College football is marking its 150th anniversary this year, and Andrei Iosivas is right in the middle of the celebration.
Iosivas, the former Punahou athlete, is a sophomore wide receiver for Princeton and is playing in the sport’s 150th anniversary game Saturday at Yankee Stadium against Dartmouth.
He is actually one of three former Punahou players in the game. Also suiting up are freshman wide receiver Tamatoa Falatea and freshman offensive lineman Blake Feigenspan.
The game will be televised on ESPNU at 10:30 a.m. Hawaii time. Princeton and Dartmouth are both 7-0 and fighting for the Ivy League title.
“I think it’s going to be a really good turnout,” Iosivas said via cellphone from his hotel in New York on Friday. “I’m pretty pumped about it. It will be exciting. I think about all the alumni and everyone else who came before me. I’m lucky to be playing in this game and representing all of them. This is bigger than me. This is one of the biggest games for the school in the history of the game.”
Iosivas played football and starred in track and field for the Buffanblu. In February, he won the Ivy League indoor heptathlon.
“It’s pretty good (to be playing at Yankee Stadium), but at the end of the day, it’s just another place to play the game,” he said. “We’re doing some sight-seeing, but we’re really focusing on Dartmouth. Our goal is to win another Ivy League title.”
Iosivas, who is 6 feet 4, did not play at all in 2018, when the Tigers went 10-0.
“Tamatoa is getting some reps in as a second-string slot receiver,” he said about his pass-catching teammate. “He’s getting snaps and that’s pretty good for a freshman. Blake hasn’t been getting in games, but he’s doing well at practice.”
Iosivas and his track and field coach are working to make a push for nationals in the indoor heptathlon and outdoor decathlon in the winter and spring. He won five gold medals as a Punahou senior at the state track meet — the 100-yard dash and the long jump and record performances in the 200 and both relays.
Two Princeton receivers from last year, Jesper Horstead (Bears) and Steve Carlson (tight end Browns), are now in the NFL. That route for Iosivas is not out of the question.
“I just try to play my game and results will happen,” said Iosivas, who has 12 receptions for 190 yards and four touchdowns.
Princeton and Rutgers played the first college football game on Nov. 6, 1869, but have not played against each other since 1980. Dartmouth, which is marking its 250th anniversary as an institution and which started football in 1881, was invited to play the Tigers in Saturday’s anniversary game.