By Joel Alderman
Kurt Rawlings, a freshman quarterback, entered a scoreless game against Columbia on Friday night on Yale’s first possession of the second quarter, then threw two touchdown passes as the Bulldogs put up 24 points before the half ended.
In the third quarter he had a would-be 65-yard scoring pass called back on a penalty, but in the fourth he connected on his third TD throw of the contest. It gave Yale a 31-0 lead before Columbia scored its three touchdowns in the last 10 minutes, when the outcome was practically decided.
61-yard run by Herubin with loose ball was Yale first score
Rawlings and junior John Herubin, a defensive tackle from Coppel, TX, were instrumental in their team’s 31-23 win. Herubin, a junior, went 61 yards with 14:15 left in the half, after scooping up a Columbia fumble first grabbed by a teammate, to put the Bulldogs on the board.
It was only Yale’s second victory of the season in seven games, but since both were Ivy League contests, it now has a decent 2-2 conference record.
Herubin hit pay dirt
“I saw the end zone, and I was booking as fast as I could,” said Herubin, who also had three tackles. “I was afraid they (the officials) were going to blow the play dead. I don’t get to touch the ball too often.”
Early on, starting quarterback Tre Moore was having trouble with Columbia’s blitzing defense. So Coach Tony Reno sent in Rawlings, who is from Bel Air, MD, probably to shake things up and not expecting he would play the rest of the way for almost three quarters.
The freshman from Bel Air, MD, showed he was able to counter the blitz by sprinting out to both sides and avoiding any sacks.
“A good time to go to Kurt”
Reno explained afterwards that he went with his gut instincts. “We thought it was time to go to Kurt. He had a good presence for us. He did a great job to spark us.”
Rawlings earned the continuous attention of the NBC Sports Network announcers during its national television coverage. It was not only due to the colorful curly head of hair that extended well below his helmet. In addition to the three touchdown strikes, he had a 65-yard scoring pass called back in the third quarter because of a penalty. But in the final quarter he had his third scoring pass to put Yale in front, 31-0.
About his unexpected entrance into the game, Rawlings said, “You never know. I’m thankful for the opportunity. We’ve been pushing each other in practice and I think it shows.”
Coach Reno felt “This was a complete effort in all three phases. I am proud of the kids and very happy to get out of there with a win.”
Yale plays at Brown next week. It will be hard for Reno to keep him on the bench, where he began the Columbia game in relative obscurity.