Harvard 24, Brown 21

Friday-night football against Brown at Harvard Stadium.

The Ivy League’s defending co-champions went head-to-head on a Friday-nighter at the Stadium on September 25. Harvard prevailed, 24-21, surviving a dramatic Brown rally in the final minute of play. 

Junior Collier Winters, in his second start at quarterback, had a hand in each of Harvard’s three touchdowns. He threw scoring passes to tight end Nicolai Schwarzkopf ’11 and wide receiver Matt Luft ’10, and scored himself on a three-yard keeper. He connected on 18 of 27 pass attempts for 223 yards and was the game’s leading rusher, with 66 yards on 13 carries.

Brown had the best of it in the first half, thanks in part to Harvard defensive miscues. The Bears got two second-period scores—aided both times by pass-interference calls—and led, 14-10, at the break. 

Harvard needed just two plays for its first scoring drive. Taking the ball after Brown’s initial touchdown, Winters hoisted a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Lorditch ’11. A 30-yarder to Schwarzkopf then put Harvard on the board. Following Brown’s second score, a 33-yard kickoff return by safety Matt Hanson ’12 sparked an eight-play drive completed by senior Patrick Long’s 25-yard field goal. 

Harvard controlled the second half, taking the lead on a 92-yard drive that was capped off by Winters’s short-yardage touchdown. 

The game’s biggest plays came at the start of the final quarter, when senior linebacker Jon Takamura intercepted a pass at the Brown 33. Harvard cashed in with a sharply thrown 15-yard pass to the six-foot-six Luft, who made a high-rise catch at the back of the end zone. 

Leading 24-14, Harvard seemed to have a lock on the game, but Brown had other plans. With just over three minutes to play, Bruin quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero led an 80-yard drive that produced a touchdown with 34 seconds to play. Brown then recovered an onside kick, and Newhall went to work again. As the seconds ticked down, he moved his team to the Harvard 25, but couldn’t connect on three last-ditch end-zone passes.

The Crimson incurred 11 penalties for 92 yards, the most given up by a Harvard team since November 2007. “We have a tremendous amount to work on,” coach Tim Murphy conceded after the game. “One thing at a time, we’re going to have to improve. It wasn’t a great performance, [but] it was a great effort, and that’s more important than anything.” 

 

Harvard is now 1-0 in Ivy play (1-1 overall). Brown has lost two squeakers and is still winless (0-1, 0-2), but can’t be counted out of the race for the league title. A year ago, the Bears capitalized on missed extra points to gain a 24-22 victory at Brown Stadium, ending the season with an Ivy record of 6-1 (9-1 overall) and a half-share of the league championship.…Harvard has beaten Brown in nine of the teams’ last 10 match-ups. 

Harvard takes to the road next weekend to face Lehigh (0-3), a nonleague opponent. The team then re-enters the Ivy League lists with an away game at Cornell. The Big Red (2-0) had its first Ivy test last Saturday, edging Yale, 14-12. 

 

~"cleat"

Brown     0    14    0    7   -  21

 

Harvard  0    10    7    7   -  24

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