Tag Archive: Football

  1. LIVE BLOG | FOOTBALL | Yale v. Columbia

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  2. Former Yale lineman caught in voter fraud scandal

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    Pat Moran ’12, a two-year starter for Yale as a defensive lineman, resigned as field director for his father’s — U.S. Representative Jim Moran — reelection campaign after the younger Moran was caught on tape discussing a plan to cast up to 100 fraudulent ballots.

    In a taped conversation, Pat Moran is approached by an undercover reporter who pitches a plan to vote in the place of 100 registered voters in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District — which Rep. Jim Moran represented — who rarely voted. The plan would call for forged utility bills and bank statements to meet proper identification requirements for Virginia’s voter registration laws.

    “Look at the law,” Pat Moran says to the undercover reporter in the video. “It has to be a utility bill or something like that … so you have to forge it.”

    Though Pat Moran initially expressed doubts about the plan, he eventually tells the undercover reporter to “look into it,” even offering tips on who the undercover reporter should contact and recommending that he call the 100 individuals to ensure they are not planning on voting.

    The campaign released a statement about Pat Moran’s resignation on Wednesday, attributing his actions to an “error in judgement.”

    While at Yale, Pat Moran was a two-year starter for the Bulldogs. In 2011 he was named the Yale Defensive Lineman of the Year, finishing that year with 12 total tackles, one sack and one blocked kick.

  3. Bulldogs fall 20-10 to Lafayette

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    The Bulldogs went into the locker room at halftime with the lead, but Lafayette came back in the second half to deny Yale its first home win of the season.

    Yale held a 10–7 advantage at the half, but Lafayette (4–2, 1–0 Patriot) stormed back to win 20-10 at the Yale Bowl this afternoon.

    Quarterback Eric Williams ’16 threw two interceptions in the first quarter, but each time the Bulldog defense forced a punt on the ensuing Leopard drive.

    Yale (1–4, 0–2 Ivy) opened the scoring 30 seconds into the second quarter when tight end Michael Leunen ’14 hauled in a 25-yard pass from Williams, then forced his way into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

    Lafayette quarterback Andrew Shoop’s 5-yard toss to fullback Greg Kessel knotted the score at seven apiece with 8:02 remaining until halftime. The Elis would retake the lead on the foot of kicker Philippe Panico ’13, who drilled a 24-yard field goal with 4:39 left in the half.

    But the second half would be all Lafayette. After both teams traded punts at the start of the half, the Leopards drove 78 yards on a twelve-play drive that ended with a 10-yard Mark Ross touchdown reception.

    Running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 drove the Elis forward with 21 rushing yards on the ensuing drive to set up third-and-one on the Lafayette 20, but center John Oppenheimer’s ’14 snap sailed over Williams’ head back to the 31-yard line. Panico’s try from 48 yards out had the distance but was wide right and Yale came away with no points.

    After another three-and-out by the Leopard offense, Yale drove all the way to Lafayette’s 15, but Williams was intercepted by defensive back Shane Black for the second time on the day.

    Yale was still within four when the defense sacked Shoop at the Yale 34 to set up fourth-and-twelve. Shoop was able to get the first down and more on the next play when he found Ross for a 32-yard pass to the Yale two. Two plays later, tailback Ross Sheuermann punched it in for the score. Defensive end Nick Daffin ’13 blocked the extra point attempt, but Lafayette had a 20-10 lead with 2:19 to go. Yale’s chances ended for the day when Williams was picked for the final time by linebacker Chris Brockman with 38 seconds remaining.

    Williams threw a career-high four interceptions while his Lafayette counterpart Andrew Shoop passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns.

    Running back Tyler Varga ’16 led the Bulldogs with 100 rushing yards in his return to the field. Yale had withheld Varga from last week’s 34-14 loss to Dartmouth while the NCAA investigated his eligibility following his transfer from the University of Western Ontario.

    Cargill was right behind Varga, running for 98 yards on the day.

    Yale will be at home for the fourth week in a row next Saturday against Penn (2-3, 2-0 Ivy).

  4. Running back Varga ’16 to return to field

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    Yale was informed by the NCAA today that running back Tyler Varga ’16 is eligible to play football for the Bulldogs this season.

    “The University has worked closely with the Ivy League and the NCAA to obtain a waiver regarding [Varga’s] status as a transfer student from a Canadian University that resolved all eligibility issues,” Associate Athletics Director for Sports Publicity Steve Conn said in a statement.

    Varga was held out of last week’s 34–14 loss to Dartmouth after the University received word that his eligibility had been called into question by the NCAA the night before.

    Varga played for the University of Western Ontario last season. He was named the Canadian Intervarsity Sports Rookie of the Year after rushing for 799 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    Since Varga received athletic scholarship money as a student athlete for Western Ontario, he was eligible for the FCS one-time transfer exception. The exception allows players to waive the one year in residence requirement when transferring from a scholarship institution to one that does not support athletic scholarships.

    Varga will return to the field at noon tomorrow as the Bulldogs host Lafayette.

  5. Keys to the game

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    Hold on to the football: In the two games the team has played this season, Yale has coughed the ball up nine times. An early interception and fumble gave Cornell all the momentum in the Elis’ blowout loss to the Big Red last week. In quarterback Eric Williams’ ’16 defense, he is only two games into his collegiate career and several of the interceptions have not been his fault. One resulted from a busted screen play and several others were the result of tipped passes. The fact remains, however, that the Blue and White cannot expect to win many games if they continue to lead the Ancient Eight in turnovers. Opponents have cashed in on Yale’s mistakes — scoring 35 points on drives beginning with Bulldog turnovers. Not only are turnovers taking away scoring chances for the Elis, they are also putting points on the wrong side of the board. Taking care of the football could prove to make the difference tomorrow.

    Hit the ground running: If there is one thing the Elis have shown they can do this year, it is run the football. The offensive line has done a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage, and Yale’s talented backfield has taken advantage — averaging 4.3 yards per carry in the two games this season. Mordecai Cargill ’13 says that he is good to go after leaving last weekend’s contest against Cornell with a shoulder injury, so he will join fellow backs Tyler Varga ’16 and Khalil Keys ’15 in the Yale Bowl tomorrow. Cargill and running backs coach Larry Ciotti call the trio the “three-headed monster,” and they will get an opportunity to wreak havoc on a Colgate defense that has given up 5.4 yards per rush so far this season.

    Have faith in Williams: Last week’s game was one that everyone associated with Yale football would love to forget — being beaten by 39 points is nobody’s idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. But one positive aspect that head coach Tony Reno and several of his players pointed to was that the team kept fighting, and Williams was leading that charge. The rookie signal caller shook off two first-half interceptions and kept his composure. He showed poise in leading the Bulldogs down the field even though Yale had trouble finding the end zone. For now Yale will have to live with mistakes, like Williams’ tendency to stare down his receivers, but he has shown flashes of good things to come. Williams has a strong and accurate arm, is a dual-threat with his feet and demonstrates good decision-making when he has the football. If Williams gets the support he needs, he has the ability to lead Yale to victory.

  6. FOOTBALL | Elis seek redemption

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    It is a new week for Yale football as the Bulldogs take the field for their home opener.

    The Elis (1-1, 0-1 Ivy) are looking to put last week’s 45-6 loss at Cornell behind them as they open play at the Yale Bowl against Colgate (1-3, 0-0 Patriot).

    “We just have to correct the little things [for this week],” offensive lineman William Chism ’15 said. “The good news is that the effort was there.”

    Despite the score last week, running back Mordecai Cargill ‘13 was impressed that the team did not give up against the Big Red. He added that previous teams he has been a part of at Yale might have stopped fighting last week, so the team’s resilence is a good sign for upcoming games.

    The Raiders visit New Haven coming off their own disappointing loss. They came within one point but ultimately fell to Stony Brook 32-31 last Saturday.

    Despite its three losses, Colgate has been outscored by only seven total points through four games this season. Coach Reno said that the Raiders have been in every game.

    “[Colgate has] played three playoff football teams in the first four weeks,” Reno said. “You can make an argument that they could’ve won all of them.”

    Reno cited Colgate’s balance as its strength and called the team Yale’s most balanced opponent to date. He added that they have a very “active” defense.

    One weakness that Colgate has had this year is defending against the run. The Raiders have given up 5.4 yards per carry this season.

    With the Bulldogs averaging 168 yards on the ground themselves, the matchup on the ground favors the Blue and White.

    Although tomorrow will be the first game in the Yale Bowl for the class of 2016, defensive back Cole Champion ’16 said that Reno and the coaching staff have gotten them prepared for the atmosphere.

    “I’m excited to get out there on a Saturday,” he said. “We’ve scrimmaged in there twice always so that will kind of help us get a feel for what it’s going to be like on Saturday.”

    The Yale Bowl will not be the first big stage that Champion has played on. When Champion was playing for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, his team traveled to Dallas to play in Cowboy Stadium.

    The Bulldogs and Raiders will kick off at noon. Tomorrow will be Youth Day at the Bowl. All children participating in Youth Day will receive free admission to the game.

  7. FOOTBALL | Cargill ’13 running with new role

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    Almost four years ago, running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 ran for 99 yards and a touchdown to lead Glenville High School in Cleveland to a 30–6 victory over John Marshall High School. The win propelled Glenville to No. 9 in the ESPN Rise national rankings for Oct. 7, 2008.

    Lounging while on duty at the Yale Laundry Service room in Swing Space, Cargill acknowledged that a lot has changed since his high school days in Cleveland.

    “As a senior in high school I was a little bit wild and unrestrained,” Cargill said. “My coaches over the course of four years have kind of reined me in and taught me the intricacies of the position … how to read defenses, set up blocks.”

    Cargill’s time at Yale was itself almost blocked. As National Signing Day came his senior season, Cargill had not even heard from Yale. He said that he was considering a postgraduate year at the Hun School in Princeton, N.J., in order to try and play for an Ivy League school the next year.

    Then Cargill answered a phone call, and on the other end was Yale’s former head coach Tom Williams. It was a call, Cargill said, “[that] basically changed my life.”

    Williams has since been replaced, but new head coach Tony Reno is impressed with the player and leader that Williams left behind.

    “He’s got the ability to run people over and he’s got the ability to run by people,” Reno said. “Very few guys have that ability.”

    Reno added that Cargill has good vision and makes his cuts well, but it is Cargill’s leadership that is most impressive. According to Reno, Cargill has put the success of the team over his own personal achievements.

    Cargill himself emphasized his desire to mentor the team’s younger running backs, continuing the tradition that helped him to learn his craft. Cargill’s efforts have not just been noticed by the coaching staff, offensive lineman William Chism ’15 said.

    “It’s an honor blocking for Mo,” Chism said. “He inspires us, especially when things are going wrong.”

    But back when Cargill arrived in New Haven as a freshman, he ran into blockers of a different sort — this time on the depth chart. Undeterred, Cargill took advantage of every chance he got. He averaged 3.9 yards his first two years while sharing carries with other running backs, including Alex Thomas ’12, and had a 126-yard performance against Dartmouth in 2010.

    Cargill’s crowning achievement, however, came when Thomas was injured in Yale’s 37–25 loss to Penn last year. Playing in an October snowstorm at Columbia the next week, Cargill had the game of his life.

    “There is a very real zone that you get in in certain situations,” Cargill said. “The weather was so bad that I just extracted myself from the situation — I was on autopilot.”

    Cargill “autopiloted” to 230 yards on 42 carries, both career highs, as Yale defeated the Lions 16–13.

    Even as a senior, Cargill has not asked for the spotlight. Reno said that rather than wanting all the carries, Cargill talks about the idea of a “three-headed monster” with tailbacks Tyler Varga ’16 and Khalil Keys ’15.

    The result has been a Bulldog ground attack that has averaged 4.3 yards per carry this season.

    It was no surprise, then, that Cargill, an unofficial leader, was elected by his teammates to officially represent the Blue and White in the season-opening coin toss at Georgetown on Sept. 15.

    The Bulldogs will face Colgate at home on Saturday.

  8. FOOTBALL | Bulldogs drop first Ivy contest


    The Bulldogs were left seeing red on the gridiron yesterday in their first Ivy League game of the season.

    Cornell (1–1, 1–0 Ivy) blew out Yale (1–1, 0–1 Ivy) 45–6 in the Ancient Eight opener in Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday. The Big Red rode quarterback Jeff Mathews’ arm and four turnovers by the Blue and White to a big win on their home turf.

    “[Mathews] is probably the best quarterback I’ve played against,” defensive back Nick Okano ’14 said. “If we made just a slight mistake … he’d thread the needle.”

    Yale managed to stop Cornell on the opening drive after the Big Red drove into Eli territory, but Cornell got the ball right back when Cornell safety Andrew Nelson jumped a screen and picked off the pass from Eli quarterback Eric Williams ’16.

    Cornell scored on the very next play on a run by tailback Luke Hagy to jump out to a 7–0 lead. Although that would be enough to win the game, Mathews and company did not stop there. Mathews threw for three, and Hagy ran for another as the Big Red took a big 35–0 lead by halftime.

    Yale also lost running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 midway through the first half to a right shoulder injury. He did not return to the game, and Khalil Keys ’15 and Tyler Varga ’16 filled in for him in the backfield. Cargill said the two younger players did a great job running the ball.

    “Our team mantra is ‘Next man up.’ We work hard at practice and compete every day to make sure everyone’s ready to go,” Cargill said.

    The Bulldogs finally got on the board in the final seconds of the third quarter when Williams found wide receiver Grant Wallace ’15 on a seven-yard slant to make it 42–6, but holder Derek Russell’s ’13 pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

    The Big Red added a 22-yard field goal with 8:25 to go in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring at 45–6.

    Despite allowing Cornell to run away with the first half 35–0, the Elis renewed their drive to keep pace with the Big Red in the second half. Cornell outscored Yale by only four points after halftime. Head Coach Tony Reno attributed the improvement to his team’s resilience.

    “[We] had a bad half but came out and played better football,” Reno said. “You need to learn from mistakes … We’re just looking to continue to improve.”

    Mathews finished the game 29–39 with 340 yards and four touchdown passes, while his Eli counterpart Williams finished 27–37 for 211 yards, one score and two interceptions. Matthews won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League offensive MVP last season.

    Varga led the Yale ground attack with 91 yards on 13 carries. Hagy had 88 yards for Cornell, but it took him 21 rushing attempts.

    Yale will kick off its home season Saturday against Colgate. Ivy play at the Yale Bowl will begin the following week against Dartmouth.

    Last year, the Bulldogs trounced Cornell 37–17.

  9. FOOTBALL | Elis fall to Cornell in Ivy opener

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    The first Ivy League game of the season left the Bulldogs seeing Red in Ithaca this afternoon.

    Yale (1-1, 0-1 Ivy) was blown out by Cornell (1-1, 1-0 Ivy) 45-6 in the Ancient Eight opener.

    The Big Red rode quarterback Jeff Mathews’ arm and three turnovers by the Blue and White to a big win in Ithaca, N.Y.

    Cornell drove into Yale territory before being stopped on the opening drive, but it got the ball right back when linebacker Andrew Nelson jumped a screen and picked off the pass from Eli quarterback Eric Williams ’16.

    Cornell scored on the very next play on a run by tailback Luke Hagy to jump out to a 7-0 lead. Although that would be enough to win the game, Mathews and Co. did not stop there. Mathews scored three for three, and Hagy ran for another as the Big Red took a big 35-0 lead by halftime.

    Yale also lost running back Mordecai Cargill ’13 midway through the first half to a right shoulder injury. He did not return to the game and was replaced in the backfield by Khalil Keys ’15 and Tyler Varga ’16.

    The Bulldogs finally got on the board in the final seconds of the third quarter when Williams hit wide receiver Grant Wallace ’15 on a seven-yard slant to make it 42-6, but holder Derek Russell’s ’13 pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

    The Big Red added a 31-yard field goal with 8:25 to go in the fourth quarter to finish the scoring at 45-6.

    Mathews finished the game 29-39 with 340 yards and four touchdown passes, while his Eli counterpart Williams finished 27-37 for 211 yards, one score and two interceptions.

    Varga led the Yale ground attack with 94 yards on thirteen carries. Hagy had 94 yards as well, but it took him 21 carries.

    Yale returns home next weekend to face Colgate on Saturday, Sept. 29.

  10. Keys to the game

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    Although it is only their first Ivy League game, the Bulldogs will face possibly the most talented player they will see this season in Cornell University’s Jeff Mathews. As last year’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, he has shown no signs of a recession this season. Mathews threw for 489 yards and three scores while rushing for another touchdown against Fordham University last weekend. If the Bulldogs want to win in Ithaca tomorrow, they are going to have to disrupt Mathews and keep the Big Red on the ground. Cornell managed just 29 rushing yards last week, so if the Elis can make this weekend a ground game, the duo of running backs Tyler Varga ’16 and Mordecai Cargill ’13 can help Yale steal a win on the road. The key to all of this is taking the ball out of Mathews’ hands. Not only will the pass rush have to get to Mathews before he can pick apart the secondary, but the offense will also have to make sustained, time-consuming drives. Mathews cannot score when he is not on the field, so keeping him on the sidelines will be crucial.


    Head coach Tony Reno made several bold play calls last weekend, and they worked out for the Bulldogs. Reno called for a deep pass instead of trying to run and get breathing room from the Yale two-yard line. He was rewarded with the longest play from scrimmage in Yale history when receiver Cameron Sandquist ’14 hauled in the tipped pass from Eric Williams ’16 for a 98-yard score. Earlier in the game he called for a fake punt, and safety John Powers ’13 — the same player who ran the fake punt in the infamous “fourth-and-22” play against Harvard three years ago — dashed for 24 yards. The irony of Powers gaining the yardage that would have vindicated former head Coach Tom Williams in The Game notwithstanding, Reno displayed a knack for taking risks at the right time. That could come in handy against an inexperienced Cornell secondary that is starting two freshmen at corner.


    Last week Yale won because kicker Philippe Panico ’13 made his field goal while his Hoya counterpart missed both of his attempts. With the exception of giving up a punt return for a touchdown when Kyle Cazzetta ’15 outkicked the coverage, the Elis played well on special teams, but this week they will need to be mistake-free. Giving a quarterback like Mathews a short field to work with does your defense no favors, so the Bulldogs must focus on pinning Cornell deep within its own territory on punts and kickoffs. Last week showed the Elis the difference between scoring a touchdown and settling for a field goal attempt, and they need to take that to heart.

  11. FOOTBALL | Elis open Ivy season

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    The Bulldogs face a long, hard drive to Ithaca this weekend, but the trip will get even harder when they take the field to face Cornell.

    Although they lost their season opener to Fordham, the Big Red (0–1, 0–0 Ivy) is a dangerous team led by reigning Ivy League offensive player of the year, quarterback Jeff Mathews.

    Mathews started the season where he left off last year, throwing for 489 yards and three scores against the Rams to give him 1,446 yards and 12 touchdown passes in his past three games. Despite Mathews’ recent accomplishments, Yale (1–0, 0–0 Ivy) quarterback Eric Williams ’16 said that he will not change his game to compete with the Big Red signal caller.

    “Throwing for 1500 yards in the last three games, that’s something you don’t do too often,” Williams said. “[But] I’m not trying to compare myself to [Mathews]. I’m just trying to play the best that I can.”

    Head coach Tony Reno also praised Mathews, saying that he was an NFL prospect who combined a strong arm with an ability to read the field. Although Mathews is a threat, wide receiver Henry Furman ’14 stated that the team will not go to extremes to counter him.

    “Our identity is an aggressive defense,” Furman said. “We’re still going to run the same blitzes. We’re not going to be afraid and put more guys in coverage.”

    Wide receiver Cameron Sandquist ’14 added that the offense will also maintain the balance between ground and aerial assaults that led the Blue and White to a 24–21 victory at Georgetown last weekend.

    He added that the backfield combo of running backs Tyler Varga ’16 and Mordecai Cargill ’13 gives the Elis an edge. The duo rushed for a combined 179 yards last week, and Williams said that the backs’ ability to gain yards after contact is especially important.

    “I think we’ll fare all right [against Cornell] because we’ve got the run game with Varga and Mo that can be just deadly,” Williams said.

    Although establishing the run will be important, Williams said that the Bulldogs will take more chances down the field this weekend in the passing game. He and Sandquist added that although the Big Red secondary is young, the talent of the unit is apparent in the video that the Elis have been watching.

    Sandquist went on to say that Cornell also mixes up its coverages, but that one of Williams’ strengths as a quarterback was reading defenses and taking what he saw, rather than “step[ping] out of what he sees on the field.”

    Finally, Sandquist stated that Yale will try to control the tempo of the game.

    “We’re going to establish our identity and go from there,” Sandquist said. “We’re going to try and dictate the game ourselves.”

    Kickoff in Ithaca, N.Y., is at 1 p.m. tomorrow.