A visiting Harvard football team exploded for four first-half touchdowns to overwhelm Yale, 37-6, on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 17) in a battle of the Ivy League’s only remaining unbeaten teams. With the commanding victory, the Crimson program secures its 12th all-time league title while denying the Elis (9-1; 6-1 Ivy) their first outright title since the 1980 season.
Quarterback Chris Pizzotti ’07 threw for an astounding 244 yards and three scoring passes in the opening half alone (four on the afternoon), including a pair of touchdown passes to Matt Luft ’10 in the first stanza. Sophomore running back Cheng Ho later tacked on a one-yard touchdown run in the early going of the second quarter before Pizzotti connected with Mike Cook ’10 on a 15-yard fling to help the Crimson to a 27-0 halftime advantage.
The Harvard defense, meanwhile, stifled Yale’s league-leading rushing game in the first half with two key fourth-down stops, while limiting the Elis’ ground game to just 66 yards on the afternoon. In an effort to quickly put some points on the board, the Bulldogs were forced to turn to their inferior passing game: a shift in strategy that wreaked havoc on the home team’s chances in the form of two thrown interceptions and just 43 total passing yards. Individually, Crimson senior defensive end Brad Bagdis set the tenor of the Crimson clampdown with five unassisted tackles to pace his team.
Staying aggressive in the second half with an array of new plays and formations, Harvard extended its lead following a 19-yard field goal by Patrick Long ’10 before building a 37-0 advantage when Pizzotti (316 total yards) recorded his fourth touchdown pass of the afternoon with a 5-yard toss to junior Jason Miller to cap a 56-yard, nine-play drive.
Yale avoided the shutout with an 87-yard punt return courtesy of Gio Christodoulou with a little over four minutes remaining to set up the 37-6 final.
With the triumph, Harvard secures its second outright championship in four seasons. In 2004, Harvard Coach Tim Murphy and his charges clinched the title on the heels of the team’s 10-0 campaign.
For game recap and stats, visit http://www.gocrimson.com.