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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Five football teams tied for first

Nobody's perfect anymore. The three unbeaten Ivy teams coming into the week -- Cornell, Penn and Princeton -- all lost this weekend.

Harvard and Yale joined those three in a traffic jam atop the League standings while Brown and Columbia are now only a game off the pace. With four intra-league games left to each team, it's anybody's championship.

Brown 56, Cornell 40

In a season rife with huge offensive barrages, this game ranks as the most outrageous, with numbers that put the St. Louis Rams offense to shame. Brown compiled an Ivy League record 690 yards of total offense on their way to a 56-40 shootout win over Cornell (2-4, 2-1 Ivy League) on Saturday afternoon.

Junior running back Mike Malan did it all for the Bears (4-2, 1-2), rushing 43 times for 234 yards and three touchdowns, throwing for a touchdown and catching a touchdown pass. Brown quarterback Eric Webber went 28 of 43 for 422 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.

Bears receiver Stephen Campbell also had a stellar performance, catching 12 passes for 192 yards and two scores. His 12 catches made him the Ivy League leader in career receptions with 253, surpassing former Brown star Sean Morey's record of 251.

In the first half the Bears opened up a 42-point lead before the Big Red could manage to get on the board. Malan's three rushing touchdowns, on runs of five, 12, and one yard, came in the first half, along with his touchdown toss to Stephen Campbell.

Cornell quarterback Ricky Rahne found Keith Ferguson on two big plays of 33 and 54 yards, while running back Justin Dunleavy scored on a two-yard run to make it 42-19 in the third quarter.

In the final quarter, the Big Red scored two touchdowns on a 20-yard Rahne pass to Hermann and a one-yard run by Dunleavy, but could not pull off the late comeback.

Rahne connected on 29 of 62 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns. Despite his impressive passing stats, the Cornell offense could only muster four yards rushing.

Other standouts for the Big Red included the receiving duo of Edgar Romney, who had seven receptions for 98 yards, and Joe Splendorio, who made six for 102 yards. Ferguson had five catches for 139 yards and two scores, while Dunleavy thrice scored on the ground.

Harvard 35, Princeton 21

Princeton's freshman quarterback David Splithoff hoped for some more of his magic against Harvard, but he was no match to the resurgent Crimson offense led by quarterback Neil Rose and running back Matt Leiszler.

Leiszler ran for 89 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, while Rose completed 25 of 36 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.

The win gives Harvard a five-game winning streak, their longest winning streak against the Tigers since the span between 1912 and 1916.

In the first half, the Crimson were hindered by two blown field goals by Anders Blewett of 37 and 31 yards. The 14-14 deadlock at the end of the half came after two scores each by Splithoff and Leiszler.

Harvard went ahead in the third quarter on a 25-yard scoring pass from Rose to Carl Morris. The drive was set up by a fumble by Princeton halfback Kyle Brandt at the Tigers 49.

Splithoff tied the game at 21 with 13:48 to play on a four-yard run, but then Rose rose to the occasion and marshaled a six-play, 68-yard drive to go ahead. The culminating play came on a 35-yard crossing pattern to tight end Chris Stakich, who struggled to stay inbounds before crossing the plane into the end zone.

Harvard topped the win off with a 10-play, 69-yard drive that ended on a eight-yard touchdown run by Leiszler with 3:18 to go.

There is now a five-way tie for first in the Ivies among Penn, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, and Harvard. The Crimson will face off against the Big Green Saturday at Alumni Field.

Yale 27, Pennsylvania 24

The Quakers continued to struggle on the road, failing to win their first away game of the year, as they fell to the Bulldogs 27-24. Yale's Eric Johnson pulled in two touchdown passes and compiled 172 receiving yards on 13 catches, leading the way for the Eli offense.

Johnson set a Yale school record with 1,712 career receiving yards. The previous mark of 1,554 was held by John Spagnola, who had an NFL career with the Eagles, Packers, and Seahawks.

Jason Feinberg opened up scoring with a 24-yard field goal, putting Penn (3-3, 2-1 Ivy) up 3-0 with 8:52 left. Johnson caught a 57-yard pass from Peter Lee on the next play from scrimmage, and was brought down on the Penn eight yard line. Three plays later Johnson grabbed a two-yard pass for the touchdown.

Two minutes later Yale's special teams came up big when Steve Ehikian got his hands on a Penn punt, and Scott Wagner recovered the ball in the end zone, giving Yale (5-1, 2-1) a 14-3 lead.

Penn's Gavin Hoffman wasn't going down easily though, as he helped Penn regain the lead by halftime on a 41-yard lob to Rob Milanese and a 1-yard keeper to make the score 17-14.

In the second half the Bulldogs controlled the ball well, chewing up 22 minutes with 44 plays. Two field goals by Mike Murawczyk of 20 and 19 yards extended Yale's lead in the final quarter.

Lee went 26 of 38 for 298 yards and two touchdowns, while his Penn counterpart, Hoffman, threw for 300-yards on 28 of 40 passes. Hoffman became Penn's all-time leading passer with 4,129 career yards.