Nov. 20, 2004
Cambridge, MA - Clifton Dawson ran for 120 yards as Harvard soundly defeated Yale at Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon, 35-3. The win capped a 10-0 Ivy League championship run for the Crimson and dropped Yale to 5-5 on the season.
The 121st edition of The Game turned against Yale early on. The Bulldogs hurt themselves with two penalties on the first drive and one botched play where Cowan ran into the fullback while trying to hand off and was sacked. The Yale defense responded by stuffing Dawson at the 50 on a third-and-two. But Yale could not get its offense going on the next drive, and the punt set up Harvard at the 50. The Bulldogs missed a chance to end the Crimson drive early when a heave by QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was nearly intercepted by FS Barton Simmons. Harvard eventually drove down for a four-yard touchdown run by Dawson, his school-record 17th of the year.
After another near-interception by Simmons, Harvard's next drive ended with a punt that pinned Yale back at its own 14. The Bulldogs got only four yards before punting it to Brian Edwards, who quickly found a hole in Yale's normally solid punt coverage and then dashed down the right sideline 53 yards for a touchdown at 11:56 of the second quarter. That was his third TD on a punt return this year.
If that score wasn't back-breaking, the next one was. The Bulldogs showed a breath of life when a 36-yard completion from Cowan to WR Chandler Henley got Yale to the five, but after a run by Carr was stopped Cowan's pass into the end zone went into the hands of Crimson DB Ricky Williamson, who promptly raced back all the way into the other end zone for a third Cantab touchdown. Yale tried to regroup with another drive from its own 43 to the Harvard goalline, which included crucial third-down and fourth-down conversion runs by TB Robert Carr. But three passes into the end zone came up empty, and the Elis had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by K Andrew Sullivan. The Crimson took a 21-3 lead into halftime.
Yale badly needed a score on its first drive of the second half but got only 11 yards before punting, and the Crimson then drove 72 yards for another touchdown. Fitzpatrick hit Edwards on a slant from the Yale 27 and the Eli nemesis slipped past his defender and dashed untouched into the end zone. The Bulldogs continued to have a hard time containing Fitzpatrick as the game wore on, as he repeatedly evaded tackles to either run or get off a big pass. He finally found the end zone himself with 2:03 left in the third quarter from one yard out, part of his 67-yard rushing effort on the day.
The only thing left for Harvard in the fourth quarter was to cap off Dawson's day by taking him out for an ovation after an 11-yard run midway through. By then, he had established the new single-season rushing record for the Crimson (1,302 yards). Senior TB Nick Carrington came in and busted a nine-yard run, and on the next play it was Fitzpatrick's turn to come out and senior backup QB Garrett Schires' chance to play. More mass substitutions ensued but no more scoring. The Bulldogs had a chance to bring their reserves in at the end under very different circumstances -- for the final play before Harvard celebrated its perfect season.
report by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity Department