Harvard Wins The JV Game, 23-13

Peter Gerson, Jack Rushin, Kolu Buck, Ryan Stanney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Peter Gerson, Jack Rushin, Kolu Buck, Ryan Stanney. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Haenni, Harshbarger Score Touchdowns

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Harvard defeated Yale 23-13 in junior varsity football Friday afternoon at Clint Frank Field, holding off a second-half rally by the Bulldogs.

A scoreless first quarter on the cloudy, cold day saw Yale punt three times and turn the ball over on downs once; Harvard punted three times in the quarter and had another drive ended by a diving interception from sophomore outside linebacker Thomas Undercuffler.

The Crimson drove 51 yards for the go-ahead score early in the second quarter, with 44 of those yards coming on a pass from quarterback Tanner Wrisley to wide receiver Ryan Simpson. A one-yard touchdown run put the Crimson up 6-0 at 13:07. Harvard tacked on a 33-yard field goal by Ben Falloon as time expired in the half to go up 9-0.

The Crimson extended its lead to 16-0 with a 96-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter. The big play this time was a 63-yard pass that got the ball to the Yale 27; sophomore defensive back Roger Kilgore III made a touchdown-saving tackle on wide receiver Anthony Firkser there. Two plays later a one-yard run by running back Blane Brady got the ball into the end zone at the 7:26 mark.

Yale rallied with a 73-yard touchdown drive. Sophomore quarterback Anthony Morales was behind center at the start of the drive, and his 10-yard dash on the first play got the Elis going. Senior tailback Tate Harshbarger converted a third-and-three from the Yale 44 with a three-yard run, and junior tailback L.J. Hunt converted a fourth-and-one from the Harvard 44 with a two-yard run. Sophomore quarterback Eric Williams capped the drive with a 17-yard play action pass to freshman tight end Leo Haenni for the touchdown with 2:15 left in the third.

Harvard pushed its lead to 23-6 with a 76-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 28-yard scoring pass on the first play of the fourth quarter. Yale turned the ball over on downs in Harvard territory on its next possession.

Back-to-back pass breakups by freshman defensive back D'Amani Grayer and sophomore cornerback Michael Bernardez ended Harvard's next possession, but the Bulldogs had to punt. After the Eli defense forced a Harvard punt with six minutes to play, Yale drove 59 yards for another touchdown. This one came on a one-yard run by Harshbarger with 3:42 left. Back-to-back completions to freshman tight end Jackson Stallings for a total of 22 yards helped set up Harshbarger's run.

That wound up being the final scoring play of the day, though the Bulldogs did make one last defensive stand to get the ball back to the offense in the final minute. That enabled Yale to get a pair of carries for senior offensive lineman Willy Moore to end the game.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity