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Defense Strong, But Tigers Too Much

Carlson had the game's only interception (Kevin Warhola image)
Carlson had the game's only interception (Kevin Warhola image)

Princeton Wins at the Bowl


NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Elis were facing one of their toughest challenges of the 2106 season today on the Class of 1954 Field, and the 31-3 Princeton win was not a clear indication of how competitive the game was through three quarters. It certainly did not represent some of the Yale accomplishments on Senior Day.


The Bulldogs (2-7, 2-4 Ivy), in a spoiler role facing a team that is now part of a three-way tie for first place, hung with a Princeton team coming off a 28-0 win over Penn and a 56-7 beating of Cornell.


Big plays by the Yale defense kept the Elis within striking distance through the first 45 minutes of play. The home team broke up five passes, picked off another, registered four tackles for lost yardage and hurried the Tigers' two-quarterback system all day, which helped the Blue remain two scores back until 10:17 left in the final quarter.


Princeton, one of the league's top scoring offenses, was held below its season average in part due to those big Bulldog defensive plays.


"I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome. Princeton is a really good football team and they've been really consistent throughout the league all year long. They haven't let up a lot of points and they've been scoring at a record pace," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach.


Yale junior safety Hayden Carlson had the game's only interception, a 36-yard return in the first half that set up Alex Galland's 24-yard field goal to make it 7-3.


Defensive back Foyesade Oluokun, one of 25 Yale seniors playing his home finale today, led all players with a dozen solo tackles and 14 overall. He was a great example of the team's determination despite being down in the second half; eight of those stops came in the fourth quarter.


"Defensively, we played a really good game aside from a couple of mistakes, and we held them to 17 points through three quarters," said Reno.


Yale freshman QB Kurt Rawlings made his second career start. His banged up and offensive line did the best they could to help him have time to complete 18 of 37 passes for 164 yards. However, he did spend a lot of time trying to avoid orange helmets, which caught up to him five times (sacks) in passing situations.


Reno put it all into perspective as he thought about it during the post-game press conference.


"He [Rawlings] has taken steps. A guy his age, sometimes you take two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes there are going to be days like today… We knew there were going to be days like this. We've got a lot of confidence in the young kids," said the Yale head coach.


Rawlings managed to spread the ball around to seven different Bulldogs, including WRs freshman Reed Klubnik (5-63) and sophomore Kyle Marcinick (5-24).


"Offensively, we weren't able to get anything going, and we played very young," said Reno, referring to the five freshmen who started on that side.


Yale's season finale, another chance to play spoiler, is next Saturday at Harvard, a 12:30 kick airing live on CNBC.



Second-year Eli Alex Galland had another excellent day punting and placekicking. He punted 10 times and put 3 inside the 20 with a long of 50, while connecting for the team's only points… Sophomore linebacker Quentin Herbert made his first collegiate start and was second on the team with five solos and nine overall stops. His first sustained action came in relief of an injured Victor Egu the week before at Brown, and he seemed to be all over the place making tackles… Freshman DT Spencer Matthaei had two solos and a quarterback sack…


Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director –