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Vol.26, No. 06 Oct. 16, 2000

Lions Defeat Dartmouth 49-21 at Homecoming

By Jason Hollander

Perhaps the warm October air was invigorating. Perhaps it was inspiration from the halftime presentation of Columbia football’s Team of the Century. Either way, the Lions were ferocious in a 49-21 Homecoming victory over Dartmouth last Saturday at Baker Field, leveling the team’s overall record at 3-3.

Columbia’s key offensive force was junior tailback and St. Louis native Johnathan Reese Besides scoring four touchdowns on runs of 10, 2, 44 and 72 yards, Reese broke the school’s single-game rushing record, the single-season rushing record, and moved literally within inches of the Light Blue career rushing record.

Receiver Doug Peck caught a pass from quarterback Jeff McCall (11 of 17 for 118 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 reception) for a 46-yard touchdown in the first quarter and cornerback Justin Logan returned a kickoff for an 82-yard touchdown in the second to help give the Lions a comfortable 35-14 halftime lead.

Reese’s 236-yard afternoon on 25 carries was 11 better than the old record, set by Jim O’Connor against Brown in 1966. The performance gives him 966 yards so far this season, well ahead of Doug Jackson’s record 914 set in 1975. Reese now has 1,990 career rushing yards which puts him only two behind Lou Kusserow’s career record of 1,992, accumulated from 1945-48.

The 49 points scored by the Lions was the most since Columbia defeated Brown 50-0 in 1961. For the first time since 1932, Columbia has scored more than 40 points in three games in one season. The Lions are now 1-2 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth fell to 1-5, 0-3 in the Ivy.

At halftime, Columbia, the nation’s third school to begin playing intercollegiate football in 1870, announced the selection of 24 players as its Team of the Century. The Team includes Walter Koppisch, CC’25, Harold Weekes, CC’03, Sid Luckman, CC’39, Cliff Montgomery, CC’34, Paul Governali, CC’43 and Bill Swiacki, CC’48, all members of College Football’s Hall of Fame. Montgomery, who led Columbia to a 7-0 Rose Bowl victory over Stanford in 1934, was in attendance, along with 11 other Century Team members, including quarterbacks Gene Rossides, CC’49, and John Witkowski, CC’84.

More than 9,200 fans turned out for the game, which was played on a spectacular autumn afternoon where temperatures reached the low 70s. Hundreds of alumni and fans tailgated outside Wien Stadium, enjoying food, drink and old memories. Big white tents hosted alumni for luncheons and many young children spent time playing with colored leaves which blanketed the grounds.

Jim Dellocono, CC’85, a former outside linebacker for the team, attends homecoming every year and was especially glad to see three former teammates honored on the Team of the Century. The homecoming atmosphere, he said, "gets better every year." Dellocono attributes the improved team support to Head Coach Ray Tellier. "He’s made Columbia a winner," said Dellocono. "The fans were there all along. You just had to get them to come out."

The O’Connor family boasts four brothers who all played football for the Lions: Tom O’Connor, CC’63; John O’Connor, CC’67; Jim O’Connor, CC’69, and Dan O’Connor, CC’75. Three of the four brothers, with the exception of Dan O’Connor who couldn’t make the trip, came to the game to "support the new guys," said Tom O’Connor.

The brothers, each dressed proudly in Columbia football attire, were impressed with the festivities that surrounded the game. "There’s a lot more enthusiasm behind the program. It’s a real step-up," said Jim O’Connor. "There’s more student and faculty support. I’m enthused, inspired and delighted to be here."

Many alumni filled the stands in Wien stadium, shaking pom-poms and waving giant blue foam fingers. The Class of 1942 was among the best represented and most spirited in the crowd. "We’ve got a great class," said John Rogge, CC’42. "We all come up every year."

Vic Zaro, CC’42, has served as class president since 1941. "There’s something special about the chemistry of this class,” said Zaro. "It’s fantastic."

"A lot of us were the first ones to go to college in our family," said Bob Wolf, CC’42. "We came from the depression. We all really appreciated the opportunities we had."

Field Hockey Wins Third Straight

Senior midfielder Florencia Battilana scored twice to lead the field hockey team to a 3-1 victory over visiting Dartmouth on Saturday. Battilana scored three minutes into the contest and the Lions never surrendered their lead. Junior Nikki Campbell added a goal in the win as the Lions improved to 10-4, 2-3 in the Ivy League. Now sporting a three game win-streak, the 10 overall wins for Columbia represent a season record.

Men’s Soccer Triumphant in Overtime

Junior Will Murphy scored the game-winning goal for the Lions with just over 12 minutes remaining in the second overtime period as Columbia defeated Dartmouth 2-1 in men’s soccer. Down 1-0 in the second half, the Lions evened the match on a long shot by sophomore Michael Ching that found the left corner of the net. Matt Hill grabbed three saves in net. The team improves to 7-4-1, 2-1-1 in the Ivy League. The loss was Dartmouth’s first against four Ivy opponents.

Women’s Soccer Comes From Behind to Edge Colgate

Columbia ran right into a powerful Dartmouth women’s soccer team on Saturday, allowing seven goals without scoring one. Jen Murray netted two goals for the Big Green, which improved to 10-3, 3-1 in the Ivy League. However, Sunday saw the Lions bounce back strongly, defeating Colgate in a dramatic come-from-behind victory.

First-year Tara Davis scored twice, her first goal coming with just under seven minutes to play in regulation. She then headed-in the game winning shot with just 53 seconds remaining. The win moved the women’s record to 4-8-2, 0-5 in the Ivy League.