Both undefeated teams, the University of Pennsylvania (6-0, 3-0 Ivy) and Harvard (6-0, 3-0), went into overtime this weekend but still came out with victories over their opponents. Yale (4-2, 2-1) could not end Pennsylvania’s 12-game win streak after making a huge 21-point comeback in the fourth quarter. Harvard escaped with the win against Princeton (1-5, 2-1) in a breath-taking game. Elsewhere in the Ancient Eight, Brown (2-4, 1-2) and Dartmouth (2-4, 1- 2) finally won their first Ivy League games this weekend.
Harvard 43, Princeton 40, OT
The Cantabs gave their audience one of the biggest thrills of the season on the day of Harvard Stadium’s 100th Anniversary in a nail-biting overtime triumph over Princeton.
The Tigers shed first blood after junior running back Jon Veach, who shattered his career record with 205 rushing yards, ran for a 49-yard touchdown six minutes into the game.
Harvard retaliated. During a Tiger punt attempt, Princeton upback Kyle Wenski got in the way of longsnapper Tim Releford’s snap. Harvard recovered the ball and scored two plays later with 4:23 left in the first quarter. Harvard kicker Jim Morocco sent the extra-point wide right, making the score after the first quarter 7-6.
Princeton made up for their mistake in the second quarter, blocking one of Harvard’s punts. Freshman Bringham Walker score the Tiger’s second touchdown of the game on the ensuing drive.
Harvard freshman runningback Clifton Dawson scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, giving the Crimson their first lead of the game 18-14. But both Cantab touchdowns ended in failed two-point conversion attempts.
With 3:03 left in the first half, Princeton junior wideout B.J. Szymanski caught a 42-yard pass from junior quarterback Matt Verbit, who threw for a career-record 354 yards in the game, to give the Tigers back the lead 20-18.
After Harvard snatched the lead with a one-yard run touchdown by junior quarterback Garrett Schires, Princeton sophomore kicker Derek Javarone sent a 39-yard kick right through the goal to shorten the Tiger deficit to 23-24.
Seconds into the fourth quarter, Schires made a 35-yard pass to junior wide receiver Brian Edwards for the touchdown to make the score 30-23. Veach ran for a five-yard touchdown with the extra point to tie the game 30 all. Both teams each scored a touchdown in the last five minutes of the quarter to send the game into overtime.
After the Tigers scored first in overtime with a Javarone field goal, the Crimson turned to Dawson. The rookie runningback ran the ball four times to get it to Princeton’s 4-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Schires found junior wide receiver Rodney Byrnes on a crossing pattern and hit him for the game winner.
Dartmouth 26, Columbia 21
Dartmouth held on to the win after a good rally by Columbia (2-4, 1-2) and came out with its first Ivy League win 26-21.
The Big Green controlled the scoreboards during the first three quarters. Senior Jay Barnard caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Charlie Rittgers with 3:57 left in the first quarter to put Dartmouth up 7-0.
Columbia tied the game at 7-7 before Rittgers made a 7-yard pass to receiver Andrew Hall to give Dartmouth the edge back 14-7.
Dartmouth kicker Tyler Lavin hit a field goal just before the end of the first half to extend the lead 17-7.
In the second frame, Big Green tailback Chris Little ran for 31 of his career-high 137 rushing yards on the day for a touchdown, putting Dartmouth up even further 23-7.
But Columbia refused to give up. With 12:04 left in the game Columbia scored twice. The first score came when Columbia quarterback Jeff Otis made an eight-yard pass to wide receiver Wade Fletcher to shorten the Dartmouth lead to 26-15.
Nine minutes later, Otis hit wide receiver Zach Van Zant with a 35-yard touchdown pass to make the game 26-21. The Lions defense pounced all over Dartmouth on its next possession and with two minutes left in the game the Columbia offense again took the field.
But in the end, the Big Green managed to hold on, forcing Columbia to fourth and four before defensive ends Derham Cato and Ryan Conger sacked Otis to end the Lions rally.
Brown 21, Cornell 7
Like Dartmouth, Brown also earned its first Ivy League victory this Saturday — against Cornell (1-5, 0-3), who has yet to win an Ivy League game.
Sophomore tailback Nick Hartigan gave the Bears a 7-0 lead with the touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. The Bears scored again in the second quarter after senior quarterback Kyle Slager handed the ball to backup quarterback Nick Marietti. Marietti connected with sophomore wide receiver Jarrett Schreck in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving Brown a 13-0 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Brown scored again when Slager threw a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Lonnie Hill in the end zone for a touchdown, extending the Bears lead to 21-0.
Cornell managed to score their only touchdown with 3:26 left in the game to ruin Brown’s chance of getting a shutout victory.