Harvard Beats Yale 28-21, Wins for Fourth Consecutive Year

Harvard Beats Yale 28-21, Wins for Fourth Consecutive Year Final, Harvard 28-21: Witt faces heavy pressure and flips the ball to Gio Christodoulou who is tackled after a gain of about three yards. Harvard takes over on downs, kneels twice, and this one is in the record books.

Penalties and turnovers almost cost Harvard this game late, but Patrick Witt didn’t play very well under pressure, and almost gave the game away several times in the fourth quarter.

With Yale losing, Penn is assured of the Ivy League Crown, and Harvard moves into a tie for second place with the Bulldogs in the conference standings.

Fourth Quarter, 0:50, Harvard 28-21: Witt escapes what should have been a game-ending mistake once again, as Matthew Hanson drops an easy interception. Harvard is going to have plenty of plays to look back on if they blow this lead.

A questionable pass interference call on Chris Smith puts the Bulldogs in a third-and-17 hole.  Witt tires to throw to Thomas on a check-down, but underthrows the ball. Fourth down coming up.

Fourth Quarter, 2:01, Harvard 28-21: Harvard runs some time off the clock but is forced to punt, giving Yale just over two minutes to work with. The Bulldogs take over near their own 20.

Fourth Quarter, 3:17, Harvard 28-21: Witt is stopped on a quarterback sneak on third-and-inches, and are faced with a fourth down on the half-yardline.

Yale then puts the ball in the hands of its best playmaker in Thomas, who runs the ball in with conviction.

Harvard had two chances to put this game away, but were really hurt by the Scales fumble and the roughing the passer penalty.

Fourth Quarter, 3:36, Harvard 28-14: Yale is somehow managing to stay alive despite some really poor play. Burkhead sacks Witt — giving him 2.5 on the day — for a huge loss on second-down, and Witt then throws a pick on third down.

Harvard is whistled for a foolish roughing the passer penalty, negating the interception and giving Yale new life … again.

Fourth Quarter, 5:42, Harvard 28-14: Yale looks pretty desperate on this drive, as Witt nearly threw the game away after an impressive Donovan McNabb-like scramble that saw him shake two defenders.

Witt throws to Smith on fourth down, but Smith is stopped about two yards shy of a first down.That should have been game over for Yale, but Harvard running back Treavor Scales fumbles on the first play of their drive, and Yale recovers. Scales appeared to be injured on the play.

Fourth Quarter, 7:38, Harvard 28-14: Harvard is hit with two foolish penalties, but is still able to score on a 12-yard Winters touchdown pass to Alex Sarkisian. That was Sarkisian’s first touchdown reception this season.

Unless Yale dramatically changes their offensive approach, they’ll be hard-pressed to score twice in the next seven minutes.

Fourth Quarter, 9:53, Harvard 21-14: Reising did not move while being carted off the field, but appeared to be conscious. Gordon shared a few words with Riesing before medical personal wheeled him off the field.

Play resumes after a hiatus of around ten minutes, and Yale is slammed for another personal foul penalty, giving Harvard the ball on the 4.

Fourth Quarter, 9:53, Harvard 21-14: Gordon was able to get up and walk off the field after being down for several minutes, but Reising remains down. Gordon is being examined on the sidelines and Reising is being immobilized on a stretcher.

In other news, Penn is leading Cornell 24-0 in the third, meaning that Yale is unlikely to come away with a partial Ivy League title even if they rebound here today.

Fourth Quarter, 9:53, Harvard 21-14: Another very scary moment here as Gino Gordon is leveled on a borderline helmet-to-helmet hit by Yale linebacker Jesse Reising. Both players are down and did not appear to be moving. I won’t speculate too much on any potential injuries, but both players appeared to be unconscious by the time they hit the ground.

Fourth Quarter, 10:28, Harvard 21-14: Witt overthrows an open Chris Smith on first down and is lucky Harvard didn’t come away with the ball. After a short run, Witt is sacked yet again on third down, causing the 31,398 people in attendance to roar.

The Harvard defensive line has dominated Yale’s offensive line for much of this game now, and Witt has very little time to throw on obvious passing downs.

Fourth Quarter, 12:27, Harvard 21-14: Harvard could have put the proverbial nail in the coffin with a score there, but instead have to punt after an ugly three-and-out.

Let’s see if the Bulldogs opt for a different strategy than the run-run-throw-punt offense they’ve employed for much of the past two quarters.

Fourth Quarter, 14:08, Harvard 21-14: Or not. Yale forces themselves into yet another third-and-long, and Witt is sacked by Ryan Burkhead.

Harvard will take over on their own 20 after an awkward punt.

End of Third Quarter, Harvard 21-14: Yale looks a little conflicted on offense, as they’re gaining yardage when they pass but continue to pound the ball on the ground. Don’t be surprised if Yale picks up big yardage on a play-action pass in the near future.

Third Quarter, 3:01, Harvard 21-14: Harvard takes its first lead of the day as Gino Gordon runs the ball in to the right side of the end zone. The Crimson defense and special teams played a huge role in that score, giving Harvard great field position to work with.

It will be interesting to see if Yale finally gets away from what has become a stagnant rushing attack during this next drive.

Third Quarter, 4:34, 14-14: Harvard can thank defensive tackle Josue Ortiz for their excellent field position. First, Ortiz had a huge sack of Patrick Witt that forced Yale into a third-and-22 situation.

Then, Ortiz blocked Yale’s punt attempt, giving the Crimson the ball near the Yale 30. That was a dominanting display by one of the few NFL prospects playing in this game.

Third Quarter, 9:34, 14-14: Scary moment here as Harvard safety Collin Zych is down after laying a big hit on a much bigger Yale receiver. The injury appeared to be serious at first, but Zych was eventually able to walk off the field, and encouraged the home crowd to make some noise as he went to the sideline.

Third Quarter, 9:44, 14-14: Harvard opens up their drive with a big 21-yard gain, but Yale is able to recoup and stop the Crimson from progressing past midfield. Yale might have been worried about a 2009-esque collapse there for a moment, so that was a big stop for the Bulldogs.

Third Quarter, 13:01, 14-14: Not much happening for Yale on that drive, as Harvard forces a third-and-out. The momentum has completely swung the Crimson’s way, and they look quite determined to stop the run.

Yale needs a big play or two from Pat Witt if they hope to reopen some running lanes.

Third Quarter, 14:48, 14-14: Harvard matches its offensive production from the first half in the quarter’s first 12 seconds, as Marco Iannuzzi returns the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown.

End of Second Quarter, Yale 14-7: The Crimson take a knee after the kick, and head into the locker room trailing by 7 at the half.

Harvard can’t be too happy about that pass interference call, as they appeared to have Yale stopped in the red zone once again. They’ll get the ball first after the half, though, so they’ll get a chance to retaliate in short order.

Second Quarter, 0;13, Yale 14-7: Witt gets the first down on a quarterback sneak, giving Yale a fresh set of downs at the 10. The Bulldogs’ first two plays don’t gain much yardage, but Yale gets a generous pass interference call in the end zone on third down. Thomas runs the ball into the endzone on the next play, and Yale retakes the lead with 13 seconds remaining in the half.

Second Quarter, 0:41, 7-7: Witt is absolutely crushed on a huge hit by Nick Hasselberg, but is able to complete a 30-yard pass to Smith. Witt stumbled back to the line on the next play, but remains in the game.The Bulldogs now face third-and-one on Harvard’s 11 yard line, and will look to regain the lead before the half comes to an end.

Second Quarter, 5:25, 7-7: Harvard appeared to have Yale stopped on third-and-long, but Witt is able to evade a pass rush and complete a first down pass to Mordecai Cargil.

The Bulldogs are having a harder time running now, thanks in large part to some nice plays by Crimson linebacker Alex Gedeon. Yale goes for it on fourth-and-three inside the red zone, but is stuffed by the Harvard D.

Second Quarter, 10:27, 7-7: Harvard has arguably it’s worst offensive possession of the day, as they’re stopped for a loss on two of their three plays. Yale went with two deep safeties for that three-play set, but were still able to stop any Crimson ground attack.

Second Quarter, 12:30, 7-7: Philippe Panico’s 46-yard field goal attempt only travels about 36 yards, and the score remains tied. Yale is still moving the ball fairly well on the ground, but the Crimson have started playing a little better on defense, and the Bulldogs have been hurt by a few penalties as well.

End of First Quarter, 7-7: A poorly executed onside kick by Harvard sees Yale take over at their own 48. The Bulldogs proceed to attack on the ground, but have a big run by Deon Randall negated by a hold as the first quarter comes to an end.

First Quarter, 2:26, 7-7: Harvard scores on fourth-and-one as Winters flips the ball to running back Gino Gordon on a designed run to the right.

Going for it on fourth down was a gutsy call there, as putting zero points up would have been pretty demoralizing given the way Yale has dominated on offense so far this game.

First Quarter, 3:45, Yale 7-0: Harvard executes a pretty trick play, as a flee-flicker allows Crimson quarterback Collier Winters to complete a 46-yard pass to Mike Iannuzzi. Harvard now has the ball at the five yard line and will look to even the score.

First Quarter, 5:57, Yale 7-0: Yale goes for it on fourth-and-one from the five, and quarterback Patrick Witt is able to rumble ahead to the three for a first down. Thomas then runs the ball in for the game’s first score, and the Bulldogs are up 7-0.

That was a pretty dominating drive for Yale. Harvard still doesn’t have much of an answer for the Bulldogs’ running game, and when they stack the box, Witt has been able to complete short passes over the middle. It’s going to be a long day for Crimson fans if their D doesn’t adjust on Yale’s next drive.

First Quarter, 10:40, 0-0: The Bulldogs look good moving the ball on the ground during their first drive, but are forced to punt after a Alex Thomas is stopped short of a first down on a short run.

Harvard has an uninspiring three-and-out for their first possession and is forced to punt. Yale will take over on their own 48.

First Quarter, 15:00, 0-0.: The Game is underway, as Harvard kicks off to Yale. Chris Smith returns the ball to the 25, and Yale will get the first chance to score at the Vuvuzela-less Harvard Stadium.

8 a.m.: We’re just hours away from the 127th annual edition of “The Game,” which will see the Yale Bulldogs (7-2, 5-1 Ivy League) visit the Harvard Crimson (6-3, 4-2) at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Mass.

The Bulldogs are on a three-game winning streak and sit in second place in the Ivy League standings. Led by quarterback Patrick Witt –- whose older brother Jeff once played for Harvard — the Bulldogs will look to gain some ground on the undefeated University of Pennsylvania Quakers.

The Crimson find themselves tied for third place with Brown and are coming off a tough 34-14 loss to Penn. Beating Yale would move them into a tie for second place with the Bulldogs.

Harvard has won the last three meetings with Yale — including last season’s 14-10 win in New Haven, Conn. — but the Bulldogs hold a 65-53-8 series lead against the Crimson in the 126 previous editions of The Game.

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