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Bulldogs Look To Stay in Hunt

Patrick Witt. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Patrick Witt. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Lions Trot Into The Bowl


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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Two losses, in all likelihood, will knock a team out of the race for the 2010 Ivy League title. That's why Saturday's game at Yale Bowl on the Class of 1954 Field is crucial for the Yale football team (4-2, 2-1 Ivy). The Bulldogs take on Columbia (3-3, 1-2) at noon on the YES Network (DirecTV 631). The game can also be heard on WELI Radio (AM-960), and

Team Averages

OFFENSE                Yale        Columbia
Rushing Yards        124.3        165.7
Passing Yards        277.7        201.2
Total Offense         402.0        366.8
Scoring                  21.8        25.2

DEFENSE                Yale        Columbia
Rushing Yards        102.3        158.2
Passing Yards        217.8        195.5
Total Defense        320.2        353.7
Scoring                    19.7        19.8

Yale has won seven straight and holds a 66-18-2 lead over Columbia, its most commanding advantage over any league team. The Blue is 34-9-2 at home against the Light Blue.

Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) completed 34 of 54 passes for 331 yards and two scores but the Blue dropped a 27-20 game against No. 20 Penn in a battle of 2-0 Ivy League teams before 22,293 at Yale Bowl last week. Witt led the Elis to a 360-yard offensive day, which included 11 catches (116 yards) by receiver Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.). However, one big interception and untimely penalties (10 for Yale on the day) were part of the reason the home team was unable to win a third straight game. The other reason was a strong Penn showing with a balance of contributions to beat Yale for a third straight season. Two quarterbacks combined to complete 12 passes but TB Brandon Colavita (15-73) may have had the most important, drive-surviving carries. The Bulldogs got on the board first with Philippe Panico's (Boston, Mass.) career-long, 39-yard field goal in the first quarter, but the Quakers (5-1, 3-0) scored 20 straight to put the game out of reach.  Brad Blackmon's 53-yard punt return for a TD in the second quarter gave the visitors a 13-3 lead at intermission. Luke DeLuca, who scored twice from a yard out, reached the end zone on the opening drive of the second half to increase the margin to 17. The Elis didn't get on the board again until early in the fourth, after Allen Harris' (Detroit, Mich) first career TD catch, and they still could have gotten back in the game. On the first play after Penn missed a short field goal try, Witt's screen pass was intercepted by Brandon Copeland and returned to the Yale 11. It was the first of Penn's two interceptions. DeLuca then notched his second score and the Bulldogs scrambled to make it close. Penn DB David Twamley led all players with nine solos and three pass breakups, while Yale LB Jordan Haynes (Folsom, Calif.) had a game-high 12 (7-5) overall stops.  Bulldog defensive backs Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) and Geoff Dunham (Dallas, Texas) each had a pick. "We had our opportunities and didn't capitalize on them," said Tom Williams, Yale's Joel E. Smilow Head Coach of Football. "We made too many mistakes against a good football team."

Four Yale offensive players enjoyed career-best days last Saturday: WR Jordan Forney's 11 catches and 116 yards; PK Philippe Panico had two field goals, including a career-long 39-yarder; RB Deon Randall had 30 rushing yards and 72 on kick returns; WR Allen Harris snared four passes including his first TD.

Sean Brackett completed 17 of 31 passes for 188 yards and a score but his Columbia team fell short of Dartmouth 24-21 in New York last week. The Big Green had better stats in almost every offensive category but needed a Nick Schwieger (122 yards) one-yard TD run with 2:28 left to get the win before 10,904 at Wien Stadium. Lion LB Alex Gross led all tacklers with 10 solos and 16 overall stops.

TE A.J. Haase's 10-yard touchdown catch with 58 seconds to play - Yale's third touchdown of the fourth quarter - capped an improbable Bulldog comeback and finished off a 23-22 win at Columbia last fall. The Elis got turnovers on Columbia's final three drives of the game, plus a touchdown-saving tackle from CB Adam Money, to pull out the victory after trailing by 12 points with just over six minutes left.

Senior SS Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) is the active career interception leader for Yale with eight, one shy of the school's career top 10 list. He leads the team with three (tie for Ivy lead) this fall. Money has taken back two (77 vs. Brown '09, 60 vs. Georgetown '08) for scores. Last week he had an interception, three tackles and recovered Yale's fourth quarter on-side kick. Money was a 2009 first-team All-Ivy pick. He has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.46 GPA (biology major) and has been interviewing at medical schools this fall.

There's a lot to know about senior WR Gio Christodoulou (Miami, Fla.). He leads Yale with 30 catches for 476 yards and a 15.9 average per catch. He had eight grabs against Penn for 108 yards. His 11.1 average on punt returns rank first in the Ivy (The top Yale average for a season is 10.8 by Lou Muller in 1959). Christodoulou, second on the team with 93 all-purpose yards, had a career-best nine catches for 124 yards against Georgetown on opening day. He has two career punt returns for TDs and ranks among the top 10 at Yale in career punt (492, 3rd) and kickoff (553, 10th) return yardage. He recently passed Gary Fencik '76 (443) for the No. 3 spot on the Yale career punt return list.

No. 42 has a nose for the football. Junior LB Jordan Haynes (41-23-64) is Yale's leading tackler and is second among Ivy players with better than 10 per game. He has led the Bulldogs in total stops in five of six games this fall. The National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete from Folsom, Calif., also leads Yale in recovered fumbles (2) in his first year as a starter. Haynes scored Yale's first TD of the year on a four-yard fumble return late in the first quarter on Sept. 18.

The Lions did not allow Yale to complete a pass in a 1954 game but still lost 13-7... Columbia blanked a Yale team in 1961 (11-0) that was coming off an undefeated campaign. It was the fourth and last shutout of the Bulldogs by the Lions... Columbia QB Marty Domres, a future NFL QB, threw for 326 yards in 1966 for the Lions in a losing (44-21) effort... Yale QB Pete Doherty '67 connected on a school-record five TD passes in 1966 (44-21 Yale win)... Yale and NFL great Dick Jauron '73 scampered 87 yards for the deciding score in a 28-14 win over Columbia in 1972... Ryan LoProto '02 scored on two interceptions, including one from 67 yards, as Yale won 41-0 in 2000.

One of the most inspiring performances of last week came from senior WR Jordan Forney, who came in banged up and took hit after hit before ending up with a game-high 11 catches. Forney is second on the team with 29 receptions and leads Yale with three TD receptions. He has a TD catch in three of the last four games. His 87 receptions rank eighth at Yale while his 11 career scoring plays are seventh.

Junior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas), who took as many hits as any Bulldog last week, managed to accumulate 331 passing yards against Penn with a pair of TDs. He has completed better than 60 percent of his passes for 1,439 yards and eight scores this fall. Witt, whose parents are both commercial pilots, started five of the six games this year.  He ranks first in the Ivy in passing and total offense (285, which is 10th in FCS). Witt has 16 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.

Senior QB Brook Hart, made his first start of 2010 on Oct. 16 against Fordham and threw for 227 yards. His longest connection was a 47-yard throw to Chris Smith. Hart completed all three passing attempts on the winning 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 with Patrick Witt and then took spring ball off to pitch for the Yale baseball team.

Greg Carlsen (4 punts, 42.0) 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.  

Alex Thomas leads Yale with 302 rushing yards and four TDs and is fourth with 18 catches. The junior RB from Ansonia, Conn., scored three times in an opening day win. 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 Bulldog this fall.  He is the most prolific (8,279 yards, 114 TDs) runner in Connecticut High School history.

Yale QBs have been sacked five times in six 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 the last two weeks. Juniors Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300) and Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) got the nods at guard last week. 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, who came back last week against Penn.

Senior DE Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.), the Yale captain, has started three straight games since missing games two and three with an injury. He had a career-high 3-6-9 at Dartmouth in his return. His 15 total tackles rank second among Yale 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.

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.

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.

Four different Elis lead the team with two sacks... Yale leads the Ivy in passing and total offense and punt returns… Four different players have led the Blue in rushing in six games this season… The Blue has made two interceptions in each of the last two games… Javi Sosa's 24 carries against Fordham were a team-high for 2010… Yale had six sacks in the first two games but has just four over the last four Saturdays.

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 has a one-point win over Fordham.

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.) have seen varsity action this fall, McConnell (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) is looking for his first chance.

Two former Bulldogs are coaching in the NFL this season. Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 32 years in the NFL playing and coaching, is the new secondary coach for the 4-3 Philadelphia Eagles. His unit is tied for second in the league with 11 interceptions, they are fourth in sacks with 21. Jauron was the 2001 AP Coach of the Year with the Chicago Bears and his most recent head coaching gig was at Buffalo. Pat Graham '01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman, is a defensive assistant coach for the 5-1 New England Patriots, winners of four straight. The Pats' defense is tied for third in the league with two rushing TDs allowed. Graham was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team.

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 (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, was honored at Miami University last weekend for being one of the "Cradle of Coaches." Cozza, one of three former Miami players included in that weekend's events, had his statue unveiled in a ceremony at Yager Stadium prior to the Miami-Ohio University football game.

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 8-8 overall with the Bulldogs and 1-0 vs. Columbia. 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 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 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.

This Saturday is the third and final game of Yale on YES for 2010. YES can be seen 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.

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. The finalists will be announced on Oct. 28. Reising, third on the team with 32 tackles after six 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)

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

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director