Old Rivals Fight to Scoreless Tie

Damon Runyon

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/November 26, 1911

Both Yale and Harvard Miss Golden Opportunities to Make Touchdown.

40,000 Witness Game

Bad Pass to Howe Prevents Fullback Kicking Easy Field Goal

Once this afternoon Opportunity rapped at the door of Yale but stepped aside to avoid a poor snap from center on a try for what seemed a certain field goal. Once it beat a loud tattoo at the Harvard portals and then dodged back before a forward pass. Whereupon opportunity came no more to the gate and the annual battle between Harvard and Yale ended in a tie.  

Nothing could be fairer than nothing to nothing and when it was all over and 40,000 people were trying to walk off the field on their 80,000 frosted feet, it was unanimously agreed that it might have been much worse. 

Game Ragged at Times

The score about represents the strength of the two elevens. It tells nothing of the slipshod, shattering game they played at times. It is mute on the subject of chances fritted away on fumbles and failures of one kind and another but it does indicate that at least there was a rough tussle and therein speaks truthfully. 

There have been many better games played between elevens representing the ancient rivals of the college world, but there never has been one fought so desperately. Every moment of playing was filled with possibilities and the fact that they always fell short of actual fulfillment took nothing from the thrills they stirred up. 

It was feared that the field would be wet and soggy after Friday’s rain, but when the straw covering was removed this afternoon it was found it was merely dampened and a gorgeous sun soon dried it thoroughly. 

Yale supporters cheered up at this news, as a muddy field would have a worked against the blue if the team lived up to its season’s record. As it turned out, Yale played a weaker game against the crimson on a fairly dry field than against Princeton on a sloppy fieId. 

Blue Has Chance to Score

Early in the first period the blue had a royal chance to score, when a high punt from Camp’s toe was fumbled by a Harvard player and bounced up and down the field. While crimson jerseyed arms were reaching for the ball Avery of Yale slipped through a hole in the Harvard’s 19-yard line. 

Dunu went through the crimson barrier for four yards. Another smash at the line by the Yale fullback added three more. Right in front of the Harvard goal, Howe dropped back for a crack at the posts. The pass from center was very poor and the next moment a few hundred pounds of Cambridge men landed on top of Howe. He was downed on Harvard’s 17-yard line and the ball belonged to the crimson. 

Later in that part after Harvard had been penalized five yards for delaying the game, Felton’s foot raised a punt high over Howe’s head and Huntington went tearing down the field for a nice recovery on Yale’s 8-yard line. Potter was pushed into the lineup at this juncture in place of Gardner. 

Wendell tried a smash at the blue line and crushed the Harvard cause along two yards further, planting the ball right against the Yale goal. Potter dropped back as if he intended to try for a kick, but suddenly slanted the ball out to the bunched players for a short forward pass. The effort went awry. Spalding of Yale reached a long arm into the air and grabbed the ball, which then belonged to the blue within inches of their goal line. Camp booted the ball forty yards away.

Came Off in Punting

Camp’s punting today was below his form but he did some great line plunging. Potter of Harvard had a good chance at a field goal from the 24-yard line in the first period. Frothingham replaced a player in that same period for Harvard and tried a field goal, but it missed. 

The work of Philbin the Yale back was a notable feature. Time and again he carried the ball for good gains. Felton’s punting was another feature, the Harvard man outbooting his blue rival.

It cannot be said that either team had much advantage. At different stages one would excel in one department and the other in another, but all in all, the nothing to nothing score is a good line on their respective abilities. The game is another proof of the fact that no matter how they have each shown against others during the season, when Yale and Harvard meet, it is the one big battle of the year. 

The game was evenly battled and if it had been a prearranged tie it could not have been worked off with so little sustained advantage to either side. The championship title may not have been at stake as the football experts say, but that was lost sight of when the teams took the field and they fought as desperately as if the world were at stake.  

Frequent penalties told of roughness in the playing. There were numerous substitutions for one reason and another and as the panorama of battle swept the field at the feet of the chilled 40,000, there was plenty of justification for the cheering sections to exercise their lungs. 

A touchdown was always the most remote possibility of the game. The spectators realized almost before the first period was over that if there was to be a score it would come from a field goal, unless accident contributed to this game as it has to so many others this season. The luck broke about even, however, and neither side can complain on that score.

Through the first period, however, Harvard seemed the best but after that Yale stiffened and carried the fight to her opponents. Philbin slipped away in the second period for a mighty run of forty-three yards, only to be brought down on a beautiful tackle by Potter.


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