Back in Ivy Play

Jordan Haynes. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Jordan Haynes. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Heading to Hanover Saturday


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) and Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1), both coming off close losses last week, renew their ancient gridiron rivalry at modernized Memorial Field (13,000) this Saturday at 1:30 pm. The Bulldogs hope to stay perfect in league play while the Big Green try avoid opening 2010 Ivy play with consecutive defeats. The contest can be seen live on, while audio is available on WELI Radio (AM-960),, and on Sirius Satellite (130).

This is the 94th meeting between the Elis and the Big Green with Yale leading the series 51-36-6. Dartmouth played at Yale Bowl for 46 consecutive years (1924-1970) because the crowds at New Haven made it more profitable for both schools and there was no major highway connecting the two. Twelve of the first 15 contests ended in shutouts for Yale, the Blue has also had the recent upper hand by winning the last seven, including three at Memorial Field.

A blocked punt (for a TD), field goal and PAT were all big in Albany's 23-20 win over Yale last Saturday at the Bowl. The Elis' defense allowed just 276 total yards and 14 first downs but the other units did not enjoy the same success in Yale's first loss of the year. Junior LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) led the Blue with 11 total tackles, while sophomore Will McHale had eight during a second straight solid defensive outing. Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.), who was responsible for two of the three home team scores, caught a 24-yard TD pass from Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) and ran 28 yards for a score off a fake field goal. The other Bulldog TD was a 16-yard strike from Witt (21-46, 231) to Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.).   "We made too many mistakes today," said Tom Williams, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football. "We had a lot of maladies in the kicking game, and we sputtered a little offensively … Albany is a good football team, but we didn't play our best today."

Yale held the Danes to 116 rushing yards and 160 passing… Twenty-one Bulldogs made solo tackles while five players combined to make six for lost yardage… Yale and Albany combined to convert just seven of 31 third downs while having 15 penalties for 120 yards… The Danes had the ball for 12:20 of the fourth quarter while protecting a lead… The Elis were held to 81 rushing yards.

Dartmouth recovered from a 14-point, second-half deficit to tie the game at 28, only to fall to the defending Ivy League champs in OT last week at Franklin Field, 35-28. The Quakers (2-1, 1-0 Ivy) amassed 427 yards of offense to defeat the Big Green for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings, while Dartmouth lost its fourth overtime contest in its last five dating back to the 2007 season. Junior QB Conner Kempe (17-32, 239) matched a career-high by tossing three TD passes. More than half of those yards (134) went to junior Michael Reilly, who snared five throws including the game-tying score near the end of the fourth quarter. Junior TE John Gallagher hauled in a pair of passes in the end zone as well. Penn scored on the opening possession of OT and then held Dartmouth, which won the toss and elected to defend, on four downs.

Yale's rushing defense ranks third among FCS teams with an 80.33 average, while the Elis are 17th in sacks (2.67) per game. Both stats are tops among Ivy schools.

For the third straight game, junior LB Jordan Haynes (23-9-32) led the Bulldogs in total tackles with 8-3-11 against Albany. The National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete from Folsom, Calif., leads Yale in tackles and recovered fumbles (2) in his first year as a starter. Haynes also scored Yale's first TD of the year on a four-yard fumble return late in the first quarter on Sept. 18.

Brook Hart threw for 390 yards, including three touchdowns, to lead Yale to a 38-7 victory over Dartmouth. The longest play of the Yale season happened that day, a 73-yard touchdown pass to WR Chris Smith. DB Geoff Dunham led the Blue with six tackles. The Elis had 25 first downs compared to nine by the visitors.

Junior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas), whose parents are both commercial pilots, leads a passing attack that rates seventh in the FCS with 290 yards per game. He threw for 231 last week with two TDs and now has five scoring tosses in 2010 and 13 for his career. Witt, who also ran for two TDs this season, was named Ivy League co-Player of the Week (35-55, 407) on Sept. 20 after he threw for 400 yards (6th time it has happened at Yale) and scored the winner against the Hoyas. He is also top five among Ivy QBs in total offense and efficiency. A backup at Nebraska in 2008, Witt started six games in 2009 and led the team with 1,449 yards and eight TDs.

Witt in 2010
Game        Att-Com, Yds    TD    Int
Georgetown    35-55, 407    2    1
Cornell        18-32, 232    1    2
Albany        21-46, 231    2    1
Totals        74-133, 870    5    4
Jordan Forney, the senior WR from Bloomington, Ind., scored two of Yale's three TDs while hauling in a game-high four passes for 65 yards. Forney was holding for a field goal on the last play of the first half when he took off and ran 28 yards for a score. That followed a 24-yard TD catch. His 14 catches are tied for the team lead, his 179 yards are second. Forney (career: 30 GP, 72-895, 9 TD) needs 14 catches to break into the top 10 on Yale's career leader list.

Yale's QB connected with eight different receivers on Saturday, nine overall this fall. Five different Elis have one TD catch. Senior WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.), who also has a team-best 14 catches, tops the squad with 273 receiving yards. He had a career-best nine catches for 124 yards against Georgetown. Sophomore WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) and junior RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) have 12 grabs each. Senior TE Chris Blohm (San Francisco, Calif.) played in every 2009 game but did not make a catch. He entered this fall with one career reception but has now snared 10 passes for 95 yards.

Gio Christodoulou has two career punt returns for TDs and ranks among the top 10 at Yale in career punt (424, 4th) and kickoff (553, 10th) return yardage.

Patrick Witt has been sacked twice in three games; Yale gave up 32 sacks in 10 games last fall. The offensive line has improved in 2010. Two seniors, two juniors and a freshman got the starts last week on the offensive line. RT Wes Gavin (San Diego, Calif., 6-5, 275) made his second career start while LG Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300) made his third. Senior center Jake Koury (Dublin, Ohio, 6-2, 270), junior RG Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) and senior LT Alex Golubiewski (Green Bay, Wis., 6-6, 280) all started games in 2009.

Tom McCarthy '10 (Chester, N.J.), who battled a pre-season injury but started the season opener, missed the second half of Georgetown and all of the last two games with another injury. He has been one of the leaders on the defensive line the last two years. The second-team All-Ivy pick last fall was Yale's MVP of the defensive line. McCarthy registered four sacks and eight tackles for loss. He earned a medical hardship from his freshman year and is now the fifth Yale captain since 2001 who has taken a fifth year of eligibility.

Despite a tough Albany game, Alex Thomas (17-30) leads the Ancient Eight with 81 rushing yards per game this fall and has shown why he is the most prolific (8,279 yards, 114 TDs) runner in Connecticut High School history. The junior RB from Ansonia, who scored three times in an opening day win, has 368 yards in his last four games. His 124 yards (matched career-high vs. Harvard '09) and 6.9 average were game-highs at Cornell. Thomas, who added 15 pounds of muscle over the summer, is second on the team with 12 catches.

Senior P/PK Alex Barnes (Chesterfield, Mo.) has handled all the punting (35.6) duties and most of the placekicking (0-4 on FGs) opportunities this season.
San Diego natives OL Wes Gavin and RB Deon Randall, WR Cameron Sandquist (Redmond, Wash.), DT John Oppenheimer (Menlo Park, Calif.) and DB Nick Okano (Los Angeles, Calif.) are the class of 2014 Elis who have seen varsity action this fall. Gavin is the only starter among the newcomers.   

•    The most points given up by a Dartmouth football team were 113 in a shutout loss to Yale in 1884.
•    Yale's five TD passes in 1968 were the most ever scored on Dartmouth.
•    The Elis surrendered the most passing yards ever by a Big Green offense with 419 in 1992.
•    Yale allowed the most completions for a Big Green offense with 38 in 2001
•    Green tossed a school-record nine interceptions against Yale in 1939, while Dartmouth notched a school record with six fumbles recovered against the Blue in 1953.

The Yale offense is 9th in the FCS with better than 432 yards a game… The Blue has outscored opponents 81-65 and has a 10-point edge in second quarters, seven in the fourth… The Elis are 8-for-12 on red zone trips… Yale has seven sacks and three players have two each… The Carm Cozza Complex (Yale football locker room) will be dedicated on Nov. 13 prior to the game against Princeton… The "Y" painted on the center of the Class of '54 Field measures 60 x 60 feet… Yale and Dartmouth will play at the Yale Bowl in 2011 and 2012 as part of the league schedule balancing… DT Greg Burkus '83 was inducted into the New Haven Gridiron Hall of Fame on Sept. 23. He and his brother, Ken '75, sponsored the 2010 Yale Football Golf Outing.

Smith is the most common surname in America, so it's no surprise that Yale has three (Caleb, Chris, McConnell) from different classes on its roster. All three are on offense, two are WRs (Chris, McConnell) and Caleb is an end. Chris and Caleb (West Orange, N.J.) played in both games this fall, McConnell (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) is looking for his first varsity action.

Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 32 years in the NFL playing and coaching, is the secondary coach for the Philadelphia Eagles… TE Nate Lawrie '04, who played with UFL Sacramento last year, signed with the Eagles on Aug. 9 but was released on Sept. 3... Jeff Mroz '05 played QB in one 2010 game for the AFL Alabama Vipers… Pat Graham '01 is an assistant coach for the New England Patriots… Michael McDaniel '06 is an assistant in the UFL for San Francisco.

For the 13th consecutive season, all 10 Yale Football games can be heard live on New Haven's News/Talk 960 WELI-AM and free online at Ron Vaccaro '04 (play-by-play) and Carm Cozza (color) have the call, which can be heard on AM radio throughout Connecticut and across Long Island Sound, for their sixth season together.

Every third quarter this season, a different former Yale player will join the WELI Radio broadcast. P.J. Collins '04 (Georgetown), Rick Fehling '74 (Cornell), Jay Pilkerton '09 (Albany), Kevin Kelly '78 (Dartmouth), Joe Walland '00 (Fordham), Bobby Fernandez '75 (Columbia), Matt Polhemus '08 (Penn), Chuck Mercein '65 and Scott Rooth '77 (Princeton) and Bill Primps '71 (Harvard) are the 2010 lineup.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football at Yale, is in his second season at Yale and his second as a head coach overall. Williams is 6-7 overall with the Bulldogs and is facing Dartmouth for the second time. He came to New Haven after two seasons as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars and is in his 13th season of college coaching. Williams has worked at his alma mater, Stanford (under current Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens), Hawaii, Washington and San Jose State. He has been part of four Bowl Game appearances and two Bowl victories.

All six home games this season will be video streamed live (pay per view) on through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza providing the call.

The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field at 7:30 a.m. (until approx. 9:30) Tuesday and Thursdays, and 7:00 on Wednesdays behind the baseball stadium. Fridays are walk-through days either at Yale Bowl or on the road and times vary. Players and coaches are available for interviews with working media following the practice if there are no class conflicts. All schedules are subject to change.

Broadcasts of Yale football, along with several other sports during the year, are available on the Yale student station, WYBC, and can be heard free on-line at Sports director LeRoy Cole '12 heads each broadcast.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at the world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday (Sept. 14 through Nov. 16) at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Press Conference. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn ( if you would like to attend.

Three of Yale's seven league games will air live on TV. Yale on YES is back for 2010 with three (Fordham, Penn, Columbia) straight home games that can be seen live on many cable systems as well as DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. The Yale-Harvard game on Nov. 20 at Boston is the Ivy League Game of the Week on Versus, the national sports cable TV company.

A former Yale kicker (Brian Clarke '74) became a famous (General Hospital, Eight is Enough) TV actor, and more recently ex-Eli receiver (Kip Pardue '98) had a starring role as a QB in the hit movie Remember the Titans.   Sophomore QB Dez Duron (Shreveport, La.) has been singing since he was two and might follow in that mode. He and his siblings sang for preaching tapes mailed by their father. Their mom wrote Christian songs with videos and tapes for kids called "Best Buddies." Duron, at 11, and his siblings were signed to a Christian recording label. They toured and made a CD. Duron got more involved in sports and stopped singing with his family. He recently began making his own music, including the recording of two songs that can be heard on Myspace. There are also two youtube videos.

Junior RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) and Ansonia native John Coughlin (Yale Football Office) spoke to 125 fourth graders last week at John G Prendergast Elementary School in Ansonia... Junior CB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.), co-chair of the Yale Black Men's Union Community Outreach Committee, is in his third year of outreach work. Baldwin is responsible for creating the lesson plans and the calendar of events, working to promote personal growth and development through educational activities. "We try to do this through exposing the mentees to new ideas and experiences and, most importantly, through building lasting relationships between mentor and mentee.  We work toward trying to help these high school kids become young men.  In the Black Men's Union we measure success by how many lives we impact.  Because our mentoring program puts us in a position to impact lives to a great extent, we take that responsibility very seriously," said Baldwin (31-8-39 last year with two interceptions), who has mentored over 30 kids. Classmate Jordan Haynes works closely with Baldwin on the project.

Three different freshmen QBs threw TD passes but the Yale JV team fell 39-20 to a talented Milford Academy team on Oct. 3. Henry Furman (Portland, OR) connected with freshman TE Trevor Peterson (Camino, CA) for a 20-yard score, Kerr Taubler (Fresno, CA) hit junior WR McConnell Smith (Chagrin Falls, OH) with a 12-yard touchdown pass, and John Whitelaw (Hinsdale, IL) found freshman WR Cameron Sandquist (Redmond, WA) on a 44-yard strike. Junior LB Ben Ashcraft (Charlotte, NC) had an interception along with a fumble recovery and sophomore LB Dylan Drake (Plantation, FL) recorded two sacks. The Yale JV team returns to action again on Oct. 31 against Bridgton Academy. Here are the three remaining games.

Date        Opponent                      Time
Oct. 31      Bridgton Academy        Noon
Nov. 7       Army                             Noon
Nov. 19     at Harvard                    1:00

Senior OLB Jesse Reising (Decatur, Ill.), second on the team with 18 tackles after three starts, was home for the summer taking classes to get his flight license before he completes Marine Corps Officer Candidate School next year. The class valedictorian at Eisenhower High School, he participated in various community outreach activities through his Yale fraternity, including events to raise money to fight prostate cancer, Relay for Life, and making care packages for Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. Reising (3.75 GPA, economics/political science), Yale's semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award), recently spent time in Washington, DC, working closely with veterans' service organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

This season marks the 50th anniversary of Yale's last perfect football squad. The 1960 Elis, who shared the Lambert Trophy with Navy, were Ivy champions and ranked 14th in the final Associated Press poll, went 9-0. They will be honored during the weekend of the Princeton game at the Bowl.

Here are the weekly league or conference awards garnered by Bulldogs:

Ivy League Offensive Player of Week: QB Patrick Witt (9/20)
Ivy League Honor Roll: LB Jordan Haynes & WR Chris Smith (9/20); RB Alex Thomas (9/27); WR Jordan Forney (10/3)
ECAC Offensive Player of Week: QB Patrick Witt (9/20)

The annual survey of Bulldogs produced the anticipated results; Yale is a team full of leaders who produced as much off the field as they did on it. Here is the 201 breakdown.

81     players were captains of their high school football team
55     players were captains of another sport in high school
57     players were a national honors society member
 8     players were class president at their high school
 8     players were student body president at their high school
11     players were class valedictorian at their high school
 2     players were class salutatorian at their high school

The following Yalies have distinguished themselves according to a vote by their teammates.

DB Josh Grizzard (Jr, Zebulon, N.C.):          most humorous
DB Geoff Dunham (Jr, Dallas, Texas):         most intelligent
DB Adam Money (Sr, Whiteland, Ind.):       most vocal leader (not captain)
LB Jesse Reising (Sr, Decatur, Ill.):            most likely to be U.S. President
QB Dez Duron (So, Shreveport, La.):         most interesting activity (musician)
                                                                  best singer
RB Alex Thomas (Jr, Ansonia, Conn.):         strongest player (pound-for-pound)
WR Jordan Forney (Sr, Bloomington, Ind.):     most involved in community outreach

High on the facility wish list of Tom Williams was moving his team from multiple rooms at the Smilow Field Center to one large locker area. That wish came to fruition in the form of the Carm Cozza Complex. A dressing area designed by ProZone Lockers and meeting rooms for coaches and players highlight the complex that will also include a shrine to the hall of fame former Yale head coach.

"Hawaiian Fridays" are the rule in the Yale Football Office. Show up without a Hawaiian shirt and you risk a fine. Three coaches (Tom Williams, Ikaika Malloe, Doug Semones) have worked in high school, college or pro football on the island while three players, Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu), Kolu Buck (Kaneole) and Jake Semones (Haleiwa), grew up there.

The Yale Bowl may be in West Haven, but the press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices and salad on home Saturdays. Rather than interrupting your work with a lunch at halftime, the food is now served on its arrival before kickoff.


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director