Harvard continued its winning streak by defeating Penn 31-10 in a thus far perfect 2004 season, clinching at least a tie for its 11th Ivy title. With The Game scheduled for Nov. 20, the rivalry with Yale takes on mammoth significance as Harvard vies for its first 10-win season since 1906. Saturday’s Crimson victory axed Penn’s 20 game Ivy League winning streak, placing the Quakers at 7-2 overall (5-1 Ivy) for the season. Harvard’s win guarantees them at least a tie for the Ivy League crown, which they last claimed in 2001. In other games, Cornell defeated Columbia 32-26 to move to 4-5 (4-2) with one game remaining, with Columbia slipping to a dismal 1-8 overall. Dartmouth (1-8, 1-5) secured its only victory of the season by defeating Brown (5-4, 2-4) 20-7.
Harvard 31, Penn 10
Harvard was last victorious against Penn at Franklin Field 24 years ago. In front of a crowd of 15,123, Harvard retained its flawless record, ensuring at least a tie for the 2004 Ivy League championship. Penn’s offense was held to 263 yards and 3 of 13 on third down conversions. Harvard rushed for 243 yards and gained 204 yards passing. The Crimson offense held possession of the ball more than eight minutes more than the Quakers. Cantab running back Clifton Dawson ran for 160 yards on 33 carries, while quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
The most impressive play of the game came at the beginning of the second half, with a fourth down pass from Fitzpatrick to Corey Mazza in the end zone to make the score 21-3. Penn’s only points came from a first quarter 24-yard field goal by Derek Zoch and a fourth quarter touchdown pass with under three minutes remaining from freshman quarterback Bryan Walker to Daniel Castles in Walker’s first career start.
Cornell 32, Columbia 26
The Columbia Lions blew a 14-0 halftime lead to fall to the Cornell Big Red 32-26. Cornell was scoreless at the half at Columbia’s Wien Stadium after a touchdown on a four-yard rush by Rashad Biggers in the first quarter, and a 39-yard pass in the second quarter from Jeff Otis to Brandon Bowser.
The only score in the third quarter was a five-yard rush by Ryan Kuhn for Cornell, making the score 14-7 Columbia. Cornell came up big in the fourth quarter, outscoring Columbia 25-12.
Though Columbia opened the final quarter with two touchdowns, the Big Red machine opened its throttle with 9:33 left to play, scoring back-to-back touchdowns on runs by Joshua Johnston, followed by a 23-yard reception from D.J. Busch to Chad Nice to tie the score at 26-26 with 5:17 remaining. The winning score came on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Busch to Brian Romney with only 37 seconds remaining.
With this loss, Columbia joins Dartmouth in the cellar in the Ivy League standings. Both teams are 1-5 in the Ivy League and 1-8 overall. Columbia’s only victory this year came in an Oct. 23 victory over Dartmouth.
Dartmouth 20, Brown 7
In this game played in Hanover, N.H., the first quarter’s only score came on a 29-yard field goal by Erik Hinterbichler for Dartmouth. Dartmouth added seven points late in the second quarter with a rush by Chad Gaudet to end the half at 10-0. Brown failed to make their mark on the scoreboard in the third quarter with Dartmouth adding another three points on a 20-yard Hinterbichler kick. The nail was driven further into the coffin with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Rittgers in the fourth quarter. With the threat of a humiliating shutout looming, Brown was able to muster their only score with a one-yard run from Nick Hartigan.
This victory was significant for Dartmouth, representing the team’s sole 2004 win after eight consecutive losses. The 0-8 start is the Big Green’s worst performance in its long history dating to 1881. The victory for Dartmouth is credited to an outstanding defensive effort led by Anthony Gargiulo, with the team racking up six sacks and an interception.