FOOTBALL: Yale beats Harvard 19-14, wins Ivy title
In an all-important final game against rival Harvard, the Bulldogs came back in the fourth quarter to become Ivy League champions.
Tim Tai, Photo editor
Yale football has captured their 17th Ivy title in University history.
In a game that came down to the final minute, Yale (8–2, 6–1 Ivy) defeated Harvard University (6–4, 4–3 Ivy) on Saturday in Cambridge with a score of 19–14. The win was made even sweeter by news that the University of Pennsylvania defeated Princeton University on a last-second touchdown, making Yale the sole champions of the Ivy League.
Star linebacker Hamilton Moore ’24 had two interceptions in the game, the second of which sealed the game for Yale with 24 seconds left.
0:24 | 4th QT
Hamilton Moore with the interception!
📺 | @ESPNU
💻 | https://t.co/UPDZtJuGoz#ThisIsYale | #Team149 pic.twitter.com/Uq8YuaeM2d
— Yale Football (@yalefootball) November 19, 2022
“This is what we dream of,” Moore told the News. “We have been working day and night. It’s a surreal feeling, but this game wasn’t anything different. It’s the same thing we’ve been doing the last ten weeks. We’ve come in and gotten better every single day to get ready for this Saturday and it paid off.”
Unsurprisingly, the Bulldogs’ offense leaned heavily on the run game, carrying the ball a whopping 51 times for 219 yards.
Quarterback Nolan Grooms ’24 had as many carries as completions, completing 15 of his 28 attempts for 144 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 63 yards on 15 carries. Running back Joshua Pitsenberger ’26 added 82 yards on 21 carries, while Tre Peterson ’24 had 74 yards and a touchdown.
With all 30,000 seats of Harvard Stadium filled, the stage seemed too big for Grooms at the start of the game. On the first play of Yale’s first possession, the South Carolina native fumbled the ball on a botched scramble, setting the Crimson up on Yale’s own thirty-yard line.
“Obviously you don’t want to fumble on the first play, but I’ve been bouncing back from adversity all year,” Grooms said. “We always knew we were going to win. This team never stops pounding.”
The Elis took a while to settle into the game, but began to gain momentum towards the end of the first quarter, with chunk gains from Peterson and a 21-yard scramble from Grooms moving the team into the red zone. With three seconds left in the first quarter, Peterson punched it in for a one-yard touchdown.
The Crimson did not waste any time at the start of the second quarter. Harvard receiver Scott Woods II caught a short pass and was off to the races for a 64-yard touchdown to tie the score 7-7.
Yale was given plenty of chances to score thanks to a suffocating run defense that limited Harvard to a mere 2.5 yards per carry on the game. Crimson running back Aidan Borguet, who led the Ivy League in rushing with 1,108 yards for the year, was limited to just 62 yards on 18 carries.
“Our defense got to put on a show,” cornerback Miles Oldacre ’23 said “We welcomed the challenge of being out here and it was amazing to feel the crowd. You gotta beat Harvard.”
Kicker Jack Bosman ’24 had an up-and-down game, converting on back-to-back field goals at the end of the second half and start of the third, but missing two straight throughout the third quarter, keeping the game within one possession at 13–7.
A 24-yard touchdown pass to start the fourth quarter put Harvard ahead 14–13, but the Blue and White struck back, marching 75 yards down the field on a drive that took over seven minutes off the clock.
On a second-and-goal from the five-yard line, Grooms looked to be in trouble as Crimson pass rushers chased him out of the pocket. Grooms — demonstrating his signature scrambling ability — evaded three defenders and found tight end Jackson Hawes ’24 for what would be the game winning touchdown,
The touchdown drew an explosion of cheers from the Yale student section. Chants of “safety school” and “school on Monday” persisted throughout the game. Even in 30-degree weather, the tradition of the “Saybrook strip” was kept alive in the third quarter.
It was the first Yale-Harvard game for Declan Finn ’26, who was shocked by the atmosphere in the stadium.
“It was electric,” Finn said. “So much more energy than I expected. The cheering, flag waving, pounding. I honestly didn’t know Yale had that much school spirit in them.”
A failed two-point conversion attempt kept the score close at 19–14, meaning that Harvard could win the game with a touchdown.
But the Bulldogs’ defense was relentless, stuffing the run and forcing the Crimson into a punt and then a turnover on downs.
With just 42 seconds remaining, Harvard had Yale on the edge of their seats, completing a 17-yard pass and moving their offense to midfield. But on the next play, Harvard quarterback Charlie Dean threw a desperation heave under pressure, which fell into the hands of Yale’s linebacker Moore. The throw was Dean’s fourth interception of the game.
As time winded down, the Yale side of the field emptied as students jumped down from the stands and stormed the field, chanting and celebrating the victory alongside the players.
Edward Bohanon ’25, is already looking ahead to next year’s game.
“I don’t regret a single dime spent to get up to Cambridge,” Bohannon said. “It was a journey, an Odyssey worth every minute. Every Yale student needs to pack the [Yale] Bowl next season.”
The win marked Yale’s first Ivy championship since 2019.