Courtesy of Yale Athletics
NEW HAVEN, Conn.
- LB Jesse Reising knocked away a fourth-down pass near mid field with 2:10 left on the clock to preserve a 31-28 victory for the Yale football team over Columbia at Yale Bowl and the Class of ’54 Field. Reising’s defensive play followed a third-down sack by DE Sean Williams and signaled the end of a furious Lions comeback in the Ivy League contest.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 3-1 Ivy), who notched all of its points in the first half, jumped out to the large lead by scoring on all four trips to the red zone. Alex Thomas, who had a career-high 137 yards on 19 runs, went 42 yards to give the home team a lead 58 seconds after the opening kick.
Yale QB Patrick Witt (19-30, 213 yards) threw three TD passes while jumping all over miscues by the Lions in the first 30 minutes.
“We had a great first half and were hitting on all cylinders. But it was a tale of two halves,” said Witt, who was sacked twice and had three balls picked. “Our defense came up big for us and made the key plays when we needed them.”
After Philippe Panico split the uprights from 32 yards, the Elis used a new weapon to bump the margin to 24. WR Cameron Sanquist’s first two varsity collegiate catches went for scores from 10 and 15 yards 19 seconds apart.
“I was excited to be out there. Pat [Witt] threw great balls on both plays,” said Sandquist.
Columbia (3-4, 1-3) trailed 24-0 in the second quarter and 31-7 at intermission before rattling off three straight touchdowns. QB Sean Brackett (16-35, 198 yards) threw four scoring passes, including three to TE Andrew Kennedy (5-64). However, his two interceptions and two sacks were big setbacks for the visitors.
“We showed our immaturity. We are a young, developing football team and we didn’t finish like we wanted to today,” said Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow ’54 Head Coach of Yale Football. “But we did get the win and we stayed in the hunt [for the Ivy title].
Yale SS Adam Money recovered two Columbia fumbles while LB Jordan Haynes, who had an interception, led the Blue with six solos and nine overall stops.
Columbia LB Zach Olinger had a game-high nine solo tackles and 10 overall, including three for lost yardage. He was one of the reasons Yale only made one trip to the red zone in the second half.