Yale 21 Columbia 3
Of all of Columbia's four losses this season, this one feels the worst. That's because the Lion could have easily won this game, and Yale has the refs and one bad pass by CU quarterback Craig Hormann to thank a lot more than any of their own players for their victory. And the worst part of this game was a tack-on TD Yale scored after calling timeout with six seconds left even though they already led 14-3 at the time.
I don't mean to take too much away from Yale. They were the better team today. But Columbia had a chance to beat them and it wasn't exactly the Elis that stopped them. Here's what did:
1) Leading 3-0 in the 2nd quarter, Columbia had just forced the Bulldogs into a tough 3rd and 10 situation after an incomplete pass. Or so it seemed. The ref threw a flag for a little push Lion defensive back Jo Jo Smith put on the Yale receiver as the ball sailed over his head. It was a penalty that never would be called in the NFL, Division IA, or most Pop Warner games. It gave Yale new life and the Elis scored their first touchdown moments later.
2) Trailing 7-3 late in the 3rd quarter, the Lions were marching the football into Yale territory when Columbia QB Craig Hormann threw a very ill-advised pass right to Eli defender Bobby Abare who ran it back for a 52-yard TD. At that point, the game was over.
3) In general, Columbia's offense is just punchless with Hormann at the helm. He takes too long to throw and he is too slow to run out of trouble let alone gain yardage on the ground. He could be a great part of a 1-2 punch with running Lion QB M.A. Olawale, but Olawale only got in on one play today.
The most annoying thing about the game was the way Yale worked so hard to run the score up at the end of the game. With 4th and goal at the one and six seconds left to play, Eli coach Jack Siedlecki CALLED A TIMEOUT, just so he could run one more play for a cosmetic, rub it in, touchdown. It was a classless move, and those who would argue that he was just trying to give his senior back-up tailback a chance to score his first touchdown need to get their heads out Pop Warner land. I have never seen a team call a timeout with less than ten seconds to play in order to score a meaningless touchdown. I didn't see any anger in Columbia Head Coach Norries Wilson's eyes over the final score, but there should have been.
Columbia MVP: Wide receiver Nick DeGasperis had a strong day with 97 yards receiving, and he made a big 42-yard catch and run to set up Columbia's only score.