No contest. Oct. 20, 2012. Princeton 39, Harvard 34.

With about 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Tigers trail the Crimson 34-10.  Observing a lot of Princeton fans leaving the stadium, my wife tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Do you want to go or stay?”  Princeton had the football and I said, “Let’s see what they do on this drive.” The next play they scored, and made the two-point conversion. I said, “We’re staying. This could get interesting.” It did!

On the ensuing kickoff, Princeton recovered the onside kick that everyone in the stadium knew they would attempt. And a few plays later, they scored again. Made another two-point conversion. And with the Tigers trailing 34-26, my wife said, “We are definitely staying.”

After another score, the Tigers get it to 34-32. Here are the three things I will never forget:

1. Harvard has 4th and one yard to go. They line up to go for it. And the Harvard quarterback is using every trick in the book to draw Princeton offside. Our seats were right at the line of scrimmage. The Tiger defensive line sat there like blocks of cement. Harvard has to punt.

2. With fourth down and a mile to go, deep in their own territory, Connor Michelsen goes back to pass and gets sacked. I’m thinking, “that’s it." Then, much to my amazement, I see the Harvard safety taunting Connor who is writhing on the ground, grabbing his hand. The ref saw it also. Out comes the flag. He announces, “Personal foul. Defense. Automatic first down." 

3. Quinn Epperly replaces Michelsen. Quinn is left-handed. Harvard is baffled and vulnerable. Epperly marches the Tigers down the field. Rolls left and floats the winning TD pass to Roman Wilson with 13 ticks on the clock left. My wife and I are jumping up and down. The tears of joy were running down our faces as we sang “Old Nassau.”

As we walked across campus after the game, the Princeton Nassoons never sounded so good.

Best. Game. Ever.

John Drozdal ’72
Haddon Heights, N.J.