Bulldogs drop second consecutive game at home

Lafayette's Maurice White scores a touchdown in the closing minutes against Yale on Saturday at the Yale Bowl. Lafayette defeated the Bulldogs 31-14.
Lafayette's Maurice White scores a touchdown in the closing minutes against Yale on Saturday at the Yale Bowl. Lafayette defeated the Bulldogs 31-14. Photo by R.J. Rico.

At least last week’s game was close.

The Lafayette Leopards dominated on both sides of the ball on Saturday as they defeated the Yale football team, 31-14, at the Yale Bowl.

Things looked promising for the Elis at first. Wide receiver Peter Balsam ’11 recovered a Lafayette fumble during the opening kickoff and a few plays later caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 on fourth-and-goal.

From there, it was almost all downhill for the Bulldogs (1-2, 0-1 Ivy), as the Leopards (3-1) scored the next 24 points, including a 13-yard touchdown pass that came with less than a minute left in the first half. The drive gave Lafayette both the momentum and a 10-7 lead as the teams headed into their locker rooms.

“The turning point of the game was their ability to score right before halftime,” head coach Tom Williams said. “I thought that deflated us a little bit.”

The Leopards made sure that they kept the momentum going for the second half, scoring touchdowns during their next two possessions as well.

The Yale defense, which last week kept Cornell to only three first downs and 166

total yards, struggled against the Leopards, who had 24 first downs and 396 total yards.

Both the Eli passing and running games struggled on the afternoon. Tailback Jordan Farrell ’10 was limited to 37 yards rushing and Witt went 7-for-13 for 60 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

One bright spot for Yale, however, was the play of backup quarterback Brook

Hart ’11. After playing in two of the Bulldogs’ first nine drives, Hart took over for

Witt midway through the fourth quarter and led the Yale offense on its two most impressive drives of the game.

During those two possessions, Hart completed 13 of 17 passes for 154 yards and threw for a touchdown.

“I feel that it was a spark for our team, but we’ve got to do it for four

quarters,” Hart said. “Anyone can go out and put one drive together. It doesn’t really mean too much.”

While Hart’s play may not have had much of an effect upon the overall game, it may prove to be significant in terms of who will be hiking the ball against Dartmouth next weekend. The Elis will host the Big Green at the Yale Bowl at 12 p.m. next Saturday.


  • ’98

    Lets not exaggerate the significance of Hart’s garbage time stats. Lafayette was giving him the short stuff to kill the clock.

  • ’12

    wow, you all really aren’t fans of Witt. Give him a break.

  • Cornell Alum @Yale

    Oh…I’m lovin’ it!!

  • Old Blue

    Leopards’ victory over Yale the stuff of ‘legends’

    By Paul Reinhard
    Allentown MORNING CALL
    October 5, 2009

    Frank Tavani had a pretty simple message for his Lafayette football team prior to its game Saturday against Yale in the Yale Bowl.

    ”Let’s go out and be legends today,” the 10th-year coach challenged them.

    Lafayette had lost all seven previous games with the Bulldogs ”and when you have the opportunity to become the first to do something, that’s excitement,” Tavani said after Lafayette posted an emphatic 31-14 decision for its third win in four games and second straight against an Ivy League opponent.

    ”To be the first team to beat Yale, and then to do it in the Yale Bowl, that’s what it’s all about,” Tavani said. ”They are going down in history. It’s a great feeling.”

  • Objective observer

    Excellent points all. Another great article by RJ Rico.

    The YPMB, on the other hand, really suffered again. Come on guys!

  • ’91

    It may be too early to judge the new coach, but it appears that (Uncle) Tom Williams is clueless.

  • BillMoore’85IsGod

    Disparage Hart’s “garbage time” stats if you wish, but his passes were remarkably accurate with lots of zip. You gotta have Hart!

  • dejected fan

    This is starting to feel eerily similar to the past decade or so. Despite some good years, Yale Fotball has lost a consistency of quality it displayed for many years, especially in the late 60’s and 70’s and early 80’s. Why are so many key players getting injured? Where’s the imagination and inspiration and sense of confidence? Yale football comes from proud and historic roots. It’s time for confidence and doing what works, not sticking with what doesn’t. It’s time for an entirely new attitude, both on and off the field. Come on Bulldogs!!!!!!!!!!

  • ’98

    Perhaps it is time for the athletic department to relax the recruiting standards for the football team, in the same way that Harvard reportedly relaxed recruiting standards for its perennially underperforming basketball team recently.

    Coach Williams clearly needs help, since he has zero experience recruiting in a conference with high academic standards (and, in fact, zero experience with recruiting at any level, anywhere.)

  • Old Blue

    I think Williams needs more help in recruiting.

    If, as reported, the Harvard admissions people have given an “edge” to their basketball coach’s recruits in an effort to mitigate years of hoop mediocrity, even so should Yale reach out a helping hand to a rookie football coach with little recruiting experience – particularly when it comes to recruiting student/athletes at the elite, Ivy League level.

    It may be necessary to relax academic standards a bit if we are to battle Harvard, Penn, Brown and (apparently) Columbia (!) head to head.

  • yale 08

    Williams = Obama

    in all the wrong ways.

  • P ’98

    He needs to stay away from these transfers from “big time” programs where they have been found lacking, who are subsequently peddled to AA schools (where they don’t have to sit out a year after transfer) by parents acting as their “agents.”

  • Agree with Old Blue

    I’m all for the wholesale dropping of admissions standards for athletes. We have, what, 1500 people per class? I’m fine with giving 60 of those spots to illiterates if they’ll help us win football games. The SEC schools do it and it works just fine for them.