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Harvard into DIAA Playoffs

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Harvard into DIAA Playoffs

Harvard will join the DIAA Round of 16 after the Crimson won two games in an Ivy League play-in this past weekend.

Harvard defeated Princeton 25-21 on Saturday and then held off Cornell 21-14 on Sunday to win the tournament (the Ivy League champion, Dartmouth, does not play in the DIAA playoffs, so the next four teams compete to find the seed to nationals).

“We feel pretty proud of what we’ve done,” said Harvard’s Will Collins. “We’ve spent the entire season looking to improve our culture and our approach and take HRFC to the next level.”

That culture change, said Collins, meant the team is centered more around teamwork and putting each other first.

Sunday’s game with Cornell was a physical test, and Collin said Harvard expected nothing lest.

“Whenever we play them it’s a tough game,” he aded.

But John Jeffers scored two tries and Steve Dayneka added another, with Collins kicking two penalties to take Harvard to a 21-7 lead. Cornell came back, but could only manage one try, from John Segreto. For Harvard, freshman Daniel Paltaijko has been a revelation, playing solid defense and putting in a full day’s work at center. He epitomized the new and improved approach by Harvard.

As the game went down to the final whistle, it was tense, as the teams were separated by a single score.

“We knew we had to work hard to keep the lead,” added Collins. “One missed tackle or one mistake and they could tie it up. We came together as a team because knew Cornell was going to come at us.”

So that finishes up the eastern half of the DIAA bracket for this coming weekend.

Harvard is at James Madison

Delaware at AIC

Notre Dame College at Bowling Green

Middle Tennessee State has already beaten Florida International and awaits the winner of NDC and BGSU April 23.

April 23-24 all four Eastern quarterfinalists will meet at Bowling Green for two games to decide who makes the May 7 final in Moraga, Cailf.