus' 6th interception of the year against just 4 touchdown passes.

8:53, 1st quarter: The crowd cheers the first Yale first down, earned on a Polhemus keeper. He doesn't do a very good job of keeping the ball tucked, so something to watch as The Game goes on.

9:42, 1st quarter: An incompletion forces a Harvard punt. Hull boots it to the 11, where Yale will take over after a fair catch.

10:27, 1st quarter: A 27-yard completion to Luft moves the ball to the Harvard 49. Pizzotti is getting all day to throw--the offensive line has had fantastic protection.

12:50, 1st quarter: It's a three-and-out for Yale. McLeod got four on first down, an incompletion on second down, and then Polhemus,  under heavy pressure, scrambled to the 39. The punt is fielded at the 6 by Ianuzzi, an extremely bad decision, to say the least.

13:46, 1st quarter: Yale's offense takes the field for the first time at the 30 yard line.  We'll see how the Crimson contains the Polhemus-McLeod running combo.

13:52, 1st quarter: Pizzotti is forced to scramble, rolling to his right and finding A WIDE OPEN MATT LUFT AT THE 2, AND LUFT TAKES IT IN FOR A TOUCHDOWN HARVARD. Patrick Long adds the extra point (no easy feat for him this season), and the Crimson leads 7-0.

14:40, 1st quarter: A pair of early completions to Mazza and Luft have moved the Crimson to the Yale 43.  Ho's first carry of the day takes it to the 40.

15:00 left, 1st quarter: Williams and Ianuzzi are back for the opening kick. Williams returns to the 31

Game time:  The Crimson wins the toss and chooses to take the ball.  10,000 men of Harvard want victory today.
 
4:00 until kickoff: If you haven't checked out the New York Times' piece on fullback Noah Van Niel, there's a great video of him singing with his teammates.  Let's just say they should let him handle the singing.

6:00 until kickoff: Yale has begun Senior Day festivities, introducing a class of seniors with a 26-13 career record.  Harvard side is still empty.

21:20 until kickoff: We're here in a packed press box in a less-than-packed Yale Bowl as students and alums are trickling in from the tailgate. It remains to be seen how many will make it in for the actual opening kick.
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