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Fordham Comes To Bowl Saturday

Patrick Witt and Gabriel Fernandez. (photo by Kevin McCarthy)
Patrick Witt and Gabriel Fernandez. (photo by Kevin McCarthy)

Last Non-League Game With Rams

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The last non-league game of the 2010 Yale football season – and the first of three straight Yale on YES games - is Saturday at noon when Fordham comes to Yale Bowl and the Class of 1954 Field. The contest can be seen on the YES Network, while audio is available on WELI Radio (AM-960), and

Yale has won four of the five games with Fordham. The Elis won the inaugural contest 21-14 in 1950 at the Bowl. Forty-two years later, the Bulldogs took a 31-12 decision at home. The last meetings were in 2000 (24-17) at Coffey Field, 2001 (36-27) at the Bowl and then 2008 (12-10 Rams) back in the Bronx.

Philippe Panico (Boston, Mass.) booted a 19-yard FG as time expired in Yale's 23-20 Ivy win over Dartmouth at Memorial Field last week. The Elis, who have won eight straight against the Big Green (2-2, 0-2 Ivy), were in position to take the road win after senior CB Chris Stanley (Los Angeles, Calif.) pulled the ball out of the hands of a Dartmouth runner at midfield. Stanley also registered his first career interception to go along with three tackles. Senior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas), who completed 28 of 37 passes for 238 yards, and sophomore RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio), who had a career-high 18-126, took over from there to set up the winning kick. Cargill ran for 12 yards on a pair of carries while Witt, who took a big hit and never saw the play, connected with Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) for a 28-yard gain. The visitors called timeout with four seconds left following Cargill's final run. The Bulldogs, who doubled up Dartmouth with 24 first downs and had 464 yards, took the opening kick and went 70 yards, the last 13 on an Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) run along the right sideline. Dartmouth answered with a 37-yard field goal and a six-yard scamper by Nick Schwieger (26-128) to take a three-point lead early in the second.  The Blue was two-for-three on fourth-down conversions in the first 30 minutes. One miss gave the Green the ball at midfield and resulted in a score, while one make came late in the half – a pass to Chris Blohm (San Francisco, Calif.) over the middle – and led to Yale taking a 13-10 lead at intermission on Witt's play-action pass to Shane Bannon (Southbury, Conn.) from three yards out. Panico's PAT, which could have been the difference in the game, was blocked. Foley Schmidt's second field goal of the day, a career-long, 45-yarder, evened the score for Dartmouth with 3:33 left in the third. Sophomore RB Javi Sosa (Miami, Fla.), who came in when both Thomas and Cargill went down with injuries, sliced through the line from seven yards out on his first collegiate TD run on the last play of the third quarter to put Yale up 20-13. Big Green QB Connor Kempe (11-23, 181) had WR Michael Reilly (124 yards) open in the end zone for a moment but Stanley jumped with the big receiver and came down with his first career interception at 9:26 of the fourth quarter. Yale, trying to run out the clock and get out of trouble in its own end, suffered three holding penalties and was forced to punt out of its own end zone.  Dartmouth DB Shawn Abuhhoff jumped all over the chance to even the game again with a 41-yard TD return at 6:19. Panico, one of three on field goal chances in the game, was short on a 43-yard attempt that could have given the Elis the lead, but instead gave the home team another shot. But with the clock running down and Dartmouth driving, Stanley stripped the ball from Schwieger at midfield with 1:06 left.  

Here are some interesting numbers from last Saturday: The Bulldogs converted four of 13 third downs but were two of three on fourth downs… Yale, which has converted 75 percent of its red-zone chances this year, was perfect on four opportunities at Hanover… There were no sacks… There were a combined 12 penalties for 159 yards.

CB Chris Stanley, who became a starter this fall, enjoyed his finest day for Yale last week. He forced and recovered a fumble (Dartmouth's first of 2010) that led to the game-winning kick, picked off a pass in the end zone and notched three tackles. listed him on its honor roll for defensive players of the week. He is also a member of the Yale track & field team and has competed in numerous events with a rare combination of sprints (10.86 100m), long jump and pole vault.

His first carry went for negative yardage, and he was helped off the field two or three times last Saturday, but sophomore RB Mordecai Cargill kept bouncing back before finishing with a career-best and Yale season-high 126 yards on 18 carries. It was his first 100-yard collegiate game. "I did not want to be the reason we lost," he said in the post-game press conference. "If I could walk, I was going to be on the field."

Philippe Panico will remember his first collegiate field goal forever, his teammates might too. The sophomore kicker's boot as time expired bounced off the right upright and went through from 19 yards away in Yale's 23-20 Ivy win at Memorial Field last week. "It was a great snap and a great hold and it kissed the upright," said Panico, who was clearly drained from the emotional ending. Yale's first (now 1-for-7) field goal of the year could not have come at a bigger time. It was Yale's first game-winning FG with under a minute left since 2004.

Philippe Panico's first varsity field goal and extra point headed the list of collegiate firsts for the Bulldogs at Dartmouth. Here are the others: Javi Sosa's TD run; freshman TE Keith Coty's (La Mirada, Calif.) reception; Elijah Thomas's (Rochester, N.Y.) first carry; and Chris Stanley's first interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Blake Wayne completed 24 of 41 passes for 343 yards but his Fordham team fell at Lehigh 21-17 last week. Wayne connected with Stephen Skelton (7-89) and Jason Caldwell (6-77) often while leading the offense to 415 total yards and 21 first downs. Xavier Martin (14-34) was the team's top ground gainer against the Mountain Hawks. Brendan Menlaophy (Danbury, Conn.) led the Rams with 10 tackles. Fordham has lost three straight close games after winning two in a row.

2-0 IVY
Yale won its first two Ivy games for the fourth time in six years but the first since 2007. One (2006) of those four resulted in a league title.

Yale's rushing defense ranks ninth among FCS teams with a 94-yard average, while the Elis are 27th in scoring defense (21.25) per game. The Blue is third and fourth respectively in those categories among Ivy schools. Sophomore LB Will McHale (Old Greenwich, Conn.) led the Bulldogs with 10 total tackles at Dartmouth, while senior DT Joe Young (Shrewsbury, Mass.) had a team-best four solos.

Senior Shane Bannon is Yale's h-back, the guy who can block, catch passes and run with the ball. He had a career-high six catches last week at Hanover and now has eight catches for 55 yards this fall. His first career carry resulted in a TD at Princeton in 2009, his first catch went for a score against Georgetown in 2008.

Senior SS Adam Money (Whiteland, Ind.) is the active career interception leader for Yale with six, including two (77 vs. Brown '09, 60 vs. Georgetown '08) taken back for scores. A 2009 first-team All-Ivy pick, Money, who needs three more to crack the school's top 10 career list, has a 3.46 GPA (biology major) and has been interviewing at medical schools this fall.

A pair of fleet-footed offensive players from Belen Jesuit Prep in Miami, Fla., helped the Bulldogs win at Hanover last week. Senior WR Gio Christodoulou had five catches for 69 yards and leads the 2010 team with 19 grabs for 342 yards. Sophomore RB Javi Sosa was called on when Yale's top two backs left the field with injuries in the second half. His first carry of the game (second of the season) resulted in his first career TD on a seven-yard run late in the third. Sosa finished with eight carries for an important 50 yards.

Gio Christodoulou, who had a career-best nine catches for 124 yards against Georgetown on opening day, has two career punt returns for TDs and ranks among the top 10 at Yale in career punt (434, 4th) and kickoff (553, 10th) return yardage.

Junior LB Jordan Haynes (25-15-40) has led the Bulldogs in total tackles in three of four games this fall. He had 2-6-8 at Dartmouth. The National Football Foundation High School Scholar-Athlete from Folsom, Calif., leads Yale in tackles and recovered fumbles (2) in his first year as a starter. Haynes also scored Yale's first TD of the year on a four-yard fumble return late in the first quarter on Sept. 18.

Adam Danko's 20-yard field goal with 14 seconds left gave Fordham a 12-10 victory over Yale at Jack Coffey Field in 2008. The kick spoiled a four-turnover performance from the Yale defense that included an 86-yard fumble return for a touchdown by LB Bobby Abare '09. Fordham limited Yale to 53 yards rushing on 27 attempts, and the Rams enjoyed a nearly 17-minute edge in time of possession.  

Yale has scored game-winning TDs as time expired in the fourth quarter twice this season. Patrick Witt dove into the end zone from a yard out to erase a deficit against Georgetown on the game's last play. Philippe Panico split the uprights at Dartmouth with no time left. The Elis have not won a pair of games in a season on the last play since 1937.
Junior QB Patrick Witt (Wylie, Texas) proved how resilient he is with a big day at Hanover. Recovering from an Oct. 2 injury that limited him in practice, he shook off a number of big hits to complete 28 passes for 238 yards while scrambling to avoid being sacked. Witt, whose parents are both commercial pilots, leads an air attack which rates 11th in the FCS with 277 yards per game, while he is 14th in FCS total offense (280). Witt now has 14 career TD passes to go along with a pair of rushing TDs this season. Witt was named Ivy League co-Player of the Week (35-55, 407) on Sept. 20 after he threw for 400 yards (6th time it has happened at Yale) and scored the winner against the Hoyas. A backup at Nebraska in 2008, Witt started six Yale games in 2009 and led the team with 1,449 yards and eight TDs.

Witt in 2010
Game        Com-Att, Yds    TD    Int
Georgetown    35-55, 407    2    1
Cornell        18-32, 232    1    2
Albany        21-46, 231    2    1
Dartmouth    28-37, 238    1    1
Totals        102-170, 1108    6    5
Yale's QB connected with eight different receivers two weeks, while nine caught passes at Dartmouth. Ten Bulldogs have caught passes this fall while six different Elis have one TD catch. Gio Christodoulou leads the team with 19 grabs. Sophomore WR Chris Smith (Midlothian, Va.) has 18 for 158 yards. Senior WR Jordan Forney (Bloomington, Ind.) is third with 16 while senior TE Chris Blohm (San Francisco, Calif.) has 14 after not making a catch in any of the 10 games he played in 2009.  

Patrick Witt has been sacked twice in four games, a far cry from the 32 sacks given up in 10 games by Yale last fall. It's clear the offensive line has improved in 2010. Freshman Wes Gavin (San Diego, Calif., 6-5, 275) and sophomore Roy Collins (6-4, 230, Carbondale, Ill.) got the starts at tackle in game four. Collins, a TE last year, replaced Alex Golubiewski (Green Bay, Wis., 6-6, 280), who was taking the LSAT exam. Junior Colin Kruger (Sarasota, Fla., 6-3, 300) and Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu, HI, 6-0, 273) got the nods at guard. Junior Jeff Fell (6-5, 286, Garden City, N.Y.) was the starting center, filling in for an injured Jake Koury (Dublin, Ohio, 6-2, 270), while senior John Pedersen (Great Falls, Va., 6-7, 303) also saw significant time at tackle.

Senior DE Tom McCarthy (Chester, N.J.), the Yale captain, was back in the lineup after missing two games with an injury. He registered three solos and nine overall stops. He has been one of the leaders on the defensive line the last two years. The second-team All-Ivy pick last fall (4 sacks, 8 TFL) was Yale's MVP of the defensive line. He earned a medical hardship from his freshman year and is now the fifth Yale captain since 2001 who has taken a fifth year of eligibility.

Alex Thomas has shown why he is the most prolific (8,279 yards, 114 TDs) runner in Connecticut High School history. The junior RB from Ansonia, who scored three times in an opening day win, leads the team with 284 yards and four TDs. His 124 yards (matched career-high vs. Harvard '09) and 6.9 average were game-highs at Cornell. His 47-yard run at Cornell is the longest run by a Bulldogs this fall. Thomas, who added 15 pounds of muscle over the summer, is fifth on the team with 13 catches.  

Senior P/PK Alex Barnes (Chesterfield, Mo.) has handled all the punting (35.6) duties and most of the placekicking (9-11 PAT, 0-4 FGs) opportunities this season. Philippe Panico, a second-year PK, got his first start at Dartmouth and was 2-3 on PAT and 1-3 on FGs.
San Diego natives OT Wes Gavin and RB Deon Randall, WR Cameron Sandquist (Redmond, Wash.), DT John Oppenheimer (Menlo Park, Calif.), TE Keith Coty, snapper Kyle Wittenauer (Richmond, Va.) and DB Nick Okano (Los Angeles, Calif.) are the class of 2014 Elis who have seen varsity action this fall. Gavin is the only starter among the newcomers but Randall has seen regular action.

The Blue has scored on the opening drive in two of the four games and is averaging 62 yards per scoring drive... Yale's last three games have taken less than three hours to play. The longest (3:06) was game one vs. Georgetown, the shortest (2:39) was at Cornell... Two of Yale's 2010 non-league opponents offer football scholarships, Albany and Fordham… Gio Christodoulou needs 10 punt return yards to pass Gary Fencik '76 (443) for the No. 3 spot on the Yale career chart. Todd Tomich '01 tops the list at 788 yards… With 102 completions and 1,108 passing yards in four games, Patrick Witt could challenge the school single-season marks held by Alvin Cowan (227-2994, 2003)… The largest crowd to see a Yale game this fall was 16,026 at Cornell… The Bulldogs have played 23-20 games the last two weeks… Yale has outscored opponents in every quarter.

Smith is the most common surname in America, so it's no surprise that Yale has three (Caleb, Chris, McConnell) from different classes on its roster. All three are on offense, two are WRs (Chris, McConnell) and Caleb is an end. Chris and Caleb (West Orange, N.J.) played in both games this fall, McConnell (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) is looking for his first varsity action.

Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 32 years in the NFL playing and coaching, is the secondary coach for the Philadelphia Eagles… TE Nate Lawrie '04, who played with UFL Sacramento last year, signed with the Eagles on Aug. 9 but was released on Sept. 3... Jeff Mroz '05 played QB in one 2010 game for the AFL Alabama Vipers… Pat Graham '01 is an assistant coach for the New England Patriots… Michael McDaniel '06 is an assistant in the UFL for San Francisco.

For the 13th consecutive season, all 10 Yale Football games can be heard live on New Haven's News/Talk 960 WELI-AM and free online at Ron Vaccaro '04 (play-by-play) and Carm Cozza (color) have the call, which can be heard on AM radio throughout Connecticut and across Long Island Sound, for their sixth season together.

Every third quarter this season, a different former Yale player will join the WELI Radio broadcast. P.J. Collins '04 (Georgetown), Rick Fehling '74 (Cornell), Jay Pilkerton '09 (Albany), Kevin Kelly '78 (Dartmouth), Joe Walland '00 (Fordham), Bobby Fernandez '75 (Columbia), Matt Polhemus '08 (Penn), Chuck Mercein '65 and Scott Rooth '77 (Princeton) and Bill Primps '71 (Harvard) are the 2010 lineup.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football at Yale, is in his second season at Yale and his second as a head coach overall. Williams is 7-7 overall with the Bulldogs and is Fordham for the first time. He came to New Haven after two seasons as an assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars and is in his 13th season of college coaching. Williams has worked at his alma mater, Stanford, Hawaii, Washington and San Jose State. He has been part of four Bowl Game appearances and two Bowl victories.

All six home games this season will be video streamed live (pay per view) on through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro and Carm Cozza providing the call.

The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field at 7:30 a.m. (until approx. 9:30) Tuesday and Thursdays, and 7:00 on Wednesdays behind the baseball stadium. Fridays are walk-through days either at Yale Bowl or on the road and times vary. Players and coaches are available for interviews with working media following the practice if there are no class conflicts. All schedules are subject to change.

Broadcasts of Yale football, along with several other sports during the year, are available on the Yale student station, WYBC, and can be heard free on-line at Sports director LeRoy Cole '12 heads each broadcast.

Tom Williams, the Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Yale Football, and some of his players are at the world famous Mory's (306 York Street) every Tuesday (Sept. 14 through Nov. 16) at 2 p.m. for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Press Conference. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn ( if you would like to attend.

Yale on YES is back for 2010 with three (Fordham, Penn, Columbia) straight home games that can be seen live on many cable systems as well as DirecTV, AT&T U-verse and Verizon FiOS. Chris Shearn handles the play-by-play while former Yale defensive player Jack Ford '72 and Ross Tucker, a former Princeton and NFL offensive lineman, provide the color.

The Yale-Harvard game on Nov. 20 at Boston is the Ivy League Game of the Week on Versus, the national sports cable TV company.

A former Yale kicker (Brian Clarke '74) became a famous (General Hospital, Eight is Enough) TV actor, and more recently ex-Eli receiver (Kip Pardue '98) had a starring role as a QB in the hit movie Remember the Titans. Sophomore QB Dez Duron (Shreveport, La.) has been singing since he was two and might follow in that mode. He and his siblings sang for preaching tapes mailed by their father. Their mom wrote Christian songs with videos and tapes for kids called "Best Buddies." Duron, at 11, and his siblings were signed to a Christian recording label. They toured and made a CD. Duron got more involved in sports and stopped singing with his family. He recently began making his own music, including the recording of two songs that can be heard on Myspace. There are also two youtube videos.

Five Bulldogs recently visited the Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley's Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse in Ansonia to help kids learn the importance of eating healthy and staying fit… Junior RB Alex Thomas (Ansonia, Conn.) and Ansonia native John Coughlin (Yale Football Office) spoke to 125 fourth graders this fall at John G Prendergast Elementary School in Ansonia... Junior CB Drew Baldwin (Alexandria, Va.), co-chair of the Yale Black Men's Union Community Outreach Committee, is in his third year of outreach work. Baldwin is responsible for creating the lesson plans and the calendar of events, working to promote personal growth and development through educational activities. "We try to do this through exposing the mentees to new ideas and experiences and, most importantly, through building lasting relationships between mentor and mentee.  We work toward trying to help these high school kids become young men.  In the Black Men's Union we measure success by how many lives we impact.  Because our mentoring program puts us in a position to impact lives to a great extent, we take that responsibility very seriously," said Baldwin (31-8-39 last year with two interceptions), who has mentored over 30 kids. Classmate Jordan Haynes works closely with Baldwin on the project.

The Yale JV team returns to action again on Oct. 31 against Bridgton Academy. Here are the three remaining games.
Date        Opponent            Time
Oct. 31        Bridgton Academy        Noon
Nov. 7        Army                Noon
Nov. 19        at Harvard            1:00

Jesse Reising (Decatur, Ill.), a senior LB, has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, a scholar-athlete award handed out December 7 at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan by the National Football Foundation. Reising, second on the team with 18 tackles after three starts, owns a 3.75 GPA with a focus on economics and political science. He may be locked in on his majors and football right now, but this Eli has his sights set on his country. The Bulldog defensive standout was home last summer taking classes to get his flight license before he completes Marine Corps Officer Candidate School next year. Reising recently spent time in Washington, DC, working closely with veterans' service organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. Reising, the class valedictorian at Eisenhower High School, also participated in various community outreach activities through his Yale fraternity, including events to raise money to fight prostate cancer, Relay for Life, and making care packages for Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. Yale players are often selected as semifinalists for the Campbell Trophy, but only 10 have made the final squad picked as NFF Scholar-Athletes since Rick McCarthy became the first in 1967. Casey Gerald, who spoke at the national event representing all the scholar-athletes in 2008, was Yale's last selection.

This season marks the 50th anniversary of Yale's last perfect football squad. The 1960 Elis, who shared the Lambert Trophy with Navy, were Ivy champions and ranked 14th in the final Associated Press poll, went 9-0. They will be honored during the weekend of the Princeton game at the Bowl.

Here are the weekly league or conference awards garnered by Bulldogs:

Ivy League Offensive Player of Week: QB Patrick Witt (9/20)
Ivy League Honor Roll: LB Jordan Haynes & WR Chris Smith (9/20); RB Alex Thomas (9/27); WR Jordan Forney (10/3); QB Patrick Witt & DB Chris Stanley (10/11)
ECAC Offensive Player of Week: QB Patrick Witt (9/20)

Here's who the Yale coaches honored after Saturday's game: Offense (Patrick Witt, Shane Bannon, Mordecai Cargill, John Pedersen); Defense (Joe Young, Jesse Reising, Chris Stanley); Special Teams (Phillipe Panico, John Powers).

High on the facility wish list of Tom Williams was moving his team from multiple rooms at the Smilow Field Center to one large locker area. That wish came to fruition in the form of the Carm Cozza Complex. A dressing area designed by ProZone Lockers and meeting rooms for coaches and players highlight the complex that will also include a shrine to the hall of fame former Yale head coach.

The annual survey of Bulldogs produced the anticipated results; Yale is a team full of leaders who produced as much off the field as they did on it. Here is the 201 breakdown.

81     players were captains of their high school football team
55     players were captains of another sport in high school
57     players were a national honors society member
 8     players were class president at their high school
 8     players were student body president at their high school
11     players were class valedictorian at their high school
 2     players were class salutatorian at their high school

The following Yalies have distinguished themselves according to a vote by their teammates.

DB Josh Grizzard (Jr, Zebulon, N.C.):     most humorous
DB Geoff Dunham (Jr, Dallas, Texas):     most intelligent
DB Adam Money (Sr, Whiteland, Ind.):     most vocal leader (not captain)
LB Jesse Reising (Sr, Decatur, Ill.):     most likely to be U.S. President
QB Dez Duron (So, Shreveport, La.):    most interesting activity (musician)
                     best singer
RB Alex Thomas (Jr, Ansonia, Conn.):    strongest player (pound-for-pound)
WR Jordan Forney (Sr, Bloomington, Ind.):     most involved in community outreach

"Hawaiian Fridays" are the rule in the Yale Football Office. Show up without a Hawaiian shirt and you risk a fine. Three coaches (Tom Williams, Ikaika Malloe, Doug Semones) have worked in high school, college or pro football on the island while three players, Gabe Fernandez (Honolulu), Kolu Buck (Kaneole) and Jake Semones (Haleiwa), grew up there.

The Yale Bowl may be in West Haven, but the press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices and salad on home Saturdays. Rather than interrupting your work with a lunch at halftime, the food is now served on its arrival before kickoff.

filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director