Friday, September 28, 2007

Abare probably out for year

Junior defensive end Larry Abare will most likely miss the remainder of the season with a lateral collateral ligament injury in his left knee. Abare, who was injured in a 51-12 win over Cornell Saturday, was a second-team All-Ivy selection a year ago when he tied for the team lead with brother Bobby with 49 solo tackles. As a freshman, he shared Yale’s special teams player of the year award with Bobby. He has remained Yale’s best player on special teams coverage the past two seasons.

He is seeking a second opinion to see if he will have season-ending surgery, but it is expected he will have to.

Larry Abare will be eligible to apply for medical redshirt having played in two games, or 20 percent of the season. He is expected to apply if he misses the year.

Sean Barker can be reached at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thomas sets record

Thomas rushed 44 times for 518 yards and seven touchdowns.

518 yards a state single-game record.

Seven touchdowns second highest single game total in state history.

Read more in Friday's Register

Thomas running wild

Alex Thomas, a running back at Ansonia who Yale is recruiting, has rushed for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns through three quarters tonight. The state record is 508 yards.

Woodland is a very good program which won state titles here in 2004 adn 2005.

Will update with final stats when our reporter files story.

Monday, September 24, 2007

McLeod co-offensive player of week

A look at the Ivy League Awards .....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

postgame observations

Check out the game story and a Dave Solomon column in Sunday's Register.

For now, here are some quick observations:

-- Impressed with Yale's attitude after game. There was no giddyness after winning 51-12 over a Cornell team most, myself included, felt would give the Bulldogs some fits. This really seems to be another level-headed team with a good focus, yet a good sense of humor.

-- Mike McLeod has 14 touchdowns in his past four games and has scored a touchdown in 11 straight games. The only other Yale player to do so was a guy named Calvin Hill.

-- Before he's done McLeod will own every Yale rushing record, barring injury.
Interesting point by Dave Solomon. A lot is made about these records, and rightfully so. Dick Jauron, John Pagliaro, Rudy Green, and Rich Diana only had three years to play. The best barometer is to take McLeod's numbers from his sophomore to senior seasons.

-- Matt Polhemus really looked comfortable running the offense today. Admittedly, he missed a couple routes, but overall he caused Cornell some problems with his feet, and more importantly was able to free himself up a few times from blitzes to throw the ball away. Smart moves. He had one pass, where he rolled left, and hit Chris Denny-Brown going right for a 26-yard gain near the goal line. Big-time pass. Polhemus was also not sacked by Cornell.

-- Polhemus and tight end Langston Johnson connected on three pass plays, most impressive a 61-yard gain. During the preseason scrimmage and against Georgetown last week, Johnson had broken free, but the connection was not made. John Sheffield, three catches Saturday, is key, no question, but having Johnson be a threat as well, is going to make it nearly impossible to cover Yale.

-- How about this stat: Yale averaged 5.9 yards per rushing play; Cornell 1.9.

-- Yale had three interceptions (Bobby Abare, Jay Pilkerton and Lee Driftmier) and Steve Santoro had his hands on at least two other balls.

-- Cornell quarterback Nathan Ford is going to remember Brady Hart for a while. Hart put a devastating blindside hit on Ford for a 10-yard sack.

-- Senior safety Nick Solakian also played well, with two tackles for losses of 10 yards.

-- Bobby Abare led Yale with nine tackles.

-- Cornell was just 3 of 17 on third down conversions.

-- Cornell's Tim Bax (No. 7) is a heck of a player. He had 15 tackles, 13 solo, and caught up to McLeod from the opposite side of the field twice.

-- Punter Tom Mante averaged 43 yards on six punts with a 62-yarder, of which about 60 was in the air. He's really been booming the ball, with good hang time.

-- While you want to score touchdowns when you are in the red zone, having a steady presence like Alan Kimball (three field goals Saturday) is helpful.

-- Chris Denny-Brown left the game with a shoulder injury, but should be fine to play next week. Reid Lathan replaced Denny-Brown as punt returner, and returned four for 24 yards, including a long of 18.

-- Only injury to be slightly concerned about is Larry Abare's knee, but won't know anything until an MRI is taken Sunday. Even still, there was no indication that he would be out for an extended period of time, possibly just a couple of weeks.

-- Junior Ryan Fodor completed his first pass, a 15-yard gain.

-- Freshman Jordan Forney had his first completion, catching a pass from Polhemus. Siedlecki has been saying Forney will be involved in the four-man receiver rotation.

-- Holy Cross will be a tough challenge next week. Crushed Georgetown 55-0.

First half impressions

Yale came out with a lot of passion. A lot of people, myself included, felt Cornell would come in and give Yale all it could handle. It's only 16-0, so can still happen. But Yale definitely played like a team ready to prove something.

Mike McLeod has 102 yards on 19 carries already, and has twice been a step away from breaking away for a touchdown.

Chris Denny-Brown has left the game with a right shoulder injury. He was carted off, probably to get an x-ray.

Matt Polhemus has looked pretty good. He's missed a couple of passes, but for the most part, he's made very good decisions, both with his feet, and throwing away two passes after scrambles to avoid sacks.

Attendance 15,247

Heck of a sack by Brady Hart, coming in from the right side for a 10-yard loss.

Tom Mante has had two booming punts.

Alan Kimball three field goals.

Yale should be up at least 20-0. Key was 12 men on the field after being at 1. McLeod scores from there. Instead settled for field goal.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hollander practicing

Brandt Hollander is practicing this week and Yale coach Jack Siedlecki said after practice tonight he will play Saturday against Cornell, but how much he plays is still uncertain.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Link to Georgetown game story

Just in case you missed it online

Tuesday notes

Some notes from Tuesday luncheon:

-- Senior center Nick Wachtler is out this week and might be for a period of time. He was having MRI on ankle today. Ty Davis will start in his place. This is a key loss. Wachtler was All-Ivy honorable mention last year and started every game at center.

Cornell has a really good nose guard, Frank Kunis, who is 5-11, 275.

Yes, the Big Red have switched from a 4-3 to 3-4 defense. They will still blitz like crazy.

-- Junior DE Kyle Hawari ran Monday with no pain. Expect it to be at least a week before he plays, though.

-- Yale will know more about MG Brandt Hollander as the week progresses. Hollander has an ankle injury.

-- Cornell plays Bucknell in Week 1, so scouting the Big Red's defense is never easy for Yale. Bucknell plays a spread option offense.

-- Cornell put up 38 points on Bucknell last week, the most in an opener for the Big Red since 1986.

-- It seems like junior quarteback Nathan Ford, who made his debut at the Bowl in a reserve role two years ago, has been at Cornell forever.

Cornell is having Ford throw a lot of screen passes and quick behind-the-line passes to his wide receivers, similar to Georgetown.

Jack Siedlecki said Yale will make some adjustments on defense to take some of the pressure off the linebackers. Jay Pilkerton made 16 stops last week.

-- Saturday is Youth Day at the Bowl, so if you want to see some youth football, head on out to the Bowl for a 9 a.m. New Haven Pee-Wee Game. The Shoreline game will be after Yale's at 4:30 p.m.

-- Yale remains No. 21 in both I-AA polls.

-- Weekly award winners for Yale:

OL: Langston Johnson
Offenive back: Mike McLeod
Defensive back: Jay Pilkerton
Special teams: Larry Abare
Hammer (hardest hit): Louis Gresham

-- Interesting Cornell note: Big red is 3-11 on the road and 1-6 on natural grass under Jim Knowles.

-- To listen to today's press conference, visit