Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yale 7, Lehigh 0

It wasn't the prettiest of wins, that's for sure but a Yale squad without its starting tailback Jordan Farrell (out with the flu) and starting center Jake Koury (bruised calf) and then dealt with safety Larry Abare and receiver Jordan Forney being knocked out of the game, wrapped up the non-conference portion of its schedule with a gutsy win.

The only touchdown came on a 40-yard run by linebacker Paul Rice on a fake punt. Yale had been whistled for delay of game making the call all the more surprising.

The most noteworthy aspect of the game in my opinion was the play of the defensive line. Tom McCarthy had two sacks and blocked a field goal. Pat Moran was also in the backfield on a regular basis while Sean Williams had another strong game, capped by him snaring the ball on a bad pitch by De'Vaughn Gordon on an attempted hook and lateral play. He also forced a fumble. With Lehigh having used all of its timeouts, all that remained was for quarterback Brook Hart to take a knee on three straight plays. On a day where offensive success was the exception and not the rule, even that proved to be a challenge. Lehigh claimed they recovered the ball on third down. The officials disagreed to allow Yale to run out the final few seconds.

Junior cornerback Adam Money caused a fumble and had an interception.

Until some strong runs by senior Rodney Reynolds in the second half, it seemed as if Rice would end up as Yale's leading rusher. Reynolds, the starter coming out of the spring, had seen limited time. With Mordecai Cargill managing 16 carries on 15 yards and Alex Thomas added 13 on seven rushes, Yale turned to Reynolds in an attempt to run out the clock. Reynolds carried the ball 11 times for 45 yards to not only help secure a win but likely play himself back into the picture at tailback.

Hart struggled, throwing three interceptions including two on consecutive second-half drives. His final interception came when he did something quarterbacks at every level are instructed not to do - throw the ball late down the middle. He was just 12 of 31 for 86 yards. John Sheffield caught seven passes for 55 yards and he is now tied with Ashley Wright for third on Yale's career reception list.

The offensive line shuffle continued. With Koury again not able to do, Gabe Fernandez started again at center, the guards were freshman Jeff Marrs and sophomore Mike McInerney while Cory Palmer and Nathan Burow.

Yale is now 3-2, 1-1 in the Ivy League heading into Saturday's game at Penn. The Quakers won 27-13 at Columbia.

A couple of reminders, tomorrow's JV game has been cancelled and my weekly live chat will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. Log in to www.nhregister.com/chat to ask questions or just check it out.

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