Tag Archive: The Game 2011

  1. Players to Watch

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    Key Players

    Based on their past performances and positions they will take on the field Saturday, The following make up the players who will likely determine the outcome of this year’s edition of The Game.


    Patrick Witt ’12: After passing up a shot at the Rhodes Scholarship, Witt will lead the Blue and White onto the field against Harvard. For Yale to win, Witt will need to be perfect. He has struggled at times with accuracy this season and has thrown 11 picks, tied for worst in the Ivy League. But when he is on, he can shred any secondary in the conference as he showed against Princeton last week when he threw for three touchdowns and 379 yards. The success of the Yale offense will depend on whether Witt brings his best game to the field.

    Mordecai Cargill ’13: The junior back has been difficult to figure out this season. Some games, he runs all over the field and torments defenses with his punishing, tackle-breaking drives. Other games, he is practically absent from the box score. While he has turned in gems such as his 230-yard performance against Columbia, he has also had three games in which he carried the ball fewer than five times. We can expect a strong game from the consistent Alex Thomas ’12, but the Bulldogs’ offense is at its most threatening when both backs run the ball well.

    Deon Randall ’14: Randall will lead the team’s receiving corps in the absense of wide receiver Chris Smith ’13, the team’s most explosive offensive threat of the season, who will be sidelined this weekend against Harvard with an injury. The rest of the corps will have to bring its A-game. Randall has been a threat all season. He has stepped up during the past two weeks when Smith was injured, and Randall compiled 179 receiving yards and two touchdowns during Yale’s games against Brown and Princeton.

    Jake Stoller ’12: When it comes to rushing the quarterback, Stoller is the man for the Bulldogs. He has recorded 4.5 sacks on the season, a high for the team this season. Last weekend against Penn, Harvard quarterback Collier Winters was susceptible to the pass rush. He was sacked four times on the day and often looked indecisive in the face of a sack. While it does not appear that rushing Winters will necessarily create turnovers, it will keep Harvard from moving the ball and lead to Yale possession. To hold down the high octane Crimson passing attack, Stoller will have to keep Winters under pressure all game.

    Jordan Haynes ’12: While most teams use tight ends primarily for blocking, Harvard has two who have been very effective as pass catchers. Cameron Brate and Kyle Juszczyk are both among Harvard’s top four players in receiving yards. Good tight ends create matchup problems for most teams. They are often too large and physical for cornerbacks to defend but too agile for linebackers. Team captain Haynes, who is tied for the Ivy League lead in tackles with 84, and the rest of the linebacker corps will be called on to hold these two in check.


    Collier Winters: Winters is not the type of quarterback to shoot himself in the foot. After getting hurt earlier in the season, Winters has only participated in five games. But in those five games he has thrown four picks, and has thrown only two in his last four games. In addition to his precision through the air, Winters’s record shows he can move the Harvard offense with his feet. In a matchup with Dartmouth earlier this season, he ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns. No matter how you cut it, Winters is a tough matchup, and a Yale victory will depend on slowing him down.

    Treavor Scales: Scales is Harvard’s leading member of the backfield and one of the most productive running backs in the Ivy League. He currently stands at third in the conference with 758 yards of total rushing. Last weekend against Penn, Harvard’s offense struggled until the second half, when its ground game got rolling. If Yale can keep the junior back in check, the team will have a chance to stall the Harvard offense and get ahead on the scoreboard.

    Cameron Brate: Brate does not lead Harvard in receiving yards. In fact, he is fourth on that list. But like Yale wide-out Cameron Sandquist, Cameron Brate, Harvard’s tight end, has a nose for the end zone. Seven of his 22 receptions have been touchdowns, just shy of one third of Harvard’s total receiving touchdowns, currently at 24 for the season. When the ball is in the red zone, the Crimson will be looking for Brate. Keeping him out of the end zone could be crucial for the Bulldogs’ defense.

    Josue Ortiz: Ortiz has arguably been the most dominant defensive player in the conference this season. He has recorded nine sacks, 14 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Against Penn last weekend he wreaked havoc. The defensive tackle caused a fumble and took down Penn quarterback Billy Ragone twice. Getting into a rhythm this weekend will require keeping Ortiz away from Witt and out of the Bulldogs’ backfield.

    Alex Gedeon: Gedeon, Harvard’s team captain and top linebacker, has been making plays all season. With 83 tackles, he is tied for second in the Ivy League, and he has also contributed two interceptions and a sack. Gedeon can do it all and will likely be all over the field on Saturday. Running and throwing the ball away from Gedeon will take him out of the game and keep the chains moving for the Bulldogs.

  2. FOOTBALL | Elis top Princeton, prepare for undefeated Harvard


    On third and eight from his own 41-yard line, quarterback Patrick Witt ’12 dropped back and looked to wideout Jackson Liguori ’14 across the middle.

    The ball bounced off Liguori’s hands and seemed destined to hit the ground.

    But fellow receiver Cameron Sandquist ’14 was not about to let that happen. The sophomore broke off from his route and snatched the ball out of the air before sprinting 59 yards downfield through a stunned Princeton secondary to put the Bulldogs ahead 10–7 with 1:17 left in the opening quarter.

    Despite the absence of top receiver Chris Smith ’13, Witt picked apart the Tigers’ secondary, finishing with 26 completions on 33 attempts with 379 yards and three touchdowns, and led the Bulldogs (5–4, 4–2 Ivy) to a 33 – 24 victory over Princeton (1–8, 1–5).

    The Elis effortlessy drove 45 yards to the Princeton 16 during their opening drive. But on third and one, Tigers’ defensive tackle Mike Catapano took down Alex Thomas ’12 for a one-yard loss, forcing the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal.

    But the Tigers responded immediately on the following drive, powering through the Blue and White defense on the ground.

    With five minutes left in the opening quarter, freshman tailback Chuck Dibilio took a direct snap and ran toward the left sideline, before cutting back inside untouched for a 19-yard touchdown run, putting the Tigers up 7–3.

    Princeton had a chance to widen its lead when Deon Randall ’14 fumbled the ensuing kickoff, allowing Elijah Mitchell to recover the ball at Yale’s 31-yard line.

    But the Tigers could not generate any momentum, turning over the ball after a failed fourth-down conversion. The defensive stop set up Sanquist’s touchdown receptions.

    Facing the worst defense in the Ivy League, Witt continued the Elis’ aerial assault in the second quarter. After an 18-yard strike to fullback Keith Coty ’14, Witt looked downfield for Randall, who baited the cornerback into going inside before cutting back to the sideline. With plenty of space around him in the end zone, Randall made a leaping catch for a 28-yard touchdown reception.

    However, the Blue and White struggled to contain Dibilio and the Tigers’ ground game on the following drive, allowing Princeton to move to the Bulldogs’ 23-yard line. But on third down and five, defensive end EJ Conway sacked Wornham for a seven-yard loss, forcing the Tigers to settle for three points and giving Yale a 17–10 lead at halftime.

    Starting off the second half, both teams’ offenses were too much for the other to handle, with Yale striking through the air and Princeton grinding it out on the ground.

    On his first drive of the third quarter, Witt dropped back and found an open Liguori for a 32-yard pickup. The sophomore receiver finished the game with ten receptions for 123 yards.

    Four plays later, Witt rolled out of the pocket and connected with an unguarded Randall in the corner of the end zone to put the Bulldogs ahead 24–10. Randall caught six passes for 77 yards.

    The Tigers did not give up easily on the ensuing drive, running the ball five consecutive times to drive into Yale’s red zone. Dibilio picked up his second touchdown of the game with 8:31 left in the third on a four-yard run.

    The Bulldogs responded immediately with a scoring drive of their own. After missing two games with a knee injury, Thomas broke off a 62-yard touchdown scamper down the right side, running into the end zone untouched and giving Yale a 30–17 lead.

    But Princeton’s run game overwhelmed the Yale front seven on its next possession, scoring its third touchdown of the game when Diblio rushed six yards into the Blue and White end zone.

    Dibilio finished with 178 yards on 31 carries and became the first true freshman in Ivy League history to rush for over 1,000 yards.

    Up by just six points with 9:30 left in the game, Witt generated a clock-chewing drive, highlighted by a 21-yard dart to fullback Keith Coty ’14 on fourth and two that brought the Bulldogs to the Princeton 15. Four plays later, Philippe Panico ’13 booted a 27-yard field goal that put the game out of reach for the Tigers.

    Wornham and the Princeton receivers struggled against a tough Yale secondary, which allowed just nine completions on 26 attempts for a measly 49 yards.

    However, the victory was bittersweet for the Bulldogs. Thanks to a Dartmouth upset of Brown, Harvard’s 37–20 over Penn was enough to guarantee the Crimson sole possession of the Ivy League title.

    The Elis will come home next weekend for the 128th edition of The Game to try to spoil the Crimson’s undefeated league play.