Bulldogs rally to beat Columbia

1:12 p.m.: The Bulldogs made good progress on their first possession of the game, but quarterback Brook Hart’s ’11 short pass on fourth-and-one on the Lions’ 41-yard line sailed out of bounds

1:38 p.m.: The first quarter has come to a close with the score 0-0. The Bulldogs have not made much progress since their first possession, although tailback Mordecai Cargill ’13 has had some strong runs, already having run for 45 yards. The Lions have also had some success running the ball, especially freshman quarterback Sean Brackett, who in his first start has had two runs for a combined 23 yards.

1:55 p.m.: Hart has struggled this quarter. The Lions looked to recover Hart’s fumble until the play was ruled incomplete because his arm was moving forward. The next play, on third and long, Hart was sacked for the third time today. The score remains 0-0 with six minutes left in the first half.

2:04 p.m.: Just when things started to looking better for the Elis, the Lions recovered a fumble by Cargill on Yale’s 36-yard line

2:06 p.m.: Columbia must have watched Yale’s loss to Cornell. On the first play of their drive, the Lions ran a trick reverse, then lateraled to quarterback Brackett, who then threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to a Columbia receiver at the back corner of the end zone. The Lions lead 6-0 after they missed the point after touchdown.

2:08 p.m.: The Bulldogs are looking to respond. Adam Money ’11 broke through on the kick return to the Columbia 47-yard line.

2:11 p.m.: Hart just completed a 12-yard pass to tight end A.J. Haase ’10 for a first down on the Lions’ 26-yard line.

2:14 p.m.: And the kick is good. Previous back-up kicker Alex Barnes ’11 came in and made a 47-yard field goal as time expired for the half. Columbia leads Yale 6-3 at halftime.

2:43 p.m.: Things have started remarkably similar to game’s first drive. Columbia’s QB-sneak on fourth-and-one on Yale’s 41-yard line was stopped, giving the Elis good field position.

2:47 p.m.: Bulldog coach Tom Williams has made a quarterback switch, choosing to go with back-up Patrick Witt ’12. Although Yale’s drive started out promising with a first-down run by Cargill, Witt was sacked and received an intentional grounding penalty on third-and-three on Columbia’s 35-yard line. Witt appears to be limping as he heads to the sideline, so Hart may appear again next drive.

3:03 p.m.: With Witt back in at quarterback, Colubia recovered Cargill’s second fumble of the game on Yale’s 31-yard line.

3:05 p.m.: This time, the Lions did not need a trick play to catch the Yale defense by surprise. On the first play after the turnover, Brackett threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Columbia receiver. After a successful two-point conversion, the Lions now lead 14-3 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

3:15 p.m.: With the third quarter over, the Bulldogs are losing 14-3. The Lions have 100 more total yards of offense (246 vs. 146), and the Columbia defense appears to be in control right now.

3:20 p.m.: The Bulldogs aren’t giving up. H-back John Sheffield ’10 just caught a 17-yard pass from Witt, giving Yale the ball on the Columbia 24-yard line with 12:40 remaining in the game.

3:22 p.m.: And the streak is finally over. After not scoring an offensive touchdown for the past 11 quarters, Sheffield made a diving catch across the middle of the end zone for the 20-yard touchdown catch. The Elis’ drive was 61 yards long and now makes the score 14-10 Columbia, with 11:57 left.

3:26 p.m.: Columbia quarterback Brackett fumbled but was able to make the most of it, catching the ball on the bounce and carrying it nine yards to Yale’s 47-yard line.

3:33 p.m.: On third-and-six, Brackett hit fading receiver Austin Knowlin for the 36-yard touchdown. A successful completion on the two-point conversion has given the Lions a 22-10 lead with 8:32 remaining.

3:38 p.m.: Witt is not giving up, leading the Bulldogs on a long drive. He just completed a 26-yard pass to Haase, bringing the ball within 14 yards of the goal line.

3:40 p.m.: The Bulldog offense has a sense of urgency and is producing under pressure. Tailback Alex Thomas ’12 pushed his way into the end zone for a five-yard touchdown. The 63-yard drive only took 2:27 off the clock, which now says there are 6:05 left. The Bulldogs are losing 22-17 after the successful point after touchdown.

3:45 p.m.: Just when a comeback looked within reach for the Elis, a Columbia tailback ran for more than 70 yards to bring the Lions within two yards of the goal line.

3:46 p.m.: The Bulldogs have just recovered a Columbia fumble on Yale’s five-yard line. Captain and linebacker Paul Rice ’10 caused the fumble. Five minutes remain in the game.

3:49 p.m.: The Bulldogs were unable to make anything of this drive, but a gigantic punt from Tom Mante ’10 gave the ball back to the Lions, on their own 42-yard line.

3:53 p.m.: And the fumbles keep on coming for the Elis, who have recovered the Lions’ ball on Yale’s 49-yad line. 2:06 remain as Yale tries to make an amazing comeback on what could be the final drive of the game.

3:55 p.m.: On third-and-two on Columbia’s 21-yard line, Thomas carried the ball for a gain of one yard. Fourth-and-one is coming up.

3:57 p.m.: As Witt’s pass to Sheffield fell incomplete, all looked to be over for Yale until a late defensive pass interference call gave the Bulldogs first and goal on the 10-yard line with 1:06 remaining.

3:58 p.m.: Touchdown! Witt found Haase on the left edge of the end zone to give the Bulldogs the 23-22 lead with 0:58 left.

3:59 p.m.: Witt’s pass on the two-point conversion has fallen incomplete, meaning the Yale defense is going to keep the Lions scoreless.

4:02 p.m.: Bulldog strong safety Marcus Wallace ’11 intercepted Brackett’s pass to seal a Yale 23-22 victory.

4:05 p.m.: Time has expired, and the Bulldogs — thanks to a clutch play by Witt and Sheffield, especially — have completed a memorable comeback. None of this would have been possible without cornerback Money’s tackle on the two-yard line to prevent the Lions from scoring with five minutes left. Rice’s forced fumble on the next play gave Yale a glimmer of hope, and Witt and company took it for the win.


  • Eli Fan

    Where is freshman Smith #21?

  • SeniorYalefan

    The most exciting final three minutes in a long time!

  • ’04

    Thanks to a dubious penalty call, we were handed a 1-point victory over a weak opponent. Not that “exciting”

  • Fan

    Smith was injured at the Penn Game

  • Eli Fan

    #21 Smith the freshman didn’t travel to Columbia, he’s been so explosive hope he’s back soon.

  • “67

    Does the Yale football staff include an offensive line coach?

  • Fan

    columbia is not a weak oponent they beat princeton 38-0 and lost to lafayette in a close game a team that crushed the Elis at home.

  • To #7

    Are you kidding? Columbia is tied for last in the Ivy League, has lost 4 in a row, and was without both its starting senior QB and its leading running back for this game. Even so, Yale was fortunate to eke out a 1-point win on a last-minute score, thanks to a cheesy penalty call on a failed 4th down play near the goal line.

  • Fan

    What has happened to our running game? 75 yards this week, 25 yards last week.. and the TOP runner – Jordan Farrell (look at the stats online)has not been in either game.. Gotta wonder if the coaching staff has given up on the seniors and getting the underclass man some experience. what is going on.. Also, what happened to Mante? Why was he benched? Really weird stuff on Halloween!!


    Witt is the better quarterback, despite being a bit of a jerk. Start him.

  • Y11

    Hurray, we barely beat the only team worse than Dartmouth. Really exceptional, guys.

  • Truth squad

    If you bothered to watch the game, the penalty call was legitimate, and their freshman quarterback played a stellar game. It’s nice to see people finally caring about Yale football, but try to keep things in perspective, people. We have, for example, one returning starter on the O-line–the most experience-driven “non-skill” position on the field.

  • Billy C

    That was one incredible comeback! Great to see it live. Coach Williams is sure interesting. Benching Mante! His understudy knocking one in from 47. The QB switcheroo. For the people that ventured down to Manhattan, Did you leave there confident for three wins in a row? I did.Shuffling lineups,Trick Ponys, Ilike Williams he leaves you each week with agreat must see cliffhanger for next weeks game. Definatly a riverboat gambler in the Ivy League. A 7-3 recored is possible! Williams will come up looking sweet down the stretch. There was nothing cheesy about Saturdays win! Yale plain and simple blew away Columbia in the fouth quarter.

  • SPIRIT OF 75

    Slowly the pasion may be coming to the Alumni and longtime fans. Sad to see the old place empty all the time! Major emphasis needs to be put in the finishing touches renovating behind the goalposts in yale Bowl seating! By 20015 Home attendance could average 30,000 per season if Season ticket sales were really handled properly. Any One want to ad to all that?

  • StanTheMan


    Agree with you 100%. It’s a shame to see this historic stadium nearly empty for all but the Harvard game.

    Yale should repair the crumbling concrete in the end zones and bring in professional marketing people to fill the stadium. Hardly anybody outside of the Yale community knows that football tickets could be had for as cheap as $7 with kids under 14 FREE! Where’s the community outreach?

    There are some many things that can be done to bring the Yale Bowl back to life. Maybe a preseason Giants or Jets football game, summer concerts like they had back in the 70’s.

    How about a January men’s and/or women’s OUTDOOR ice hockey game? Bring in Cornell or Harvard for outdoor hockey and watch the Bowl fill up!

  • ’98

    Please, let’s not get euphoric about a victory over a Columbia team that blew another game.
    We don’t need torture at Gitmo. We should show prisoners a tape of the first half of this game.

    While I’m not into the premature evacuation of Coach Williams, I haven’t seen steady improvement each week except for Witt.
    Winning two of our last three, especially the last one, would make me feel more positive during the off season.

  • Spirit of 75

    Stan the man and I could do some serious damage on filling that place again!For Football it could happen again, but its all about the passion. Terific Idea for three to four home games a year with Hockey! Dartmoth, Harvard, Cornell would draw well. Remember you have to get over the Idea of drawing great crowds for 1aa Football. Pushing what Ivy league Football is all about!! Pure Football. There really is no richer tradition in College Football. If you can teach that you will sell your season tickets! Reemember when Uconn (Yankee Conference) traditional creampuff on Yales scheadule had to play there Home games in the Bowl cause Little oleMemorial stadium could only hold 14 thousand !!! It is time to turn thigs around and the time is now!

  • Spirit of 75

    Just a little Food for thought, This Idea could stir some emotions. Lets get Uconn on the scheadule again! But play them last instead of first! Atype of Bowl Game Without the Corporate crap. Coach Williams would probably welcome the Idea. Beat Harvard Destroy those Huskies.Would heavily make up for not being allowed to participate in Bowl Games. Remember there are no limits put on Education. 11 games would work for all the Ivies. Remember we played 9 untill 1980. Football factories play 12 and hopefully a Bowl bid. Anyone like to add alittle.

  • yale 2008

    Spirit of 75,

    terrible ideas, ignorant of the realities facing Yale football

    New Haven county outside of alumni could care less about Yale football.

    UCONN would NEVER play Yale (a non scholarship school that doesn’t count for BCS bowl eligibility wins) in November when they are finishing conference play and getting ready for bowl season.

    get real

  • Spirit of 75

    2008 you can not like my idea, but please dont call it ignorant. Bu should play BC etc. etc. Thought you would catch on, guess not. THe ignorant comment (excuse me alittle) would be to think that there are no Bulldog fans except in New haven County. Guess that leaves out all the alums in Fairfield County alone. Time for a change along with keeping tradition. Also becoming !aa was stupid to do with a storied past such as Yales! Just ask Carm Cozza if you dont beleive me.bad decision to start with.

  • Spirit of 75

    Yale Football could actually become extinct sooner than most would think! Look at it this way. We are in awful economic times. 2 Attendance stedilydeclines year after year. Look what happened with Fordahm. Push the History of Yale Football. but change things . Change is positive. Change is good. Half filling the place for Harvard giving away free Turkeys, come on! you cant go on like(well 40 years ago when Dowling)Please this place will go down the tubes quicker than Roller Derby! Market the product properly and watch it build again.

  • StanTheMan

    Marketing starts with television. Some of the Yale football games are carried on the YES network. Those games that are not televised, SHOULD BE. Channel 8, Channel 9? Is there anybody home there? I’d rather watch Saturday afternoon Yale football than some two hour long infomercial.

    Television exposure would translate into more local awareness of Yale football and more attendance at the games.

    Times are tough right now. Many middle class families are looking for something to do with kids, family and friends on weedends that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. There isn’t a better deal in town than Yale Football. $7 tickets could be advertised on TV during Yale games; also Yale should not be above purchasing Billboard space ala Quinnipiac. Come on Yale! Get with it!

    Fill the stadium. Give away free tickets (20-30 THOUSAND) to local businesses, schools, groups. Not everybody with a free ticket would come to the game but many would; and pay for parking and food, programs, etc. New fan base would surely develop.

    As I said earlier, bring back summertime concerts. Huge acts like U2 or the Red Hot Chili Peppers would fill the Bowl instantly once or twice every summer.

    Wintertime open air ice hockey would not only fill the bowl (with reasonable ticket prices) but would bring national exposure back to New Haven and Yale bowl.
    How about a four team ice hockey tourament featuring the nations top hockey schools? Yale has an excellant ice hockey program and can compete with all of the big boys.

    Schedule a four team outdoor tournament and bring in, for example, Cornell, Boston University, Miami of Ohio, and watch the Bowl fill up with hockey fans from all over the country.

    The stadium is now 95 years old. Renovate the crumbling parts and celebrate a 100th BIG birthday in 2014 in style.


    STAN IS ( THE MAN ) We are on the same wavelength! They really ought to go all out and finish the rennovation for 2014! the One Hundreth Year of the Bowl. One beautiful landmark. Our Football Cathedral! Cant let anything happen to that sacred ground! Ps. we need to shut down Browns`Passing game on Saturday.Both teams are 4-3 2-2 Ivy League. Yale 28 Brown 21

  • Goldie ’08

    Ha, billyc, i was just about to remark how Stan really is the Man. Outdoor hockey is a no brainer and absolutely should be done, now that we have the best team in the league. My buddies and I would definitely be down to get liquored up and go watch Yale stomp Cornell at the bowl.