Yale Defeats Harvard in “The Game” Despite Controversy

11/23/19 By Tyler Englander

Arnold Gold/ New Haven Register Via The Boston Globe

Boston, MA- The 136th edition of “The Game” between Harvard University and Yale University had a little bit of everything. From protests off the field to an amazing game on it, this year’s edition of the “The Game” will be remembered for a long long time. 

Harvard used a pair of second quarter touchdowns to take a 15-3 lead at halftime at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. Quarterback Jake Smith found BJ Watson for a 27-yard touchdown early in the second. Later in the quarter, Aidan Borguet found the endzone on a 47-yard run to put Harvard up multiple possessions. 

At halftime, students, faculty, and alumni from both Harvard and Yale flooded on the field protesting climate change, Puerto Rican aid among other subjects. Students held signs encouraging the universities to divest from fossil fuel industries. 

Hundreds of additional protestors streamed onto the field as halftime concluded. Teams returned to their locker rooms as the delay continued. Most students were escorted off the field peacefully after more than 30 minutes. The remaining protesorts were told by police they would be arrested. At this time, it is unclear how many people were arrested as a result of the incident. 

Yale athletic director Vicky Chun released the following statement saying, “While I respect the rights of Harvard and Yale students to protest, their efforts should not impact their fellow students’ ability to pursue their passions as athletes on the field of play, and those who support them. We are proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their resilience today in an extremely difficult situation.”

Harvard captain Wesley Ogsbury showed solidarity with the protestors releasing a statement on Twitter saying many of his teammates are “wearing orange bracelets” in support of the protests. 

Once the game resumed, it turned into an instant classic. Harvard led Yale 36-19 in the fourth quarter as they looked primed to win “The Game” for the second year in a row, however, Yale had other plans. Sam Tuckerman hit a field goal with just under nine minutes to play to make it a 14 point game. 

Kurt Rawlings connected with Mason Tipton with 1:28 to go to cap a 91-yard drive to make it a 36-29 game. The contest would come down to an onside kick. Miraculously, Reed Klubnik recovered the kick for the Bulldogs. Yale went 53 yards in 1:10 to tie the game on a JP Shofi touchdown. Yale erased a 14 point Harvard lead 70 seconds. 

In the first overtime, Harvard and Yale traded touchdowns, but in the second it was only Yale that would score. Zane Dudek scored a TD for Yale and on defense the Bulldogs held. Yale won the 136th contest with Harvard 50-43. Yale improves to 9-1 and clinches a share of the Ivy League Title. Harvard finished the year 4-6.