2-0 Ivy Showdown at the Bowl

Brook Hart. (photo by Kevin McCarthy)
Brook Hart. (photo by Kevin McCarthy)

Yale Takes On Penn Saturday

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Welcome to the beginning of the Ancient Eight stretch run. The two Ivy teams that are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play square off Saturday at Yale Bowl on the Class of 1954 Field. Yale, coming off a win at home over Fordham, and No. 20 Penn, which beat Columbia on Saturday, kick at noon in the second straight week of Yale on YES. In addition to the TV broadcast on the YES Network (DirecTV 631), you can hear the game on WELI Radio (AM-960), weli.com and wybc.com.

The Quakers are ranked No. 20 in the latest Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Poll, while the Elis received 15 votes. Penn's defense, which allows the fewest (69) rushing yards in the country and is the Ivy's top overall unit, matches up against a Yale offense that was without its top two runners last week but still leads the league with 410 yards of offense per game.

            Team Averages
OFFENSE                   Y        P
Rushing Yards        143.4        213.2
Passing Yards        267.0        157.2
Total Offense         410.4        370.4
Scoring                   22.2        24.4

DEFENSE                   Y        P
Rushing Yards        93.0        69.2
Passing Yards        229.6        180.2
Total Defense        322.6        249.4
Scoring                   18.2        17.4

Yale leads the series against the Quakers 44-32-1, though Penn has dominated in recent years, winning 14 of the last 18 meetings. The rivals have split the last six games at New Haven. The Blue has won every contest when scoring over 21 points except for a 48-30 Penn victory in 1972 and 2003's 34-31 OT decision. Three of the last seven meetings have gone to OT.

Chris Dooley (Massapequa, N.Y.) got a hand on a 23-yard field goal attempt midway through the fourth quarter that helped the Yale football team preserve a 7-6 win over Fordham at Yale Bowl and the Class of 1954 Field. Dooley, a sophomore DT, registered his team's first blocked kick as the Bulldogs won a second straight game and improved to 4-1 after finishing off the non-league portion of the 2010 schedule. Fordham PK Patrick Murray, who gave the Rams a 6-0 lead, had already connected on field goals from 45 and 38 yards when he set up for the potential winner. The Rams' defense and a blustery wind kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard until the first play of the fourth quarter. Brook Hart (State College, Pa), who was 15-for-29 with 227 yards, found WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) along the left sideline. Forney, who caught the ball around the 15, broke a few tackles and dove into the end zone for a 29-yard scoring play. "We ran a crossing pattern and Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) took the safety with him," said Forney. "Brook [Hart] made a great throw and I got good blocking down field." The Bulldogs, playing without injured starters at quarterback, running back (first and second string) and offensive line (2), outgained the Rams 317 to 308 but converted just three of 14 third downs. Yale sophomore Javi Sosa (Miami, Fla.) led all runners with 74 yards on 24 carries. Fordham (2-5), which has lost four straight close games, was led by the passing of Blake Wayne (25-42, 219) who also led his team with 54 rushing yards. Yale junior LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.), who recovered the game's only fumble, led all tacklers with nine solo stops and 12 overall. SS Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) and FS Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas) each had interceptions for the Blue while DTs Jake Stoller (Shaker Heights, Ohio) and Reed Spiller (Portsmouth, N.H.) notched sacks.

Penn scored on its opening drive last Saturday and never looked back in a 27-13 win over Columbia at Franklin Field. Sophomore RB Brandon Colavita rushed for 103 yards as the Quakers outgained the Lions 281-44 on the ground and passed just five times all afternoon. Penn opened with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a QB Billy Ragone seven-yard touchdown scamper, while Columbia went 59 yards in 12 plays on its first drive and got three points. On a critical play at the end of the first quarter, the Quaker defense turned momentum to the home team for the remainder of the half. Senior DL Brian Wing got to Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett and forced a fumble that Drew Goldsmith scooped up and ran 25 yards for a score. That put Penn up 14-3 with 26 ticks left in the opening quarter. Penn safety Matt Hamscher, who sacked Brackett twice for a loss of 14 yards and earned Ivy Defensive Player of the Week honors, led a Quaker defense that held the highest scoring offense in the Ivy League nearly three touchdowns below its scoring average.

Senior QB Brook Hart, making his first start since week seven of the 2009 season, threw for 227 yards and was sacked just once on a windy day at the Bowl. His longest connection was a 47-yard throw to Chris Smith. Hart completed all three passing attempts on the drive that ended with his 29-yard scoring play to Jordan Forney in the fourth quarter. He shared (4 games) the starting duties last year and then took spring ball off to pitch for the Yale baseball team.

Sophomore WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) led all players last Saturday with 102 all-purpose yards. He had a team-high five catches for 76 yards, including a game-best 47-yarder, and had a kickoff return for 26 yards. Smith leads Yale with 23 catches in five games.

Alex Barnes (Chesterfield, Mo.) had taken every punt this season, and had even boomed one of his kicks 50 yards that was downed on the one-yard line against Fordham. After making Yale's first four punts last Saturday, Barnes suffered an injury and was not available on the Elis' last possession. So with time running down and the Bulldogs in need of a big kick, freshman Greg Carlsen (Orlando, Fla.) trotted out for his first collegiate snap. Not many people noticed the significance of the moment, even after the Rams nearly blocked the kick that traveled a season-high 55 yards and led to the Elis running out the clock.

Greg Carlsen was a freshman at the University of Florida last year and did not try out for the football team. He began missing the game while attending UF contests. That's when he decided to send his video around to some schools and see if anyone was interested in his services. Carlsen, who was No. 1 out of 702 in his high school class, owns his school's record for most punts (67) and yardage (2,407) in a season. He was a first-team all-county and all-metro punter for a two-time regional champion and a state runner-up squad in the football crazy Sunshine State.  

Two tough defenses went to battle in the rain at Franklin Field a year ago, and the game was determined in a span of less than two minutes late in the first quarter. A field goal and an interception return for a touchdown gave Penn a 9-0 win. The Bulldogs managed to get just 59 offensive plays with 163 total yards and 10 first downs. Brook Hart got the start (8-13, 56 yards, 2 int) and was replaced in the fourth quarter by Patrick Witt (8-15, 82).

2-0 IVY
Every league game is important, but winning the first two Ivy games does not mean a championship. Yale won its first two Ivy games for the fourth time in six years but the first since 2007. One (2006) of those four resulted in a league title. Penn has gone 2-0 in five of the last six seasons with only a 2009 championship.

Yale's rushing defense ranks seventh among FCS teams with a 93-yard average, while the Elis are 14th in scoring defense (18.2). The Blue is third in both categories among Ivy schools.

Senior Shane Bannon is Yale's H-back, the guy who can block, catch passes and run with the ball. He had a career-high six catches at Hanover and snared two last week. Bannon now has 10 catches for 78 yards this fall. His first career carry resulted in a TD at Princeton in 2009, his first catch went for a score against Georgetown in 2008. Bannon, who nearly had to rule out playing in 2010 because of an injury, has not missed a practice in two years.

Senior SS Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) had a strong showing against the Rams with an interception, two pass breakups and a downed punt on the one-yard line. He is the active career interception leader for Yale with seven, including two (77 vs. Brown '09, 60 vs. Georgetown '08) taken back for scores. Money is a 2009 first-team All-Ivy pick who needs two more interceptions to crack the school's top 10 career list. He has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.46 GPA (biology major) and has been interviewing at medical schools this fall.

A pair of fleet-footed offensive players from Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami, Fla., has played big roles the last two weeks. Senior WR Gio Christodoulou had eight catches over the two games and is second on the team with 23 grabs. Sophomore RB Javi Sosa had 50 big yards against Dartmouth in relief and then got his first career start last week (24-74). His first career TD came on a seven-yard run at Hanover.

Gio Christodoulou, who had a career-best nine catches for 124 yards against Georgetown on opening day, has two career punt returns for TDs and ranks among the top 10 at Yale in career punt (460, 3rd) and kickoff (553, 10th) return yardage. He passed Gary Fencik '76 (443) for the No. 3 spot on the Yale career punt return list.

Junior LB Jordan Haynes (34-18-52) led all tacklers last Saturday with nine solos and 12 (season-high for Yale) overall. He also recovered the game's only fumble as the Yale defense held a Fordham offense averaging 24 points to just a pair of field goals. Haynes has led the Bulldogs in total tackles in four of five games this fall. 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.

2007: Yale's goal-line stand followed a TD run by Mike McLeod '09 in the third OT of an Eli win... 2006: Alan Kimball's '08 35-yard field goal in OT gave Yale a 17-14 victory at New Haven... 2003: Playing its first modern OT game, Yale fell to Penn at Franklin Field (34-31) after erasing a 31-10 deficit. The Blue tied the game with 32 seconds left but had a FG attempt blocked in the extra session... 1991: Nick Crawford '92 rushed for a Yale QB record 204 yards in a 31-12 Bulldog win at New Haven... 1987: WR Bob Shoop '88 capped off a miraculous comeback at Yale Bowl with a last-second TD reception in a 28-22 Yale victory... 1969: TV star Jack Ford `72 intercepted a Penn pass and went 77 yards for a score in a 21-3 Yale win... 1958: Herb Hallas '59 set a school record with a 94-yard punt return, but it was the only points in a 30-6 Quaker win.

Yale has scored game-winning TDs as time expired in the fourth quarter twice this season. Patrick Witt dove into the end zone from a yard out to erase a deficit against Georgetown on the game's last play. Philippe Panico split the uprights at Dartmouth with no time left. The Elis have not won a pair of games in a season on the last play since 1937.  In addition to the two wins on the last play, the Blue also have a one-point win over Fordham. "A win like this is character building... This team has a lot of character," said Yale captain Tom McCarthy after beating the Rams.

Junior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) missed practice last week and the Fordham game with an injury. He was injured in the win at Dartmouth but still managed to complete 28 passes for 238 yards while scrambling to avoid being sacked. Witt, whose parents are both commercial pilots, started the first four games and ranks ninth in FCS total offense (280). Witt has 14 career TD passes to go along with a pair of rushing TDs this season. Witt 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. A backup at Nebraska in 2008, Witt started six Yale games in 2009 and led the team with 1,449 yards and eight TDs.

Alex Thomas, who left the Dartmouth game with an injury, did not suit up last Saturday at the Bowl. His backup, Mordecai Cargill, was also out with an injury. Thomas certainly 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, leads the team with 284 yards and four TDs. His 124 yards (matched career-high vs. Harvard '09) and 6.9 average were game-highs at Cornell. His 47-yard run at Cornell is the longest run by a Bulldogs this fall. Thomas, who added 15 pounds of muscle over the summer, is fifth on the team with 13 catches.  

Eleven Bulldogs have caught passes this fall while six different Elis have a TD catch. Sophomore WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) leads Yale with 23 for 234 yards. Senior WR Gio Christodoulou has 22 while classmate WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) is third with 18 and senior TE Chris Blohm (San Francisco, Calif.) has 15 after not making a catch in any of the 10 games he played in 2009.  

Yale QBs have been sacked three times in five games, a far cry from the 32 sacks given up in 10 games last fall. It's clear the offensive line has improved in 2010. Freshman Wes Gavin (San Diego, Calif., 6-5, 275) and senior Alex Golubiewski (Green Bay, Wis., 6-6, 280) started at tackle last week. Junior Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300) and senior John Pedersen (Great Falls, Va., 6-7, 303) were the guards. Pedersen was filling in for Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273), who was out with an injury. Junior Jeff Fell (6-5, 286, Garden City, N.Y.) was the starting center in place of an injured Jake Koury (Dublin, Ohio, 6-2, 270).

Senior DE Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.), the Yale captain, has started two straight games since missing games two and three with an injury. He had a career-high 3-6-9 at Dartmouth and added four tackles last week. His 13 total tackles ties him with classmate Joe Young for the lead among linemen. The second-team All-Ivy pick last fall (4 sacks) was Yale's MVP of the defensive line. 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.

Philippe Panico (Boston, Mass.), who kicked the game-winning field goal on Oct. 9 at Dartmouth, was named the winner of the Oct. 13 Gold Helmet Award presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston. Panico, a sophomore making his first start, split the uprights from 19 yards out with no time on the clock to give the Bulldogs a 23-20 Ivy League victory.  He set up for the kick with four seconds left and booted the ball off the inside of the right post for his first collegiate three-pointer. An all-league player at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, Panico owns the Massachusetts record with a 58-yard field goal. He played on two championship teams and was a two-time all-league golfer who won the league title his junior year. Panico was named Boston Herald All-Scholastic while receiving the Jack Grinold Eastern Massachusetts National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award.
San Diego natives OT Wes Gavin and RB Deon Randall, WR Cameron Sandquist (Redmond, Wash.), DT John Oppenheimer (Menlo Park, Calif.), TE Keith Coty, TE/LS Kyle Wittenauer (Richmond, Va.) and DB Nick Okano (Los Angeles, Calif.) are the class of 2014 Elis who have seen varsity action this fall. Gavin and Wittenauer (LS) are the only starters among the newcomers but Randall has seen regular action.

Yale leads the Ivy in passing and total offense and punt returns… Three different players have led the Blue in rushing in the first five games… Yale's two interceptions against Fordham were a season-high… Javi Sosa's 24 carries last week were a team-high for 2010… Yale had six sacks in the first two games but has just three over the last three Saturdays… The Elis have recovered a fumble in four of the five games… The Blue has scored on the opening drive in two of the five... Two of Yale's 2010 non-league opponents offer football scholarships, Albany and Fordham… Yale's non-league opponents are a combined 9-12 this fall.

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 4-2 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 4-1 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 960WELI.com. 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.

Former Yale Football Head Coach Carm Cozza, the winningest coach in Ivy League history and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, will be honored at Miami University on Oct. 22 and 23 for being one of the "Cradle of Coaches." Cozza, one of three former Miami players included in that weekend's events, will have his statue unveiled in a noon ceremony at Yager Stadium prior to the Miami-Ohio University football game. He will also be introduced to the crowd during the game. Greg Hall '77 will fill in for Cozza on the WELI Radio broadcast this Saturday.

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 8-7 overall with the Bulldogs and 0-1 vs. Penn. 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, 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 yalebulldogs.com 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, Wednesday and Thursday 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 wybc.com. 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 (steven.conn@yale.edu) if you would like to attend.

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. Chris Shearn handles the play-by-play while former Yale defensive player Jack Ford '72 and Ross Tucker, a former Princeton and NFL offensive lineman, provide the color.

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.

Five Bulldogs recently visited the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse in Ansonia to help kids learn the importance of eating healthy and staying fit… Junior RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) and Ansonia native John Coughlin (Yale Football Office) spoke to 125 fourth graders this fall 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.

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

Jesse Reising (Decatur, Ill.), a senior LB, has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, a scholar-athlete award handed out December 7 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan by the National Football Foundation. Reising, third on the team with 29 tackles after five starts, owns a 3.75 GPA with a focus on economics and political science. He may be locked in on his majors and football right now, but this Eli has his sights set on his country. The Bulldog defensive standout was home last summer taking classes to get his flight license before he completes Marine Corps Officer Candidate School next year. Reising recently spent time in Washington, DC, working closely with veterans' service organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Reising, the class valedictorian at Eisenhower High School, also 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. Yale players are often selected as semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy, but only 10 have made the final squad picked as NFF Scholar-Athletes since Rick McCarthy became the first in 1967. Casey Gerald, who spoke at the national event representing all the scholar-athletes in 2008, was Yale's last selection.

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); QB Patrick Witt & DB Chris Stanley (10/11); LB Jordan Haynes (10/19)
ECAC Offensive Player of Week: QB Patrick Witt (9/20)

Here's who the Yale coaches honored after Saturday's game: Offense (Patrick Witt, Shane Bannon, Mordecai Cargill, John Pedersen); Defense (Joe Young, Jesse Reising, Chris Stanley); Special Teams (Phillipe Panico, John Powers).

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.

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

"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