Update: Harvard versus Princeton

Harvard pulled off another late-game victory on Saturday, upending a charged-up Princeton squad at windswept, rain-soaked Palmer Stadium.

Harvard pulled off another late-game victory on Saturday, upending a charged-up Princeton squad at windswept, rain-soaked Palmer Stadium. Trailing 20-17 with 4:59 left in the game, the Crimson offense had a critical fourth-and-one at midfield. The Tiger defense packed the line of scrimmage to stop the expected run, but quarterback Chris Pizzotti threw a sideline pass to tight end Jason Miller for a 10-yard first down. On the next play Pizzotti heaved a 35-yard pass downfield to receiver Matt Luft, who made a leaping catch at the Princeton six-yard line, and two plays later tailback Gino Gordon bolted into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

With almost four minutes to go, the Tigers still had a fighting chance. But freshman cornerback Matt Hanson batted down a deep pass attempt, and blitzing linebackers Eric Schultz and Glenn Dorris threw quarterback Brian Anderson for a 13-yard loss. A final pass went awry, and Harvard left the field with a 24-20 win.

The Crimson’s earlier scores had come on Patrick Long’s field goal, a 15-yard pass from Pizzotti to receiver Chris Lorditch, and a 33-yard scramble by Pizzotti. Princeton might have rung up enough points to win had it not been for stellar defensive play and at least one break. With the Tigers leading 14-10, Hanson averted a third Princeton score by making a diving interception in the end zone on the last play of the first half. After a 98-yard fourth-quarter drive, another touchdown chance slipped away when a Tiger receiver dropped a pass in the end zone. Princeton’s Jordan Culbreath, the Ivy League’s top running back, gained 154 yards—the most by an opposing rusher since the 2005 season—but was limited to 36 in the game’s second half.

Schultz led the Crimson defense with 16 tackles, followed by captain and middle guard Matt Curtis with 11 and Dorris with 9.

For early season coverage, see "Bumps in the Road."

With a league record of 2-2, Princeton is now virtually out of contention for this year’s title. Brown and Penn, both 3-0, remain the league leaders, with Harvard (2-1, 5-1 overall) in third place. Next weekend’s Brown-Penn game will bump somebody from the top spot, while Harvard plays Dartmouth (o-3, 0-6 overall) at Hanover.

~“Cleat”

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