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The Ivy League featured a trio of games this weekend. Dartmouth topped Harvard, Yale outlasted Cornell in a barnburner and Brown defeated Penn convincingly to round out the weekend.
The matchup between Dartmouth and Harvard was the premier game of the weekend. The Crimson welcomed the Big Green for its first game on the new pitch unveiled at Harvard University. As guest columnist Will Gray (Dartmouth class of 1959) pointed out, 113 years earlier Harvard welcomed Dartmouth for its first ever football game in at “Harvard Stadium.” In that match the Big Green won 11-0 and in similar fashion, Dartmouth spoiled the 2016 inaugural rugby game with a 20-0 win.
Dartmouth has won eight consecutive Ivy League titles but Harvard has been making great strides in the recent years. The Crimson finished in second place last year, with its only loss coming at the hands of the Green.
The game was tremendously physical with both teams grinding for territory. Dartmouth Captain Hayden Aldredge scored two tries in the match, the first of which came in the opening half. Along with a penalty from Dawit Workie, the Big Green led 8-0 at the break.
Aldredge notched his 2nd of the day in the second half and with the Workie conversion, led 15-0. Jack Badenhausen added one more score late to make the game 20-0. Harvard could not get any offense going on the day and Dartmouth came away with shut out victory.
The most exciting game of the day was between Yale and Cornell. The Bulldogs overcame a 21-0 deficit down a man to win 39-34 on the road in Ithaca.
It couldn’t have started much worse for Yale. The Bulldogs had a player sent off in the 2nd minute with a red card and the Big Red scored three early tries. The Bulldogs, however, worked their way back into the game.
“We just kept knocking at the door and eventually we got competitive with them,” said Yale coach Greg McWilliams. “It was a very open game and we just managed to stay on to the end and get the win. It showed a lot of character from the squad, which I was pretty delighted with.”
Duane Madziva helped spearhead the comeback with a pair of tries. The sophomore winger along with scrumhalf Joe Good kept the team focused throughout the come back.
“When things got a bit hot and heavy they showed pretty good leadership,” McWilliams said of the pair of underclassmen.
Yale managed to tie the game up at 24 by half time and scored the first two tries of the second half. Cornell cut into the two score lead with a try of its own but Madziva’s 2nd score of the day stopped Cornell. The Big Red scored one more time but Yale held on for a 39-34 victory.
The final game of the weekend featured a bout between Brown and Penn. Brown overwhelmed Penn early, generating an 18-point lead through 8 minutes. In fact, the Quakers did not touch the ball for the first quarter of the game.
“The Brown players came out pretty hot and I think we caught Penn napping a little bit in the beginning,” said Brown coach David Laflamme.
Penn settled in, however, starting to fight back. It did not translate into points, though, allowing Brown to run away with the match. Despite a man advantage, Penn only mustered one score. Once the player returned early in the second half, Brown ran away with the match. The turning point came when Brown intercepted a pass and took it the length of the field for a score.
“They kind of rallied the troops and we lost our composure,” Laflamme said of the end of the first half and the yellow card. “It was definitely a hard fought game in the middle of it. Over the last 15 minutes or so we kind of took control and put a nail in the coffin.”
Brown went on to win 39-8.