New England Football: Harvard,Yale Set To Meet At Fenway Park In 2018

Washington Nationals v Boston Red Sox

Fenway Park will host next year’s Harvard-Yale Football game. (PHOTO CREDIT: MLB.com).

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Fenway Park will be the site of next year’s Harvard-Yale football game – it was announced this morning via a press release that the two schools would meet  at the home of the Boston Red Sox next November.

2018 will mark the 135th Playing of “The Game” between Harvard and Yale – the two schools first met in 1875 with the Crimson claiming a 4-0 victory.

Next year’s contest will be the first time “The Game” will be played at a location other than Harvard Stadium or the Yale Bowl since 1912.

Yale captured this year’s meeting against the Crimson, thanks to quarterback Kurt Rawlings and halfback Zane Dudek, who both scored one touchdown in a 24-3 victory.

The Bulldogs, who won nine of 10 games this fall, earned their first outright Ivy League crown since securing the title in 1980. Yale’s lone loss of the season came against Dartmouth in October, but the Eli’s managed to rebound from the setback by winning their final six contests.

Fenway Park was the home to a trio of collegiate football contests this fall, including Brown-Dartmouth, which took place earlier this month on Friday, November 10th. The Big Green defeated the Bears, 33-10.

Additionally, the ball park hosted three high school football games this month, including Everett-Masconomet. Boston College High School, Catholic Memorial, Hingham and Scituate also competed at Fenway Park prior to Thanksgiving.

Ivy League Football Notebook: Can Yale Top Harvard In ‘The Game?’

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The Bulldogs of Yale will look to cap their season with a win over Harvard in ‘The Game.’ (PHOTO CREDIT: Yale Athletics | Jack Warhola mage)

By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard’s shot at a share of the Ivy League title came to a screeching halt last Saturday in a less-than-inspiring 23-6 loss to the Penn Quakers 5-4 (3-3) at Harvard Stadium.

The Crimson 5-4 (4-3) are reduced to the role of spoiler as they head to New Haven on Saturday to face Yale in THE GAME.

The Crimson were never in position to challenge Penn as the Quaker’s Tre Solomon took the first possession of the game all the to the house on a 77-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 and the Quakers never looked back.

The Harvard offense was contained all day by a veteran Penn defensive unit that limited the Crimson to a pair of field goals (24 and 32-yards) by Jake McIntyre.

Yale, with a 35-31 win last week over the Princeton Tigers, has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title and can claim sole possession of the 2017 title with a win over Harvard on Saturday at the Yale Bowl, the Bulldogs first since 2006.

If the Bulldogs lose to the Crimson, Columbia and Dartmouth can also lay claim to a share of the title.

Yale sophomore quarterback Kurt Rawlings sparked the Bulldogs win over Princeton as he led the Bulldogs back from a 24-7 second quarter deficit. Rawlings was 26-for-34 for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bulldogs freshman phenom running back Zane Dudek rushed 35 times for 180 yards and three touchdowns in the  come-from-behind win over Princeton. Eleven of his runs were for first downs, and he also caught six passes and finished with 212 all-purpose yards.

The Crimson defense will face a mountain of a challenge in defending Rawlings, who is having an MVP-type season and Dudek, who is the front-runner for National Rookie of the Year honors.

Harvard has failed to play consistent football but they have been a very dangerous team coming off a loss in the previous week.

Yale leads the series 66-59-6. The Bulldogs edged the Crimson 21-14 at Harvard Stadium last year.

The Game, in front of a sellout crowd at the Yale Bowl, has a 12:30 p.m. kickoff and it will broadcast live by CNBS Sports. Paul Burmeister and Ross Tucker have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: The Crimson give Yale all they can handle in THE GAME, but it’s the year of the Bulldogs! PREDICTION: Yale 24, Harvard 17

Around the Ancient Eight: Dartmouth 7-2 (4-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they host Princeton 5-4 (2-4), while Columbia 7-2 (4-2) plays host to Brown 2-7 (0-6).

A Yale win will be their first title since 2006, and their first outright title since 1980. Columbia has only one Ivy League title, in 1961, and Dartmouth is looking for its League-leading 19th title and first since 2015.

Yale quarterback Rawlings performance against Princeton earned his second Ivy Offensive Player of the Week award of the season (Sept. 18) and fourth career Ivy League weekly honor.

Yale’s Zane Dudek earned his fifth Ivy Rookie of the Week honor of the season, just the third Ivy to accomplish the feat, joining Harvard’s Eion Hu (six, 1994) and Princeton’s Chuck Dibilio (six, 2011).

With its recent win over Columbia, Yale claimed its 900th all-time victory. The Bulldogs are the third team in Division I history to accomplish the feat, joining Michigan and Notre Dame.

Penn superb senior wide receiver Justin Watson continues to climb the Ivy League record books. Watson is in second-place all-time with 3,585 receiving yards. He also ranks third in receptions (273) and fourth in receiving touchdowns (32).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Friday Night Round-Up: Harvard Edges MIT Basketball, Westfield State Upends Western Conn. in Season Finale

Bradley Jomard (MIT)

Bradley Jomard paced the Engineers in an exhibition setback against Harvard University. (PHOTO CREDI: MIT Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

Harvard’s Seth Towns netted a game-high 20 points, while Chris Lewis recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Crimson defeated MIT, 73-64, in their season-opener on Friday evening at Lavietes Pavilion.

MIT, which was led by Bradley Jomard (17 points, six rebounds), trailed Harvard, 39-32, at the break, but used an 11-2 run minutes into the second half to pull within two-points (49-47) of the hosts with 11:02 remaining.

Harvard (1-0) counted with a six-point spurt, highlighted by a Rio Haskett jumper with 8:52 remaining to secure a 55-49 lead, but MIT clawed back, thanks to a pair of free throws from Nacho Nwana and a layup from Jomard to bring the visitors within four-points (57-53).

The Crimson would respond again with a pair of dunks, including one down the middle by Lewis, which provided the hosts with enough momentum to secure their initial win of the season.

MIT did close the gap late in the session with a pair of freebies from Ian Hinkley with 1:33 remaining, but Harvard dashed the Engineers’ comeback hopes with two free throws from Towns, along with a trifecta from Bryce Aiken.

Harvard concluded the game 21 of 51 from the floor, including 5 of 18 from beyond the arc. The Crimson also connected on 26 of 36 free-throws, too. MIT was 22 of 54 from the floor, but converted just 13 of 21 free-throw attempts.

Hinkley and Hamilton Forsythe each concluded the contest with 13 points apiece, while  Nwana added eight points, seven rebounds, three swipes and one assist off the bench.

The Crimson return to action Sunday, November 12 when they host UMass at 2 p.m., while the Engineers will officially begin their 2017-18 campaign next Wednesday, November 15 when they host Bridgewater State for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

Westfield State capped its 2017 football season with a convincing 17-0 win over Western Connecticut at Alumni Field.

Travon Holder, who led all rushers with 187 yards on 38 carries, rushed for a pair of touchdowns, while Jake Cassidy rushed for another score, along with 53 yards on 14 carries.

On defense, Tyler Robbins highlighted the Owls’ effort with four total tackles, two interceptions, one pass break-up and one fumble recovery.

Western Connecticut quarterback Quinn Fleeting finished the game 11 of 21 for 107 yards.

Cassidy scored the game’s initial touchdown with 3:46 remaining in the first quarter before Holder located the end zone twice in the second quarter.

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Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Keeps Title Hopes Alive

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

They were on the brink of elimination but Coach Tim Murphy’s Crimson football team, along with a superb relief effort from quarterback Joe Viviano, kept their 2017 Ivy League title hopes alive with their second consecutive come-from-behind victory.

Last week the Crimson defeated the Columbia Lions for the 14th consecutive time, 21-14, in the Bronx.

The Crimson 5-3 (4-2) dramatic triumph over the Lions 6-2 (3-2) sets up another important showdown on Saturday, November 11th against the Penn Quakers 4-4 (2-3) at Harvard Stadium.

Murphy made a call to his bullpen and Viviano, who came off the bench in the second quarter and went 6-for-12 (120 yards), while connecting on a pair of touchdowns and rushing for one to lead the Crimson comeback.

Viviano and Henry Taylor hooked-up on a 65-yard TD pass in the second quarter and followed that up with a 1-yard keeper to give the Crimson a 14-7 lead at the half.

Harvard added an insurance tally to make it 21-7 in the third quarter when Viviano found Jake Barann on 2-yard TD toss.

It was a bitter loss for Coach Al Bagnoli’s Lions who had a chance with a win to control their own destiny in the Ivy League title chase. Now the Lions need help to remain in the hunt and face possible elimination in this week’s contest at Cornell.

Penn invades Harvard Stadium this week in a spoiler roll after a stunning 38-35 victory over Princeton 5-3 (2-3) at Franklin Field last week.

Abe Willows rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Tre Solomon added 116 yards on the ground as Penn accumulated 531 total yards of offense in the victory which put a damper on Princeton’s title hopes.

Saturday’s contest will mark the 88th meeting between the Ivy rivals, with the Crimson leading the series, 48-37-2. Last season, the Quakers prevailed 27-14 at Franklin Field.

The kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on NESN Plus and the Ivy League Network. Alex Vispoli and Eric Gallanty will have the call.

Bob’s Prediction: With weather expected to be cold and very windy the Crimson must control the line of scrimmage or the Quakers could spoil Harvard’s title bid. All signs point to New Haven and THE GAME! Harvard 14, Penn 7 

Next week: It’s the Yale Bowl, November 18 for a 12:30 kickoff (CNBC).

Around the Ancient Eight: Yale 7-1 (4-1 Ivy League) is in sole possession of first place and has total control of their Ivy League title hopes entering the final two weeks of the season. The Bulldogs will travel to face pre-season favorite Princeton on Saturday and with a win will have a chance to capture the title outright against Harvard in THE GAME.

Dartmouth 6-2 (3-2) will look to keep their title hopes alive when they face Brown 2-6 (0-5) this evening, Friday, November 10th at Fenway Park while Columbia 6-2 (3-2) is in Ithaca Saturday afternoon against Cornell 3-5 (3-2).

Harvard’s Tim Murphy registered his 200th coaching win (168 at Harvard) in the Crimson’s 21-14 victory over Columbia.

Harvard’s defensive tackle Richie Ryan was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Week for his monster game in the win over Columbia. Ryan had 11 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble to lead the Crimson defensive unit.

Penn’s senior wide receiver Justin Watson broke the Quaker record for career receptions (265) and tied the Ivy record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception (8) in last week’s win over Princeton. Watson was named Ivy Offensive Player of the Week.

Hopefully, Harvard and Yale will prevail this weekend to setup plenty of Ivy League drama in THE GAME at the Yale Bowl next Saturday, November 18th (12:30 p.m. CNBC).

Follow Bob for all the Yale football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

(Compiled from various Ivy League media outlets)

Ivy League Football Notebook: Harvard Looks To Keep Title Hopes Alive Against Dartmouth

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

Harvard’s bid to remain in the 2017 Ivy League title hunt will hinge on a win when they host Buddy Teeven’s Dartmouth Big Green on Saturday at Harvard Stadium.

Last week Princeton senior quarterback Chad Kanoff had a day for the record books as he completed all 20 of his first-half passes and finished 31-of-35 for an astounding 88.6 completion percentage as the Tigers overwhelmed Harvard 52-17.

Kanoff completed his first 21 passes and finished just shy of the FCS single-game completion percentage record of 88.9. Kanoff totaled 421 yards, eighth-best in Princeton history, and moved from 21st to 15th on the all-time Ivy League passing list.

The Tigers racked up 573 yards of total offense in the win.

There were a few highlights for the Crimson as freshman quarterback Jake Smith passed for his season-best 268 yards and running back Charlie Booker III rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown. Luke Hutton led the Crimson defense with 10 tackles.

The Big Green enters Harvard Stadium after a 22-17 loss in last week’s showdown with the Columbia Lions.

The Crimson defense will face another talented Ivy quarterback in Dartmouth’s Jack Heneghan who passed for 331 yards (21-of-36, TD) against Columbia. Hunter Hagdorn, was Heneghan’s favorite target as he had eight catches for 100 yards.

Eric Meile led the Big Green defensive effort with a game-high 16 tackles.

Saturday’s game will be the 121st all-time meeting between Harvard and Dartmouth, with the first game having taken place back in 1882. Harvard leads the all-time series 70-45-5 and has won 13-straight games over the Big Green.

Bob’s Prediction: Harvard has proven their ability to bounce back after a disappointing loss this season, so this week is no exception. PREDICTION: Harvard 28, Dartmouth 17

Next week: Columbia will invade Harvard Stadium on Nov. 4 (1 p.m. ILN/SNY).

Around the Ancient Eight: The other big game this weekend is in the Yale Bowl when Yale 5-1 (2-1) hosts Coach Al Bagnoli’s surprising Columbia Lions 6-0 (3-0) on Saturday (SNY/ILN).

Yale, which is coming off a huge 24-19 comeback win at Penn (Elis first at Franklin Field since 2007) last week, will be looking to break the Lions bubble.

A win by Columbia this week would give the Lions not only their first 4-0 start in Ivy League play, but also their third 7-0 start in program history and first since 1932. Columbia’s seven-game win streak, dating back to last season, is the longest since 1934-35. Another win would match the Lions’ longest winning streak, previously set twice, most recently from 1933-34.

Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason polls. Columbia will be looking to continue their best start since 1996.

With identical 2-1 Ivy records Cornell and Princeton will look to remain in the title chase when they square off on Saturday night in Princeton, NJ (7 p.m. NBCSN).

The Crimson’s Justice Shelton-Mosley leads the nation in punt returns for touchdowns (two) and return average (21.5). Shelton-Mosley is also 26th in kickoff returns (24.6).

Yale’s freshman running back Zane Dudek has been named to the Rice Award Watch List.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, Nov. 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

Follow Bob on Twitter @WhitneyBob; like him on Facebook and Instagram.

Ivy League Football Notebook: It’s Crunch Time For Harvard, Princeton

496202By Bob Whitney (@WhitneyBob) 

It is crunch time in the Ivy League and over the next month teams will battle for a chance to be crowned 2017 Ivy football champions.

Harvard and Princeton, preseason picks to finish at the top of the Ivy heap, will kick off the weekend with a clash under the lights this evening at Harvard Stadium.

Both squads have one loss in the league and it is one of those games that can be filed as “must have.”

Harvard 3-2 (1-1 Ivy) prepped for the Tigers with a solid 38-10 non-league victory over Lafayette which featured a breakout effort by Crimson running back Charles Booker III (159 yards, 1 TD).

Harvard’s All-Ivy performer Justice Shelton-Moseley returned a punt 85 yards to open the scoring. Shelton-Moseley’s performance earned him Ivy Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.

The Crimson defense turned in a stellar effort, limiting the Leopards to just 12 rushing yards.

Freshman quarterback Jake Smith looked sharp and is improving with each snap.

The Harvard offense, defense and special teams look ready to face Princeton 4-1 (1-1) who tuned-up for the big showdown with a 53-0 victory at Brown.

Tiger running back Charlie Volker scored 4 touchdowns, including a 96-yard run which set a new school record.

The Tigers offense netted 538 total yards in the one-sided contest while the defense limited Brown to 170.

Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff was very efficient as he completed 21-of-27 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

On the other side, the Tigers are firing on all eight cylinders which should make for an exciting evening of football.

The game will be nationally-televised on the NBC Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m.

Bob’s Prediction: Both teams are ready with the home team getting the edge in this one – it should be an Ivy League Classic! Harvard 24, Princeton 23

Next week: Dartmouth will invade Harvard Stadium on Oct. 28 (12 p.m. NESN).

Around the Ancient Eight: The other big game this weekend pits a battle of the unbeaten when Dartmouth 5-0 (2-0) hosts Coach Al Bagnoli’s surprising Columbia Lions 5-0 (2-0) on Saturday (Eleven Sports, ILN).

Bagnoli’s Lions were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. Columbia will look to continue their best start since 1996.

The Ivy League registered its best non-conference record since 1994, finishing 18-6 in out-of-conference play in 2017.

Princeton’s Volker 96-yard touchdown run from scrimmage broke a 65-year record for the longest rushing score in Tiger history; the previous record was a 93-yard touchdown by Homer Smith, set against Yale on Nov. 15, 1952.

Friday night’s game in Cambridge will be the first Ivy League road night contest ever for Princeton.

Dartmouth’s upcoming matchup with Brown on Friday, Nov. 10, will be held in historic Fenway Park.

The Ivy League published results of their experimental kickoff rule, which has produced tangible results, including a significant drop in injuries and concussions throughout the 2016 season. After averaging six concussions per year during the Ivy League conference slate the previous three seasons, athletes suffered zero concussions on kickoff plays in 2016.

(Report compiled from various Ivy League media sources).

Follow Bob on Twitter @WhitneyBob; like him on Facebook and Instagram.

Harvard, Yale Highlight Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

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Harvard’s Bryce Aiken will be one of many players to watch on the Crimson this season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Boston Globe)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

The Harvard men’s basketball team was chosen to finish first in the Ivy League this winter, according to yesterday’s release.

Harvard, which collected six first-place votes, edged Yale by two points – the Bulldogs earned eight first-place votes, while tallying 118 points.

Princeton University, which is projected to finish third, garnered a trio of first-place votes for 114 points, while Penn and Columbia rounded out the top five.

Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown were projected to finish sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Harvard welcomes back a quartet of its leading scorers from a year ago, including sophomore Bryce Aiken, who was tabbed the Ivy League Rookie of the Year last season.

Aiken, a first-team All-Conference selection, paced the Crimson with 14.5 points per game last season, while tallying a career and season-best 28 points against Yale. As noted in his player bio, Aiken became the second first-year since Siyani Chambers to earn first team All-Ivy League honors.

Yale will certainly be a team to watch this season and should receive a boost from senior Makai Mason, who has been selected as the Ivy League preseason player of the year, per various outlets, including NBCSports.com.

Mason earned first-team All-Conference honors during his sophomore season (2015-16) – he became the fourth sophomore in program history to earn a spot on the conference’s first-team.

Against Baylor in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Mason netted a career and game-high 31 points, including 11 free throws to lift the Bulldogs to an exciting first round win.

Both teams will commence their respective 2017-18 campaigns on Friday, November 10 with Harvard hosting MIT and Yale facing Creighton at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.