Dartmouth started Saturday's game as if it would settle the issue very quickly. Quarterback Gene Ryzewicz and Running Backs Dave Boyle and Steve Luxford gained ground consistently on sweeps, while the Harvard offense was slowed by fumbles and weak passing. Dartmouth took the opening kickoff 70 yards to the Harvard one-foot line, but a penalty and a long loss stopped the drive. The Indians were not discouraged, and just kept coming at the beleaguered Harvard defense. "Their line outweighed us," said Blackman later, "and their ends played in pretty tight. So our plan was to run around them. We showed early that we could do it." Dartmouth scored after recovering a Harvard fumble in the second period, and ground out another touchdown drive to lead 14-0 at the half. When Ryzewicz scored on a short run in the third period the result appeared to be strictly academic.
But when it comes to football games, nothing is academic in the Ivy League. Late in the third period Dartmouth had the ball third and 14 deep in its own territory. Blackman ordered a quick kick. It was a logical enough move for a team ahead by three touchdowns, and one which immediately backfired. Bill Koenig's punt traveled only 21 yards to the Dartmouth 39. Ric Zimmerman, the Harvard quarterback who had completed two of his first 14 passes and fumbled twice, suddenly started doing things quite well. Second-string Halfback Ray Hornblower, who replaced Will Stargel in the third period, contributed some very good runs, and Harvard found it could move as Hornblower scored the first touchdown. Three minutes later Bill Cobb blocked a Dartmouth punt that was recovered on the two-yard line, and from there tough little Halfback Vic Gatto scored. On the second play after the following kickoff, Tom Wynne, who was substituting for Harvard's injured safety man, John Tyson, intercepted a pass. With Gatto carrying on five of the six plays, the Crimson went 19 yards for its third touchdown in less than seven minutes and took an astonishing 21-20 lead.
"After Wynne's interception," said Blackman, "I would have bet anything Harvard would score. They were really up. But I also thought we could come back again." And Dartmouth did, with Ryzewicz directing a slow, grinding march from his own 25 that moved the ball deep into Harvard territory. Then, with a second and eight on the 22, Ryzewicz swept to his left on a play that had worked well all day, but End Bob Hoffmann broke down the blocking and forced Gene out of bounds for no gain. "My arm was over his shoulder as I hit him and my hand hit his face mask," Hoffmann said. "I didn't grab it. But the ref called it on me."
The 15-yard penalty brought the ball close enough for a Dartmouth field-goal attempt, but on the sidelines sophomore Pete Donovan was praying for a touchdown. "I was really nervous," he said. "I sure hoped I wouldn't have to go out there." But he did have to go out there, and even if he needed two tries he managed to win the game.
The victory did not guarantee any championships—Dartmouth must face a very good Yale team this week—but it was a sweet win to get, and Blackman beamed as he shook the hand of each of his players. Across the field house in a quieter dressing room, Yovicsin moved slowly among the lockers, putting an arm around each of his men. "We were good and so were they," said Guard Al Bersin. "We have no sour grapes." Other players just sat and stared silently at the floor. "Keep your heads up," growled an assistant coach. "You're Harvard men."