With wide receiver Henry Furman ’14 playing quarterback and running back Tyler Varga ’15 standing on the sidelines, many questioned if
Yale could run the ball. But that is exactly what the Elis did, gaining 348 yards of total offense. That would not be enough, as Yale (2-7, 1-5 Ivy) fell 29-7 to Princeton (5-4, 4-2 Ivy) at the Yale Bowl this afternoon.
Yale’s first drive of the game saw two completions by Furman and 16 rushing yards from running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 before the Elis were forced to punt. Princeton’s offense was stalled by the Eli defense and punted to Yale’s 37-yard line without moving the chains.
Furman then led the Bulldogs 63 yards down the field, finishing with a 14-yard bullet up the middle to wide receiver Grant Wallace. Yale took a 7-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first quarter – Yale’s first points since Varga scored in the fourth quarter against Columbia two weeks ago.
For the second straight series Yale was able to hold Princeton without a first down. Linebacker Dylan Drake ’13 and nose guard Nick Daffin ’13 both had tackles behind the line of scrimmage on the drive.
The Elis yet again drove into Princeton territory, but running back Kahlil Keys ’15 was dropped in the backfield on third down by linebacker Tim Kingsbury.
Princeton finally drove the ball on its next drive, but quarterback Quinn Epperly’s apparent touchdown pass was called back due to offensive pass interference.
Epperly’s next throw was then intercepted by defensive back Collin Bibb ’13 in the end zone.
Yale could do nothing with the new possession, however, and Princeton finally found the end zone on its ensuing drive. Wide receiver Roman Wilson punched the ball across the goal line with 10:27 to go in the second quarter.
Linebacker Wes Moyer’s ’13 28-yard kick-off return set Yale up at its own 46-yard line and two plays later Furman dashed for 18 yards to Princeton’s 32. The Elis’ fortunes turned suddenly when Cargill fumbled.
Three plays later the Bulldogs would get the ball back when Bibb jumped a corner route and intercepted quarterback Connor Michelsen on Princeton’s 39-yard line.
On third down and 12 yards from the Princeton 29, Furman found wide receiver Austin Reuland ’16 22 yards down the sideline for first and goal at the 7.
Poised on the Tigers’ goal line, the Elis went to a trick play on second down when Cargill tried to throw to Furman.
Calamity struck when Cargill’s pass fell short and into the hands of cornerback Trocon Davis. He then ran untouched 100 yards to give Princeton a 14-7 lead with just 1:01 remaining in the second quarter.
Princeton added to its lead on the first drive after the break when Epperly dove into the end zone from 1-yard out just three minutes into the second half. The Tigers upped the score to 22-7 when the snap on the extra point was fumbled, but kicker Nolan Bieck picked it up and fell across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
Both sides traded punts before wide receiver Cameron Sandquist’s 21-yard return started the Elis on Princeton’s 34-yard line.
Yale’s drive ended when Cargill was falling to the ground just outside the Princeton goal line. Just before he hit the ground, the ball popped out of Cargill’s hands into the end zone, where it was recovered by the Tigers.
Powered by linebacker E.J. Conway’s ’15 6-yard sack of Michelsen, Yale’s defense forced a three-and-out by the Tigers after Cargill’s fumble. The fumble was Cargill’s third turnover of the game and sixth fumble of the season.
Unable to move the ball on the next possession, Yale head coach Tony Reno called for a fake punt on fourth and five from the Princeton 38. Moyer’s pass fell incomplete, though, and the Elis turned the ball over on downs.
The final quarter began with the Bulldogs and Elis again trading punts, then the Tigers began to drive once again.
Starting on their own 31-yard line, the Tigers took six minutes to march down the field for first-and-goal on Yale’s 6. The Elis held Princeton on the first two plays, but on third down Epperly threw a fade to the back right corner for wide receiver
Matt Costello. The wideout leapt into the air and kept his feet in bounds to give the Tigers a 29-7 with 4:23 left in the game.
The Elis just barely missed a touchdown yet again on the next drive. Faced with fourth and 12 from the Princeton’s 31-yard line, Furman threw deep down the left sideline for Wallace, but the referees called Wallace out of bounds in the end zone. The Tigers were then able to run the clock out on just their third win over Yale in the last 11 years.
Furman finished the day 18-28 for 184 passing yards and a touchdown in addition to 28 rushing yards. Cargill paced Yale’s running attack with 101 yards on the ground. Sandquist led all receivers with nine catches for 103 yards.