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There was a full slate of Ivy League games this Saturday. Both undefeated teams, Dartmouth and Harvard won, while Columbia and Cornell both added to their respective win columns.
After several difficult non-conference matches that saw the Big Green on the wrong side of some lopsided score lines, Dartmouth is in good position to win its 7th consecutive Ivy League Title. The Big Green has had several resounding wins including a 76-29 victory over Brown on Saturday. With the win Dartmouth moved to 3-0 in conference play.
Despite missing a number of starters due to injury, Cornell outlasted Penn 44-21 to move to 2-1 on the season.
“Some guys really stepped up and played positions they had been training at but had not got in on the A-side yet,” said Cornell captain Jon Furman. “With those new guys we were still able to give Penn a pretty good game.”
The Cornell forwards asserted themselves early into this game. Club President and lock, Keith Hoge, battled back from a broken collarbone and a torn labrum to earn his first cap of the season. In the first minutes of his return, he opened the scoring for the Big Red.
After a charged down kick gave Penn an early 7-5 lead, Cornell got four consecutive tries to end the first half. Hooker Ethan Venosa scored the second and third tries for the Big Red and after a second half score finished with the hat trick.
Furman indicated that the forwards really established a presence early in the match and created space for the Cornell backline.
“Our forwards as they usually do had a pretty great game, really controlling the tempo from the get go,” added Furman. “That was something we were looking to do was set the tone early.”
Penn Managed to add two scores between a Cornell try, but ultimately yielded two more scores to fall 44-21.
In other Ivy action, Columbia defeated Yale 34-31 in a wild affair. The game saw three lead changes and was close midway through the second half. Yale got on the board first through Luke Thomas but quickly gave away the lead to a Columbia try and penalty. Yale retook the lead with another score but Columbia added another try of its own to take 13-12 lead going into the break.
Columbia scored first to start the second stanza before Thomas got his second to cut the lead to 20-19. The wheels came off for Yale, however, as the Lions dotted down twice to increase the lead to 34-19. Yale fought back, earning two more tries to even them at five apiece, but it was a penalty that ultimately differentiated the teams.
“Looking at the whole match, I actually think they deserved to win,” Yale coach Greg McWilliams said of Columbia. “They looked after the ball better and made the most of their opportunities. We didn’t take our opportunities.”
In the final game of the weekend, Harvard edged Princeton 24-10 to remain undefeated.