Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Game After

New Haven Hospital, where one Columbian ended up after the game

Game of the Day (Day 66)

October 6, 1934

Columbia 12 Yale 6

When you read accounts of championship seasons, or even just one great game, the writers usually leave out those "what happened next" details that tend to dilute the enormity of the big game or season they were focusing on.

For Columbia, there are a handful of historic wins that in some cases were followed up with more great victories, but sometimes not.

The former was the case in October, 1934 when the Lions took the field for the first time since their 7-0 win over Stanford in the Rose Bowl in January of that year. Columbia was matched up against the Bulldogs at the Yale Bowl; the first meeting of the two teams since 1905.

22,000 fans packed the Bowl to see if Columbia was still for real. It didn't look good at first as the Lions fumbled away their first play from scrimmage and gave the Elis the ball at CU 29. But Columbia got the ball back on downs at the 18 and then they went to work.

Four running plays put the ball at the Lion 30, setting the stage for a dramatic 70-yard run by Rose Bowl hero Al Barabas. 6-0 Columbia.

The game went back and forth with no scoring until the third quarter when the Lions went on a 75-yard march capped off by a 3-yard TD run by Barabas on 4th and goal.

But Yale would not give up. Coach Ducky Pond called for an incredible, (for the time), 12 forward passing plays and that got Yale moving. Jack Roscoe hit the great Larry Kelly for an actual touchdown pass making the score 12-6 with about five minutes to go.

Barabas tried to ice the game after that, getting a 46-yard gainer on the first play from scrimmage after the Yale kickoff that put the Lions on the Eli 18. But Yale held the Lions in a great goal line stand and took over inside their own one with just over two minutes to go.

Coach Pond refused to give up on the pass even in the shadow of his on end zone, and two tosses barely missed their targets.

At the time, the game was seen as one of the greatest Columbia triumphs ever, despite the fact that it was played in a steady rain and left star Lion right tackle Paul Jackel with a fractured ankle at New Haven hospital.

The Lions finished the season at 7-1, losing only to Navy. Yale ended up 5-3, with losses only to Columbia, Army and Georgia.


At Fri Jul 18, 02:59:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Is it my imagination or does it seem like extra point kicks were by no means a "gimme" during those vintage years compared the way they are today? Did Yale go for two when the score was 12-6? Could they even attempt that ,i.e., when did the two point conversion come into play in college football?

At Fri Jul 18, 03:03:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...


You are correct. XP's were more like FG's back then. You were lucky if you nailed 50% of them.


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