With the four point win over Princeton on Saturday, Yale clinched at least a share of the Ivy League Championship. This was a rivalry game for the ages featuring two potent offenses firing on all cylinders.
Coming into the contest, we had a feeling Kanoff was going to have a big game, but no one thought he would put up over 450 passing yards on the top defense. Princeton WR Tiger Bech caught 6 passes for 175 yards, WR Jesper Horsted caught 6 passes for 128 yards and WR Stephen Carlson added another 74 yards receiving. Despite the yardage, Kanoff’s completion percentage was a low 56% as the Yale defense affected his rhythm and Princeton wideouts dropped a few balls. We bottled up Princeton’s running game by limiting Volker to just 29 yards. Everything seemed to go wrong for our defense during the first half. The pass rush was not generating enough pressure, the defensive backs were yards behind Princeton receivers, and tackling was downright atrocious. TE Jaeden Graham’s 58 yard touchdown reception and Princeton’s fumble on their opening drive of the second half shifted the momentum in favor of the Bulldogs.
After the Princeton fumble, Rawlings threw a perfect 33 yard touchdown pass to Senior WR Ross Drwal to put the Elis within a field goal of the Tigers. From that point on, the offense leaned on the bruisers up front to pave holes for Dudek and burn time off the clock. Dudek was a workhorse running for 180 yards on 35 carries. Rouse carried the ball twice for 26 yards including an electric 21 yard dash. After the 24-7 start to the game, Rawlings went on to complete 15 of his next 16 passes to finish up 26 for 34 for 304 yards and two touchdowns. Graham led the team in receiving yards with 87 followed by Williams-Lopez with 73.
The Bulldogs did not sack Kanoff once during the game, but Oplinger’s pressure on Princeton’s final offensive play caused an errant pass that wound up in Oluokun’s hands. Oplinger finished the day with 10 total tackles followed by Hayden Carlson who had 8 tackles and two very important pass breakups.
Galland was perfect on extra points, but missed a tough 44 yard field goal in crunch time. Kick coverage was poor once again and Princeton’s Tiger Bech had multiple opportunities to return kicks for touchdowns.
Congratulations to Yale players, coaches and parents on the championship run!
There’s just one more goal to accomplish: Beat Harvard!