Yale Looks To Big Three
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Yale football team (4-4, 2-3 Ivy), with two games left on the 2009 schedule, looks for an H-Y-P title with games against the Tigers (2-6, 1-4) and Crimson the next two weeks. This Saturday the Bulldogs are at Princeton Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff. This is the last of three straight Yale on YES games. The YES Network is found on many cable systems, DirecTV (631) and Verizon's FiOS service. Fans outside the footprint of YES Network can see a live stream on goprincetontigers.com and listen on WELI (AM-960, 960weli.com) and on WYBC (AM-1340, wybc.com).
One hundred and six years ago, a young rivalry featuring two of the venerable powers of the gridiron made history by playing in the first game captured on film. Thomas Edison's camera focused on Yale's 12-5 win at Princeton that November day, and the rivalry has developed into the second-longest in college football. This week marks the 132nd meeting, second only to the Lehigh-Lafayette (144) rivalry. Some Old Blue put more emphasis on this rivalry than THE Game. Yale, 16-17-1 at Princeton, leads 72-49-10 overall and has taken six of the last seven. The one Princeton win was the most painful, a 34-31 decision at the Bowl in 2006 that led to the two teams sharing the Ivy crown. However, Yale's 2005 victory, a come-from-behind game at Princeton, spoiled the Tigers' hopes for an Ivy title.
BEAR OFFENSE SOLVES BULLDOGS
Kyle Newhall-Caballero threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, and Brown rolled past one of the FCS's best defenses for nearly 500 yards in a 35-21 win over Yale last Saturday. Backup RB Spiro Theodhosi ran for a season-high (against Yale) 167 yards. The Elis had a solid (345 yards, 17 first downs) offensive peformance but had the ball five minutes less than the visitors.
BIG-PLAY SECOND QUARTER
Freshman RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) scored Yale's first points on a 41-yard screen pass (2nd longest Yale pass play of 2009) and run in the second quarter. Later in that frame, junior CB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) picked off a Brown pass that was deflected by LB Travis Henry (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.) and ran 77 yards for a TD, the fourth longest interception return in school history.
WITT HAS BIG DAY
Sophomore QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) had his best day as an Eli with 28 completions (Yale season-high) in 41 attempts for 285 yards. Witt, in his first year as a collegiate starter, connected with nine different receivers. He now has a 57.8 completion percentage while throwing seven TDs and as many interceptions.
Senior WR Reid Lathan (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who has been slowed by injury this fall, made his first catches of 2009. The speedy Bulldog caught three passes for 37 yards including a 20-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Two weeks ago, junior DB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) had a game-saving tackle late in the fourth quarter that stopped a Lion runner from scoring inside the five-yard line after a 75-yard gain. A week later he returned an interception against Brown 77 yards for a TD and had five tackles. He was Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week after the Columbia game; he also forced a fumble that he recovered to set up the winning score while making four tackles.
Senior TE/H-B John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.), who has 16 catches over the last two weeks, was Yale's offensive MVP for the second straight Saturday with nine catches for 74 yards.
Sophomore DB Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas) had a career-high seven solo tackles and eight overall stops. Dunham's block on Money's interception return allowed his teammate to reach the end zone on a 77-yard play. He is third on the team with 29 solos and 38 overall.
TWO-DEEP BEHIND CENTER
Sophomore Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) has four starts and has a team-high 989 yards and seven TDs. His most productive day was against Brown with 28 completions and 285 yards. Junior quarterback Brook Hart (State College, Pa.), who started four games, has a better completion percentage (60.2) and passing efficiency. Hart's career-best outing came in the win over Dartmouth when he completed 28 of 40 passes for 390 yards (6th best at Yale) and three TDs.
TIGERS FALL TO QUAKERS
Kyle Olson threw three touchdown passes to lead Penn to a 42-7 win over Princeton last Saturday. Olson was 20-for-32 for 238 yards.
Princeton got a two-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Wornham (18-34, 181) to Andrew Kerr (8-77) for its only score with 7:56 left in the second quarter.
Yale has been successful on all three of Tom Mante's (Westford, Mass.) on-side kicks this fall. Mante recovered the first one while Peter Balsam (Orland Park, Ill.), who had three catches and jumped on one of those Mante kicks last week, has the other two.
Tom Williams was named the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football last January and came to New Haven after spending two seasons as an assistant for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams has 11 seasons of college coaching experience. He is the 33rd Yale head football coach but just the third in the last 44 years.
Tom Williams takes part in three media events each week. Williams can be heard Monday nights on WYBC (AM-1340) from 8 to 8:30 on the Yale Sports Monday Show. The Yale segment of the weekly Ivy League media teleconference is 11:53 AM on Tuesdays, while he and some of his players are at the Yale Bookstore every Tuesday at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Press Conference, which can be seen a few hours later on sportingnewsct.com.
Tom Williams, off to a 4-4 start, has as many wins as the last two Yale coaches combined in their first seasons. The best debut campaign for a Yale head coach was the first, Walter Camp (13-0 and National Champs) in 1888. The next 20 coaches enjoyed comparable success in the early years of the sport. However, wins for new coaches in the later part of the 20th century did not come so easily. Two of the five Eli mentors since 1950 had better than .500 marks, Jordan Olivar (7-2 in 1952) and John Pont (6-3 in 1963). Herman Hickman went 4-5 in 1948, Carm Cozza was 3-6 in 1965 and Jack Siedlecki was 1-9 in 1997.
Sophomore LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) has sacks in the last two games... Holder and reserve QB Rich Scudellari (Saratoga, Calif.) got his first snaps of 2009 on the offense as a WR against Brown... Senior DT Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.) forced a fumble that was recovered by DB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.)... Senior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) leads the Blue with 3.8 yards per carry and three rushing TDs... Yale has won three of four on the road but is 1-3 at home... The Elis have not beat Princeton and Harvard in the same year since 1999.
LAST YEAR AT YALE BOWL
Yale, which has not allowed a Princeton TD the last two meetings, earned its first shutout of the Tigers since 1937 with a 14-0 victory in the rain at the Bowl. The Bulldogs turned a fumble recovery by SS Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.) and a interception by his brother, LB Bobby Abare '09, into both scores. WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) caught both of QB Brook Hart's (State College, Pa.) TD passes, from five and 12 yards, in the first half and then left the rest to the Yale defense which limited Princeton to 153 total yards and just 23 minutes of possession time. It was the Elis' first shutout since a 13-0 win over Dartmouth in 2005.
MEMORABLE Y-P MOMENTS
The ball burst after it was kicked during the first meeting in 1873 and it took 30 minutes to replace it... Princeton's James Haxall drop kicked a school-best 65-yard field goal in a 2-1 Tiger win in 1882... Playing both ways for the entire game, Yale's "Iron Men" ended Princeton's 15-game win streak with a 7-0 win in 1934 at New Jersey... Yale held the orange and black to one first down and minus-four yards rushing in a 20-14 Bulldog win at Princeton in 1945... The 1953 Bulldogs erased a 17-0 Princeton halftime lead and won 26-24... RB Don Gesicki '76 completed a 97-yard pass play to Gary Fencik at Princeton in 1975 in the longest pass play in Yale history as the Blue won 24-13... 1981 was the battle of Bob Holly (Princeton QB) vs. Rich Diana '82 (Yale RB). Holly, who scored the winning TD with 4 seconds left, threw for a school-record 501 yards while Diana set the Yale record with 222 rushing yards in a 35-31 Tiger win at Princeton... Kevin Moriarty '86 hauled in a 14-yard pass from Mike Curtin '86 with 5 ticks on the clock in Yale's 27-24 win in 1984... The 1995 Elis spoiled an undefeated season by winning at Princeton behind QB Chris Hetherington '96 (229 total offense)... The Bulldogs, who tied the game on a 22-yard TD pass from Alvin Cowan '05 to Chandler Henley '06 with no time left on the clock in the fourth quarter, won a double-OT game at Princeton in 2003 by recovering a fumble after Yale kicked a field goal.
HAASE LEADS ENDS
Senior A.J. Haase (Bonne Terre, Mo.) leads the Yale "tight ends" with 11 catches and two TDs (John Sheffield is listed as a TE/H-Back). Haase snared a 10-yard throw from Patrick Witt with 58 seconds left for the game-winner at Columbia. It was Haase's second career TD and one of the biggest for the Bulldogs in 2009. Haase, who has seven grabs over the last two weeks, finished with a career-best five for 75 yards at Columbia.
Ten Yale defensive players have double-digit solo tackles. Fifteen Yalies have combined for 34 total tackles for lost yardage. Seven different Bulldogs have combined for 12 QB sacks this fall; senior DT Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.) leads the Blue with three. Four different Elis, from three classes, have interceptions. Junior DB Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) has three, senior LB Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.), second on the Blue with 51 total tackles, and sophomore DB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.) have two picks each. Senior LB Max Newton (Great Meadows, N.J.) and junior DB Marcus Wallace (Germantown, Wis.) each intercepted their first collegiate pass this year. McCarthy (field goal) and LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) have the two Yale blocked kicks.
Junior Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.) was Yale's punt and kick return man for the first two weeks until suffering an injury. Freshman Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.), who may be the most talented newcomer in the league, took over for the next four games and picked up where Chirstodoulou left off until suffering an injury at Penn. Junior Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) got the nod for all returns at Columbia (148 all-purpose yards) and against Brown (198). He had a 20.0 average on five KOR in 2008.
ON THE GROUND
Five different Yale RBs have carries this fall. Senior Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) leads Yale with a 3.8 average and three TDs. Freshman Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) has a team-high 70 attempts and 234 net yards, while sophomore Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) has a pair of scoring runs and 11 catches.
NEWCOMERS MAKING THEIR MARK
It's unusual for a Yale football team to have so many newcomers making an impact. Five members of the class of 2013 are on the two-deep offensive depth chart, while two are on the defense. A pair of freshmen receivers have a combined 25 catches in seven games, by far the most ever for a Bulldog squad. To show how significant that offensive production is, consider Yale's career reception leader Ralph Plumb '05 had two total catches his freshman season while former NFL player Eric Johnson '01 caught four balls his rookie year. Allen Harris (Detroit, Mich.) established a Yale record for catches by a freshman in a game with five against Dartmouth and has seven this fall. Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) is second on the team with 18 grabs after equaling the Yale record with five grabs at Penn.
Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio), a senior LB who leads the team with 41 solo tackles and eight TFL, is the 132nd Yale football captain. He earned Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game honors at Lehigh after his 40-yard run (see photo) with a fake punt turned into the game's only points. He came to Yale as a talented RB but moved to defense when asked his freshman year. Rice, who has 169 total career tackles and six interceptions, started at CB the last three years before moving to LB this season. His father, Lou Rice, played defense for Harvard.
Senior P/PK Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.) leads the Ivy with a 40.8 punting average while the Elis are 14th in the nation in net punting. He was Ivy League Special Teams Player of the Week two of the first three weeks of 2009. He tied the Ivy League record with a 54-yard FG against Cornell on Sept. 26, while Mante had a 50-yard FG at Georgetown the week before. Mante now shares the league long FG mark with five others, but no kicker had reached from that distance since 1976. He is the only Ivy kicker ever to hit 50-yard field goals on consecutive Saturdays. Otis Guernsey drop kicked a 54-yarder for the Bulldogs in 1915. Mante, an NFL prospect, also has punts of 73 and 65 yards and he recovered one of his own on-side kicks. Mante was an All-Ivy selection at both positions last fall.
Tom Williams taped an interview from Yale with CNN that aired Nov. 4 on HLN as part of the show "What Matters"... Two Yale assistant coaches spent time last summer at NFL training camps as intern coaches. Kefense Hynson, who works with Yale's receivers, was with Oakland. Ikaika Malloe, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Defensive Coordinator, worked with Jacksonville... Mike Sanford, the mentor for the Yale TEs and a former Boise State QB, is the son of UNLV football head coach Mike Sanford... Student assistant coach Isaiah DeLeon-Mares, who worked at the Warrick Dunn Foundation, also worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last summer.
Yale senior Isaiah DeLeon-Mares has been a student assistant coach ever since he recovered from the post-concussion syndrome that ended his football career as a sophomore. DeLeon-Mares has taken "coaching" to a new level with his outreach efforts for the Black Men's Union. He developed the curriculum, prospected at local high schools and devised a plan to recruit and train good mentors who would help area youth. "We hope to use our position, our lives and our influence to help mold these young men. We push them to be better in all aspects of life," said DeLeon-Mares, who also worked on the September presidential motorcade in New York City and got to meet President Obama.
OTHER IVY GAMES LAST WEEK
Gino Gordon ran for two touchdowns and Collie Winters passed for another as Harvard remained unbeaten in the Ivy League with a 34-14 over Columbia... Greg Patton rushed for 243 yards and two touchdowns and broke Dartmouth's single-game rushing record in a 20-17 double overtime win over Cornell on Saturday.
OPENING DAY FOR KENNEY, JENSEN
The Kenney Center and Jensen Plaza are finished and officially opened last Saturday at Yale Bowl and the Class of '54 Field. These two additions, to be dedicated the morning of the Nov. 21 Yale-Harvard game, constitute the final phase of the $30 million restoration of the facility.
SNAP WITH SPIRAL
Senior DT Matt Kelleher (Southington, Conn.) has handled all the long snapping with great accuracy and timing this year. Kelleher, the former Connecticut State Player of the Year as a QB, moved to defense his third year at Yale after injuries prevented him from taking any offensive snaps. He was a starter on defense last year but an injury this fall has limited him to snapping duties. NFL teams are always looking for versatile players with size and skill, especially if they can snap.
FATHER OF FOOTBALL
For the 10th straight season, the Walter Camp Football Foundation honors Yale's game MVP as the Walter Camp Yale Player of the Game. This award is handed out both at home and on the road. Walter Camp (class of 1880), commonly known as the father of American football, captained two Yale teams and coached five others. He compiled a 67-2-0 record and won three national titles as coach. Senior RB Jordan Farrell (Orland Park, Ill.) earned the first award in 2009 with a 5.4 average per carry and two scores at Georgetown. Week No. 2 went to senior PK/P Tom Mante (Westford, Mass.), who tied the Yale record with a 54-yard FG and punted a Yale record 12 times with six inside the Cornell 20-yard line. Week three and four went to QB Brook Hart (State College, Pa.), who came off the bench to complete 13 of 17 passes against Lafayette before throwing for 390 yards in his first start of 2009 against Dartmouth. Captain Paul Rice (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) earned the honor at Lehigh with the game-winning TD and five tackles. Tim Handlon (Valparaiso, Ind.) made 11 total tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass to get the nod at Penn. Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) was the clear choice at Columbia with 148 all-purpose yards, a game-saving tackle and a key forced fumble and recovery. John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) was named the winner after nine catches against Brown.
Eight former Yale football players are working in the game this fall, either in the college or pro ranks. Mike McCaskey '65, chairman of the Chicago Bears, Oakland assistant Don Martin '71, Buffalo head coach Dick Jauron '73, Bob Wallace '78 (Executive V.P. and General Council, St. Louis Rams) and New England assistant coach Pat Graham '01 are the Bulldogs in the NFL. Bob Shoop '88, defensive coordinator at William & Mary, Merchant Marine Academy offensive coordinator Kyle Metzler '02 and Bobby Abare '09, linebackers coach at Wagner, work at colleges.
H-BACK AND A TIGHT END
Six-foot-2, 235-pound senior John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.) leads the team with a career-high 52 catches and 495 yards and is 18th in the nation with 6.50 grabs per game. Only Brown WR Buddy Farnham (58) has more catches than Sheffield this fall. Sheffield can be found in the backfield, in the slot, next to a tackle on the line or split out wide. He has often been referred to as an H-Back (don't confuse it with HB for halfback), also known as a power back, which is a hybrid combining the TE and FB positions. Sheffield has 117 career catches (5th at Yale), while one of his two rushing attempts was a lateral pass that turned into a seven-yard TD against Penn in 2008.
BULLDOGS LOVE BOWL
Yale is 364-193-26 overall in 583 games played at the Bowl. The Elis are 124-75-4 in Ivy games. Yale has had seven perfect and 11 undefeated seasons in the Bowl since it opened in 1914.
Three members of the Yale coaching staff have ties to Hawaii, and Tom Williams has instituted Hawaiain Fridays in the football office. Any staffers caught without a Hawaiian style shirt on a Friday on the third floor of Ray Tompkins House is subject to a one dollar fine. Sophomore OL Gabriel Fernandez (Honolulu) is the first Yale football player from Hawaii in 10 years. WR Jimmy Bennett '00 (Honolulu), who played on the 1999 Ivy League championship squad, was the last Eli from the 50th state.
Seven current Bulldogs have brothers who play or played Yale football. Current Yale football brother combinations include junior OLB Sean and freshman QB Scott Williams (Portland, Ore.) and junior DB Marcus and senior OLB Jack Wallace (Germantown, Wis.).
COUNTRY BOY WITH GIFT OF GAB
Can you picture a 290-pound guy in bib overalls running an auction? If you could, it might be freshman OL Jeff Marrs (Garden Prairie, Ill.), who grew up on a farm of about 2,000 acres near Rockford, Ill. Marrs, his brother and grandfather are all auctioneers. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound former all-state lineman is part of a young offensive line.
SCOTT ON PATH
Yale senior RB Brandon Scott (Chatsworth, Calif.), a biomedical engineering major, has enjoyed his first varsity snaps this fall with five carries for 17 yards. Scott has also enjoyed working on his career over the summer. This past break he worked at a drug delivery research lab that specialized in researching anti-cancer drugs.
A survey of this fall's squad revealed interesting character traits. Here are the results of the player voting:
Most Humorous: H-B John Sheffield (Portland, Ore.)
Most Intelligent: QB Rich Scudellari (Saratoga, Calif.)
Most Vocal: DB Larry Abare (Acton, Mass.)
Most Likely to be US President: DL Patrick Moran (Alexandria, Va.)
Unusual Hobby: RB Rodney Reynolds (Mt. Vernon, N.Y.), gospel-rap singing
Best Singer: WR Lars Knudsen (Whitefish Bay, Wis.)
Strongest: RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.)
LAST JV GAME
The Yale junior varsity football team ran for 283 yards, including 184 from freshman RB Taylor Stib (Scotsdale, Ariz), en route to a 34-26 win over Bridgton Academy on Nov. 1 at Clint Frank Field. Stib had touchdown runs of seven and 79 yards. He also caught three passes for 40 yards and completed a 56-yard pass to sophomore WR Chris Morris (Dallas, Texas). Freshman RB Javi Sosa (Miami, Fla.) added 103 yards, while freshman QB Dez Duron completed 10 of 23 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bulldogs have begun a tradition befitting the school responsible for shaping the game of football. Prior to every home game, Coach Williams gathers the team under the Walter Camp Field Memorial to remind the Bulldogs of their proud heritage before they walk with the Yale Band and Bulldog fans to the Bowl. Walter Camp '1880, who coached the Blue (67-2) for five seasons and was instrumental in shaping the rules as we know them, is commonly referred to as the father of American football.
NEWS/Talk 960 WELI broadcasts all Yale football games on AM (960) and online at weli.com. Yale football coaching legend Carm Cozza, a 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, is in his 12th season as the color commentator for WELI broadcasts. Ron Vaccaro '04 returns for his fourth year as play-by-play announcer. Vaccaro is a two-time Emmy Award winner for his work with NBC Olympics, his primary employer since 2004. His on-air resume also includes the 2008 Beijing Olympics for NBC and the 2009 World Swimming Championships for Universal Sports. Sideline reporter Alex Goldberger '08, engineer Tom Ivanovich and spotter Kevin Guarino add the finishing touches to the broadcasts.
Greg Hall '77, a former Yale tight end with three varsity letters who was part of two Ivy League titles, will join Carm Cozza and Ron Vaccaro in the WELI radio booth for the third quarter this Saturday. John Pagliaro '77 (Georgetown), Greg Burkus '83 (Cornell), Will Conroy '04 (Lafayette), Tom Doyle '75 (Dartmouth), Chandler Henley '06 (Lehigh), Stephen Schmalhofer '08 (Penn), Alex Faherty '05 (Columbia) and Erik Jensen '63 have all been guest commentators this fall.
WYBC (AM 1340) also covers each game. WFAN Radio personality Bob Heussler, WYBC's Director of Football Radio Broadcasts, and Anthony Brooks '03 MM, the station's sports coordinator, lead a talented group of Yale students who can also be heard on wybc.com. Yale football is also included in WYBC's Monday night sports lineup from Lansdowne Bar & Grill (179 Crown Street). At 8 pm, Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, makes a weekly appearance on "Yale Sports Monday."
BULLDOGS AT YORKSIDE
Yale coaches and athletes will frequent Yorkside Restaurant (York Street, New Haven) Monday nights from 8-9 for WYBC Radio's sports lineup. At 8, Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow ‘54 Head Coach of Yale Football, makes a weekly appearance on "Yale Sports Monday" with Anthony Brooks'03 MM and Sam Purdy ‘10. Athletes and coaches from all sports, including football, will be interviewed each week on "Yale Sports Monday" from 8-9.
Another way to listen to Yale games live is by calling TEAMLINE at 800.846.4700 and using Yale's code 5682.
YALE ON TV
Eight Yale football games will air live on TV this fall, including four of five home games. Yale on YES is back for a second season with three straight Ivy League games (Columbia, Brown, Princeton) on the network of the New York Yankees. Chris Shearn, former Princeton and NFL star Ross Tucker and ex-Yale standout Jack Ford call the action this week at Princeton. The YES Network, available nationally on DirecTV, Verizon's FiOS service and on select cable systems, is the country's No. 1 regional sports network. Two contests (Cornell, Harvard) will be broadcast on Versus, the national cable home of the National Hockey League that is in more than 73 million homes. Other Yale games aired in 2009 include Penn (Comcast), Lafayette (RCN) and Lehigh (Service Electric 2).
Release filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director