Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekend Games

Derek Bok was Harvard's president for 20 years

The Game After (1971)

Game of the Day (Day 63)

October 9, 1971

Harvard 21 Columbia 19

Columbia exhiliarating 22-20 victory over Princeton in week 2 of 1971 ended an incredible 19-game losing streak to the Tigers. It also raised high hopes on Morningside Heights for a possible Ivy title run.

A huge test loomed the following week at Harvard. The Crimson were feeling pretty fresh and new themselves. They had a new coach in Joe Restic and new University president in Derek Bok. Restic came from the Canadian Football League and was expected to bring a wide-open passing attack to Harvard.

The Crimson did end flying to a 21-7 lead, but they did it the old fashioned way. Harvard halfback Ted DeMars was the biggest star of the game with 132 yards on 23 carries, (Columbia's entire offense only rushed for 131), and two TD's. His first score came just over three minutes into the game to cap a 71-yard, run dominated Crimson drive after Columbia's opening kickoff.

Columbia's linebacker/kicker Paul Kaliades helped get the Liopns even early in the second quarter when he picked off a Crimson pass at the Columbia 45and returned it all the way to the Harvard 4. On the next play, Lion QB Don Jackson hit Tom Hurley for the score and it was 7-7. Kaliades made another interception to help keep the score tied at the intermission.

Two big Harvard runs marked a dominant third quarter for the Crimson. DeMars ripped off a 28-yard TD run midway in the quarter for a 14-7 lead, and six minutes later it was Harvard's Vic Gatto going for 29 yards and the score was now 21-7.

Meanwhile, the Lions QB Jackson was getting nailed for sack after sack and Head Coach Frank Navarro finally yanked him in favor of sophomore Glenn Erickson. Erickson made an immediate impact, dashing for runs of 30, 16, and 15 yards before Jackson came back in to throw a 12-yard TD pass to John Sefcik. But for some reason, Navarro elected to go for the two-point conversion and it fell incomplete.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Lions started marching again as Navarro was now shuttling Jackson and Erickson liberally. Jackson finished off the 88-yard TD drive with a nine yard scoring pass to Sefcik. This time the Lions had to go for two, but the pass to Sefcik fell incomplete.

Harvard's defense woke up after that, getting a key interception off Erickson intended for Sefcik with just over three minutes left.

Columbia did bounce back the following week with a big win over Yale, but it was a tough pill to swallow just one week after the historic win over Princeton.

Game of the Day (Day 62)

November 14, 1971

Columbia 17 Penn 3

After Columbia's shocking win over Dartmouth at Baker Field, the Lions stayed home the following week to take on Penn. The Quakers were not having a strong season, but Columbia had lost four in a row to Penn and seemed to have a mental block against them.

Not much archival material remains from this game, (at least that I could find), but the defense dominated led by Paul Kaliades. It was an extremely good sign that Columbia did not "let down" after the Dartmouth win and the 14-point margin was a blessing after the Lions four previous wins had been only by two or one points, (22-20 over Princeton, 15-14 over Yale, 17-16 over Rutgers, and 31-29 over Dartmouth).

Columbia did even better a week later at Brown with an 18-point victory to cap off one of the best Lion seasons ever.


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