Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Breaking the Mold

Continuing now with the list of the greatest Columbia football games of the 2000's...

Game #5

Columbia 49 Dartmouth 21

October 21, 2000

Wien Stadium

On one very beautiful Homecoming Day in October 2000, Johnathan Reese didn't just break all of Columbia's significant rushing records, he obliterated them.

Reese finished the game with 236 yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries, and it was clearly the greatest day enjoyed by any Lion running back in school history.

The game itself was never in doubt. The Lions led 21-0 before the end of the first quarter. The first TD came after Reese's cousin Kirby Mack picked off a Dartmouth pass and returned it 40 yards to the Big Green 10 yard line just four minutes into the game. Reese ran it in from there for a one-play drive and the 7-0 lead.

After that, the Lions staged a more traditional drive. They went 80 yards on eight plays as Reese took it in from the two to make it 14-0.

The three score lead was established when Doug Peck came back for an underthrown ball by Jeff McCall and then scooted by everyone for a 54-yard TD.

Dartmouth did make a bit of a run in the second quarter, putting together back-to-back 65 and 74-yard drives to make it 21-14.

But the one score margin lasted for one play. Justin Logan took the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a TD and the Lions were back ahead 28-14. The key block on the return was delivered by Reese.

The Reese resumed his highlight reel. He had a 44-yard TD run to close out the first half, and then made it 42-14 with a 72-yard TD run in the third quarter.

That would be the last play for Reese in the game, making his totals that much more impressive considering his didn't play for more than one full quarter of the contest.

The Lions closed out their scoring, when the game's other hero Logan, picked off a pass and returned it 59 yards for another TD.

Reese broke the 33-year-old Columbia single game rushing record of 225 yards held by Jim O'Connor. Just six weeks into the season, he broke Doug Jackson's 25-year-old Columbia single season rushing record of 914 yards. He also became Columbia's only 1,000-yard rusher. A week later, after just one carry against Yale, Reese broke the career rushing record at Columbia just seven games into his junior year.

This was also the only time in the 2000's that the Lions won on Homecoming Day.

But the day belonged to Reese. It was simply the best individual effort of the decade... by far.


At Wed Jan 06, 11:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at that game. On the kick-off that JR ran back for a touchdown he broke to the outside and just sprinted down the sideline. Nobody was going to tackle him. I remember coach Lyons saying after the game how much he admired JR's "intensity".


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