FOOTBALL | Yale wins in nail-biter

With four key members of the Bulldog offense sitting out Saturday’s game, Jordan Forney ‘11 knew he had to get into the end zone. Yale’s offense had been struggling to move the ball all game, and as he caught a perfect pass from Brook Hart ’11 and saw open field in front of him, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Forney dove across the goal line just ahead of two defenders for a 29-yard touchdown catch with 14:51 left in the fourth quarter

The extra point conversion by Phillipe Panico ’13 made up the rest of Yale’s offense for the day and Yale (4-1, 2-0 Ivy) eked out a 7-6 nail-biter against Fordham (2-5) at the Yale Bowl.

Forney’s score was almost not enough. The Rams, who used a hurry-up attack all game to throw off Yale’s defense, quickly drove into the Yale red zone on their ensuing possession. Fordham quarterback Blake Wayne, who passed for 219 yards and rushed for another 54 on the day, threw a series of strikes to All-American wide receiver Jason Caldwell and tight end Stephen Skelton, and Fordham lined up for a 24-yard field goal only five minutes after Forney’s score. Kicker Patrick Murray had already converted two longer kicks in the game, and this looked like an easy chip shot.

But Chris Dooley ‘13 raced through the Fordham line and blocked the kick. The Rams would not threaten Yale’s lead again.

In beating Fordham, Yale overcame gale-force winds and the absence of four crucial starters on offense. Hart started at quarterback in place of Patrick Witt ’12, who separated his shoulder at Dartmouth last week. Hart handed the ball off to running backs Javi Sosa ’13 and Elijah Thomas ’14, who took over for the injured Alex Thomas ’12 and Mordecai Cargill ’13. And Jeff Fell started at center for the second consecutive game in the absence of Jake Koury, who hurt his knee against Albany.

The inexperienced Yale offense was held to 317 yards on the day, but the Bulldogs’ defense insured that they needed no more. Adam Money ’11 and Geoff Dunham ’12 each intercepted a pass and the Elis held the Rams to 308 yards total.

The windy conditions made their presence felt on special teams. Yale’s field goal struggles continued, as Panico missed all three of his attempts.

Next week, the Bulldogs will try to avenge last year’s 9-0 loss to the University of Pennsylvania, last year’s Ivy League champions.

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