Yale beats Harvard to win Ivy League championship

Yale running back Zane Dudek, left, runs against the Harvard during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 in New Haven, Conn. Yale won 24-3, securing the Bulldogs' first outright Ivy League championship in 37 years. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Yale running back Zane Dudek runs against the Harvard on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 in New Haven. –AP Photo/Gregory Payan

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Kurt Rawlings threw for 177 yards and a touchdown to lead Yale over rival Harvard 24-3 on Saturday, securing the Bulldogs’ first outright Ivy League championship in 37 years.

Running backs Melvin Rouse and Zane Dudek combined for 106 yards rushing for Yale (9-1, 6-1 Ivy), which beat Harvard for the second straight season after losing nine in a row in the rivalry known as The Game.

Yale held Harvard scoreless after a 29-yard field goal on the Crimson’s opening possession. Harvard managed just 164 yards of offense, and Yale sacked freshman quarterback Jake Smith six times.

Dudek’s 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped an eight-play 81-yard drive that put the game out of reach.

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Rawlings and receiver J.P. Shohfi got Yale on the board in the second quarter, connecting on a 46-yard pass, followed three plays later by a 9-yarder into the left corner of the end zone.

Yale quickly built that lead when Harvard’s Smith made a bad decision on an option, fumbling a late pitch. Linebacker Malcolm Dixon picked up the ball and ran 19 yards for a touchdown.

Another errant pitch by Smith on the next Harvard possession set up a 25-yard field goal on the last play of the first half, giving the Bulldogs a 17-3 lead.

Yale players rushed the field after the final whistle, where they were surrounded by thousands of fans who streamed from the stands.

The takeaway

Yale: The Bulldogs had already clinched a share of their 15th Ivy League title with a win over Princeton last week. They last held the title outright in 1980. Yale’s last winning streak against the Crimson came when it won three in a row between 1998 and 2000.

Harvard: Harvard had won 14 of the previous 16 meetings. This was the second straight game the Crimson has failed to score a touchdown, the first time that has happened since 1986.

Up next

The Ivy League does not participate in the FCS playoffs, so the season is over for both teams.