End Zone Interception Clinches Win
MANHATTAN, N.Y. – An opportunistic Columbia defense ended Yale's hopes of defending its Ivy League Championship on a windy and rain-filled afternoon at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The Bulldogs moved the ball all over the field with 428 total yards but could not put the ball in the end zone enough in a 17-10 loss to the Lions.
The Elis (4-3, 2-2 Ivy), who are not mathematically eliminated from the 2018 race, lost a second league game while Princeton and Dartmouth remain unbeaten with three weeks remaining.
Yale dominated the statistics, holding Columbia to 160 yards of offense and allowing just four pass completions on 19 attempts.
After going scoreless against a wind averaging 20 mph in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs used the push from behind to score twice in the second and take a 10-3 lead at halftime.
Alan Lamar's 44-yard run set up his 3-yard plunge on a third down play for Yale' s first score. The junior running back got a great block from left guard Dieter Eiselen that provided an opening to the end zone, capping a 66-yard drive.
The Elis drove 93 yards over the final two minutes of the half to get an Alex Galland field goal. Junior quarterback Jimmy Check, making his first career start in place of injured Kurt Rawlings, connected with sophomore tight end D. Major Roman on a 37-yard pass. Check also hit junior wide receiver Reed Klubnik (8 catches) on a pair of throws leading up to the score.
The Lions, who picked off two Check throws, scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters to take a 17-10 lead, while the only real chances for Yale to make up the margin resulted in three missed opportunities. The first was a missed field goal, followed by a fourth-down run by Check that ended up short by a yard deep in Columbia territory with three minutes left in the fourth.
The still visitors got another opportunity after coming up with a defensive stop. With a little over two minutes left, Check took Yale from its own 10-yard line to the Columbia 23 before having a second-down toss picked off in the end zone with 25 seconds on the clock.
"We didn't make the plays we needed to make to get on track offensively, and once we started moving the ball, we weren't finishing drives," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "Defensively, we played well except for two plays. The bottom line is that we have a good football team but we didn't play like it today."
The Bulldogs are back at the Bowl next Saturday for a 1 p.m. game with Brown.
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD/Sports Publicity