Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Leopards Come To Bowl Saturday

Eric Williams. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)
Eric Williams. (photo by Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

Yale Finishing Non-League Slate

Related Links


NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Two teams looking for momentum heading into the thick of the league season square off at Yale Bowl on the Class of 1954 Field Saturday at noon. Yale (1-3, 0-2 Ivy) hosts Lafayette (3-2, 1-0 Patriot) in the Bulldogs' last non-league contest, which can be seen live on ESPN3 and Yale All Access and heard on WELI (AM-960, and

Here's what you need to do to watch the game on ESPN3. Download the WatchESPN app on the App Store or Google Play or visit Select your TV provider when prompted, and the enter your TV subscription username and password (something you use to pay bills online).


Yale leads 7-2 heading into the 10th meeting. The Leopards have won the last two (2009, 2011) meetings. The first encounter came in 1912 and the first four games were Yale victories by a combined 145-0. The largest margin of victory for Yale was 55-0 in 1935. 



Yale WR Chris Smith had 174 yards receiving, but it was not enough for the Elis to overcome an early deficit that led to a 28-19 Lafayette win at Easton last October. Yale, playing a rare Saturday night game, closed to within 21-19 in the fourth before it slipped away.  Lafayette CB Darius Safford picked off two Bulldog passes to lead the home team's defense.



Alex Park completed 15 of 27 passes for 204 yards and a score as Dartmouth broke open a close game at Yale Bowl in the third quarter on the way to a 34-14 over Yale in a contest that did not have any turnovers. The Big Green (3-1, 1-1 Ivy), winners over the Bulldogs for the first time in 10 years, trailed 14-10 late in the second quarter after the Elis used a trick play and a pair of unlikely seniors on fourth-down from the visitor's 18-yard line. Backup WR Derek Russell took the shot-gun snap and ran forward two steps before tossing a perfect spiral into the hands of DE Dylan Drake, who was lined up to block very close to where the ball was centered. Dartmouth scored the game's next 24 points. Riley Lyons booted field goals from 24 and 36 yards while Brian Grove, who came in for the shaken up Dominick Pierre (91 rushing yards), rushed for two touchdowns. The Big Green has seven more minutes of possession time and was 6-for-7 in the red zone. Yale was led by the passing of Eric Williams (17-24, 181, 1 TD) and the running of Mordecai Cargill, who led all players with 96 yards.



Ross Scheuerman rushed for 125 yards and a score on just 11 carries but his Lafayette team surrendered the game's first 29 points and could not catch up in Princeton's 35-14 win at Easton last Saturday night. The Tigers converted 10 of 17 third downs and held the home team to just three conversions on 11 attempts. Sophomore QB Zach Zweizig completed 17 of 28 passes for 194 yards, but was hurt by a pair of Princeton interceptions.  



Lafayette's season-opening win at perennial national power William & Mary was true eye-opener… The Leopards were No. 2 (now 12th) in the nation in turnover margin average until last week; they are still tops in the Patriot League… Jared Roberts is 5th in the FCS in interceptions; Shane Dorner is 9th in sacks… There is a pair of Connecticut kids on the current roster, PK Case Garner (Middletown) and TE Morgan Donohue (Madison).



It seems surprising for a team with three wins already this fall to be averaging under 300 total yards, especially when they are giving up nearly 350. However, the only statistic Lafayette cares about is on the scoreboard, and the Leopards are up. The Bulldogs, who had their first turnover-free game last week, need a comparable performance this week, especially against a team that is one of the nation's best at taking the ball away. 



Yale's seven-minute, 17-play drive in the second quarter against Dartmouth looked like it might lift the momentum in favor of the Elis. Three fourth-down conversions were successful, including the final play from the Dartmouth 18. The Big Green thought Yale would be attempting a field goal, but the ball was snapped to Derek Russell (Newton, Mass.), who looked like he was going to run before tossing a pass into the end zone for DE Dylan Drake (Plantation, Fla.).



Yale had seven fourth-down conversion attempts last week. All three successful attempts came on the long drive in the second quarter.  



Ten different Bulldogs caught passes against Dartmouth, including a team-high three for freshman TE Stephen Buric (East Lake, Fla.). Six players had a pair of grabs.



WR Derek Russell had his first collegiate TD throw, while DE Dylan Drake scored his first TD. TE Michael Leunen (Portland, Ore.), scored his first points for Yale by grabbing a three-yard pass from QB Eric Williams (Portland, Ore.) in the first quarter.



Yale's three-yard TD pass in the first quarter last Saturday went from one Portland native to another. Eric Williams (Jesuit High) and Michael Leunen (Westview) played against each other in 2009 with Jesuit taking the contest, 24-23. Williams was a sophomore receiver that year, Leunen a senior tight end. The two schools met last weekend at Williams' old stomping grounds and the result was: Jesuit 42, Westview 7.



Senior RB Mordecai Cargill (Cleveland, Ohio) sat out game three with an injury but returned strong last week with a game-high 96 yards on 25 runs. He also caught two passes. 



Senior LB Will McHale (Old Greenwich, Conn.) leads the Blue with 22 solo, 37 overall tackles and three stops for lost yardage. McHale, who has started 24 straight games since his sophomore year, has 171 career tackles and three interceptions. He was second-team All-Ivy last fall. The 6-foot-1, 236-pound defensive leader with Sunday football potential comes from a college football family. Both his father and grandfather played at Notre Dame.



Yale newcomer Tyler Varga (Kitchener, Ont.) is averaging 106 yards per game and has scored three rushing TDs. He had 275 all-purpose yards (125 rush, 119 KR, 31 Rec) against Colgate and ranks second among all FCS players with 183.50 per game. He earned the first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award after galloping for a game-high 103 yards and two scores in a win at Georgetown on Sept. 15. He is the first newcomer to run for triple digits in his Yale debut since Mike McLeod in 2005.  Varga, who played at the University of Western Ontario in 2011, scored the first points of the Yale season on a two-yard run in the first quarter at D.C. before adding the winning points in the third with a nine-yard burst. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back was a star track & field (sprinter, triple jump, thrower) athlete who also competed in swimming, basketball and baseball. Varga was a star regional sprinter and jumper, but injured his leg and was convinced by his coach to help the team by throwing the shot (45', 6.5") and javelin (110'). He excelled at both.



Cameron Sandquist leads the team with 22 catches and 281 yards this season, including a career-best 10 catches against Colgate. He entered the season with 21 career grabs. In the 2012 opener, he and QB Eric Williams (Portland, Ore.) connected on a school-record, 98-yarder in the second quarter at Georgetown. Sandquist, who has six career TD grabs, scored on his first two collegiate receptions as a freshman in 2010 against Columbia. He is equally famous for his role as shortstop on the 2004 Little League World Series Northwest (Redmond LL) Team.



The 25 rushing attempts by Mordecai Cargill were a team-high this season… Freshman LB Blake Thomson (Franklin, Tenn.) made his first collegiate start against Dartmouth and tied for a team-high with six solos, a TFL and a pass breakup… Yale and Dartmouth had similar offensive stats last week, including 68 offensive plays each, and they both punted just once.


Tony Reno, the Joel E. Smilow'54 Head Coach of Yale football, is in his first head coaching position after cutting his teeth in the Ivy League the last nine seasons. He was a Bulldog assistant under Jack Siedlecki (2002-08) and coached for the Crimson the last three falls. This isn't the first time an Italian-American, former Bulldog assistant in his mid 30s took over the Yale program.  Carm Cozza did it in 1965 and amassed an Ivy record 179 wins 32 years later.

The Yale roster included 111 names when players reported to campus on Aug. 15. Fifteen Elis have dropped off that roster since, primarily due to injury. Yale's 95 players are tied with Columbia for the fewest on an Ivy League roster this fall. 



Each week the Yale football team elects someone to be its "team leader" for that Saturday. Senior RB Mordecai Cargill earned that honor at Georgetown, while classmate Collin Bibb, a CB, went out for the coin toss at Cornell. FS John Powers (Hamden, Conn.) earned that role against Colgate, OL Roy Collins (Carbondale, Ill.) got the nod against Dartmouth.



Freshman Eric Williams (Portland, Ore.) managed 181 yards in the air last week despite a heavy pass rush. His footwork enabled him to avoid sacks on all but one play. Against Colgate, he rushed for 114 yards and threw for 171 last week to become the first Yale QB to rush for 100 yards since Sept. 21, 2002. Williams has completed better than 64 percent of his passes for 813 yards in four games. He has a 116.61 efficiency rating heading into his fifth collegiate start. Williams, the brother of Yale football players Scott '13 and Sean '11, and the son of former NFL player, Larry (Browns, Patriots, Saints, Chargers), became Yale's first freshman starter behind center since Mike McClellan '01 in the 1997 season opener at home against Brown (McClellan was the first Eli rookie QB to start a varsity game since World War II). Williams was the starting QB at Jesuit High School in Portland for two years before his family moved, and he spent his senior campaign at St. Ignatius near Cleveland. One of the assistant coaches on the St. Ignatius team was former Yale captain Rory Hennessey '05.


Williams by Game

                                    Com.   Att.      Yds     TD       Int.

Georgetown                19        30        250      1          3

Cornell                          27        37        211      1          2

Colgate                        21        40        171      2          3

Dartmouth                   17        24        181      1          0

Total                            84        131      813      5          8


Seven players have seen most of the action, including one senior, three juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. The senior is RT Roy Collins (6-5, 266, Carbondale, Ill.). The juniors are LT Wes Gavin (6-6, 286, San Diego, Calif.), C John Oppenheimer (6-0, 264, Menlo Park, Calif.) and LT Kyle White (6-7, 268, Pompton Plains, NJ). The sophomores are RG Ben Carbery (6-5, 287, Oak Park, Ill.) and LG William Chism (6-3, 277, Ridgeland, Miss.), while the lone newcomer was RG Luke Longinotti (6-4, 265, Burlingame, Calif.). Gavin and Carbery combined to win freshman MVP honors the last two years.


The starting QB is a newcomer and the top two ground gainers are also first-year Bulldogs. Twenty-two of the team's 85 receptions are from new players. While the class of 2016 has only 16 of the 242 Yale tackles this fall, you can still say the Bulldog newcomers have made a major impact. There are an unprecedented eight new guys on the Yale two-deep depth chart, including six on offense. Fifteen newcomers were on the travel squad the first two weeks, and there have been times with four first-year players on offense at the same time.



Senior WR Derek Russell (Newton, Mass.) has been a patient a loyal Bulldog as he waited for a chance to make an impact for the varsity. Russell, who passed for 2,100 yards and 21 TDs his senior year at Newton South High, has bounced around different positions at Yale before settling into his first collegiate varsity role this fall as the top holder and a backup receiver. At Cornell he caught three passes for 27 yards. Last week he completed one of two passes on fourth-down plays, including an 18-yard score to Dylan Drake in the second quarter. He also ran the ball twice for seven yards while catching two passes for 15 yards.


The league favorite became clear last week at Boston when the Crimson crushed Cornell behind

362 passing yards and four TDs from QB Colton Chapple. Harvard scored 21 fourth-quarter points and picked off two Jeff Mathews passes to remain unbeaten. Everyone else was out of the league on Oct. 6. Brown beat Rhode Island on the road, 17-7, but Columbia (35-17 vs. Lehigh) and Penn (10-7 vs. William & Mary) fell.



All of Yale's non-league games are against Patriot League squads this fall. The Blue beat Georgetown (3-3) and lost to Colgate (2-3) with Lafayette (3-2) left to play.



Three Bulldogs were honored after week one of the season, one from the Ivy and the other from the website


Ivy League:     RB Tyler Varga (Sept. 15), Rookie of the Week

CFPA:             LB Will McHale, WR Cameron Sandquist (Sept. 15)

                        RB Tyler Varga (Sept. 29)

Yale Football has a new player lounge on the third floor of Ray Tompkins House replete with couches, tables, desks, games, TVs and life-sized images on the walls.

The Yale helmets have a slight "retro" look this fall with a change in the "Y" on the sides. Instead of having the "Y" outlined with a white line and then an outer blue edge, a thinner blue "Y" now stands alone, showcasing the look from the late 1960s through the 1980s.



The 100th anniversary of Yale Bowl will be celebrated during the 2014 season. Planning for the celebration has just begun. The bulk of the activity will take place on Sept. 27 when the Bulldogs host Army for the first time since 1988 (last meeting was 1996).

For the second straight fall, the Elis hosted Dartmouth and play at Columbia. According to the league, the Ivy schedule format changed in 2008. In order to make the necessary changes and follow the scheduling parameters, these two game sites had to remain for a second straight year.

There are 3,543 names of Yale football players listed on 345 stones in Jensen Plaza outside Yale Bowl. The names include the first Bulldog squad in 1872 through the class of 2012.


Former Yale QB Stone Phillips '77, who anchored NBC's Dateline for 15 years, launched a new website this fall, Ex-Eli captain Rory Hennessey '05 is the founder of Altum Athletico, LLC, a U.S. shoe company that has a "barefoot" design... Two former Yale receivers are coaches on the 2012 Vanderbilt University football squad. Bob Shoop '88, a 24-year veteran of college coaching, is the defensive coordinator. Chandler Henley '06, the captain of the 2006 Ivy Champions, is a graduate assistant coach… 2009 Yale captain Paul Rice '10 is a graduate assistant football coach at Georgia Tech… Former OL Kyle Metzler '03 is the tight ends coach for Dartmouth... Former Eli QB Bob Verduzco '90 is a first-year offensive coordinator for the Galesburg-Augusta (Mich.) High School football team that ended a 32-game losing streak on Sept. 20.


Dez Duron '13, a former reserve Yale QB and the team's best singer, took a leave from school last year to pursue a spot on NBC's hit singing show The Voice. He was selected this fall by Christina Aguilera to compete on her team. Despite that, the Bulldogs voted him the "best singer" on the team this fall.


The Yale JV has three games left this fall: Oct. 28 vs. Bridgton Academy; Nov. 4 at Brown and Nov. 16 at Harvard. All games are 1 p.m., while home contests are played at Clint Frank Field.

Dartmouth owns the most Ivy League titles since league play officially began in 1956. Yale and Harvard trail Penn by one for second.

No        Team                    Last Title
17        Dartmouth            1996
15        Penn                     2010
14        Yale                      2006
14        Harvard                2011
 9        Princeton               2006
 4        Brown                    2008
 3        Cornell                   1990
 1        Columbia               1961


Yale has gone four straight seasons without a tie after regulation time. The Elis are 4-3 in OT games overall since its first, a 34-31 loss at Penn in 2003.The last OT game was a 26-20, triple-extra-session win at Penn in 2007.


Tony Reno, 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. 11 through Nov. 12) at noon for the Dick Galiette Yale Football Media Luncheon. This event is limited to media only. Please contact Yale Sports Publicity Director Steve Conn ( if you would like to attend. The following Yale players have attended the luncheon: Chris Dooley, Mordecai Cargill (Georgetown); Eric Williams, John Powers (Cornell) and Allen Davis, William Chism and Cole Champion (Colgate) and Ryan Falbo, Roy Collins and Grant Wallace (Dartmouth).

Yale's marketing director Pat O'Neill is very busy every home Saturday with special events:  Sept. 29 (Youth Day); Oct. 6 (Chamber of Commerce Day); Oct. 13 (Parent's Weekend); Oct. 20 (Heroes Day, Air Force fly-over); Nov. 10 (Fill The Bowl).

All five home games this season are video streamed on through Yale's All Access with Ron Vaccaro (follow @yalevoice on Twitter for Yale football updates)
and Carm Cozza providing the call for both All Access and WELI Radio. All home games are live broadcasts except for Penn on Oct. 20 (NBC Sports Network).



A recent tradition continues with Yale football radio broadcasts in 2012. Every third quarter, home and away, Vaccaro and Cozza are joined by a former Yale player on WELI. Here's who has been on this fall: Dave Sheronas '93 and Dan Urban '93 (Georgetown), Gary Wilhelm '74 (Cornell), Jake Stoller '12 (Colgate) and Rory Hennessey '05 (Dartmouth). Kevin Callahan '91 (Lafayette) and Chris Denny-Brown '07 (Penn) will follow.


To hear a Yale student broadcast of Yale football games, tune into Each pre-game show includes an interview with Tony Reno.


The Bulldogs, off on Mondays, are on the field from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday 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 is no student-athlete scheduling conflicts. All schedules are subject to change.

Yale on YES includes three broadcasts this fall on the YES Network. The YES games are Columbia, Brown and Princeton. This is the fifth straight fall the Bulldogs appear on the network home for New York Yankees baseball. YES broadcaster Chris Shearn handles the play-by-play, with color commentary coming from former Yale defensive back Jack Ford '72, a well-known author and TV personality, and ex-National Football League and Princeton lineman Ross Tucker.

Yale football airs live on NBC Sports Network three times this fall. The Cornell, Penn and Harvard games will be shown by the TV group previously branded as VERSUS. The studio team of Liam McHugh, Doug Flutie and Hines Ward provide pre- and post-game coverage on NBC and/or NBC Sports Network every Saturday of the college football season. The NBC Sports Network has televised 17 Ivy League football matchups featuring all eight schools over the past four (2008-11) seasons.



While schools are getting away from producing "media guides," both printed and digital, most of the information you once got with the Yale media guide is still available upon request or by looking on The following links are available on the football home page.


The Yale Bowl press box has a taste of New Haven with Yorkside Pizza & Restaurant serving slices, pasta and salad to the media on home Saturdays.

Yale was the first football team of any type to reach 800 wins when it beat Dayton 42-6 on Sept. 16, 2000. It wasn't hard for Michigan (896 wins) to catch up playing three or four games more than Yale each season. The Bulldogs are second with 870 victories.

Shane Bannon '11 (Chiefs) and Jake Stoller '12 (Steelers) were in NFL Camps right up to the start of the 2012 regular season. Bannon, an H-Back on the Kansas City practice squad in 2011, suffered an injury midway through this year's camp before being released. Stoller, a defensive lineman, made it all the way to the final day of teams reporting their regular-season rosters.

Three former Bulldogs are coaching in the NFL this season. Dick Jauron '73, who has spent 34 years in the NFL as a player (25 interceptions, Detroit & Cincinnati) and coach, is in his second year as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. He has also coached in Jacksonville, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo and Philadelphia. Jauron, the 2001 AP Coach of the Year with the Bears, was an NFL head coach three times, most recently with the Bills (2006-09). Pat Graham '01, a former Yale tight end and defensive lineman, is a defensive assistant coach for the New England Patriots. He is in his fourth season at Foxboro. Graham, a Waterbury, Conn., native, was a member of Yale's 1999 Ivy title team. Michael McDaniel '05 is in his sixth NFL campaign and second with the Washington Redskins. He also coached the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.

Yale, which last played in the Golden State in 2005 at the University of San Diego, has another trip to California planned. On Oct. 5, 2013, the Bulldogs will play against Cal Poly Tech at San Luis Obispo. The only two games the Blue has played on the West Coast were against USD.

The Elis are home for a fourth straight week when Penn comes to the Bowl with former Cheshire High School standout Billy Ragone playing quarterback.


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 2012 breakdown.
50         players were captains of their high school football team
35         players were captains of another sport in high school
41         players were a national honors society member
 4         players were class president at their high school
 4         players were student body president at their high school
 5         players were class valedictorian at their high school
 4         players were class salutatorian at their high school

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

OL William Chism (So, Ridgeland, Miss.)… most humorous
TE Michael Leunen (Jr, Portland, Ore.)… most intelligent
TB Mordecai Cargill (Sr, Cleveland, Ohio)… most vocal leader (not captain)
DB John Powers (Sr, Hamden, Conn.)… most likely to be U.S. President
DE Beau Palin (Jr, Oconomowoc, Wis.)… most interesting activity (Capt. America, water skiing)  
DE Allen Davis (Sr, Grand Praire, Texas)… best singer
DB Collin Bibb (Sr, San Antonio, Texas)… strongest player (pound-for-pound)
DE Beau Palin (Jr, Oconomowoc, Wis.)… most involved in community outreach

"Inside Ivy League Football" runs all 10 Wednesdays of the season at 7 p.m. on ( ivyleaguefootball). It will be available on-demand via BlogTalkRadio and Fans and alumni can interact with "Inside" via its social media platforms -- Facebook (Inside Ivy League Football) and Twitter (@insideivyfb) -- as well as provide ideas and content for the show's 'Twitter Talk/Facebook Fodder' segment. Selected episodes will feature Ivy football trivia with chances to win Ivy League-branded merchandise or a gift certificate to the League's official online store at The show will be hosted by two veteran Ivy broadcasters, Dan Loney and Brian Seltzer.  

Be the first to know what's going on with the Bulldogs -- Follow @YaleAthletics on Twitter, become a fan of Yale Athletics on Facebook!. For more information on following specific Yale Athletics teams visit us online at


filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director