Harvard 42, Dartmouth 21

Two running backs combine for 239 yards and five touchdowns.

Gino Gordon had a bravura day at the Stadium on Saturday, rushing for 119 yards and three touchdowns as Harvard subdued Dartmouth, 42-21. The junior running back from Bonita, California, also caught four passes for 103 yards. No Harvard player had ever broken the century mark twice in one game, as both rusher and receiver.

Freshman back Treavor Scales, alternating with Gordon, had a big day as well. He rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, the third and fourth of a rapidly blossoming Crimson career.

Not since the 1999 season had two Harvard backs rushed for a hundred yards or more in the same game. Gordon picked up his yardage on just eight carries, averaging almost 15 yards per carry. Ten of his 12 touches on Saturday produced either a first down or a touchdown. Both Gordon and Scales put up their big numbers before the fourth quarter, when Harvard led 42-14 and coach Tim Murphy sent in the reserves.

 Harvard’s formidable offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage and formed a protective barrier for quarterback Collier Winters ’11, who hit on 12 of 15 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. Winters finished the game without an interception or a sack.

Harvard registered 521 yards of total offense to Dartmouth’s 262. The defensive unit held the Green to 64 yards rushing.

Dartmouth had ended a 17-game losing streak the previous weekend, downing Columbia, 28-6. The visitors played with intensity until the final whistle, but this fall’s Big Green squad is green in more ways than one. Its offensive and defensive units include 13 sophomores and a freshman.

Running back Nick Schwieger, who’d set a new Dartmouth rushing record of 242 yards in the Columbia game, left the field with a hand injury at the start of the second quarter. Schwieger, the Ivy League’s leading rusher, had gained only 18 yards in 10 carries.

The win was the Crimson’s twelfth in the last 13 meetings with Dartmouth. Harvard (4-0 Ivy League, 5-2 overall) remains unbeaten in league play. Dartmouth (1-3, 1-6) is tied with Columbia, Cornell, and Princeton for last place in the standings.

Harvard missed an early scoring opportunity when a 28-yard field-goal try went wide. On the first play of the Crimson’s next drive, Scales sliced through the Dartmouth line and broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run.

Shifting into a Wildcat offense, with the running backs taking direct snaps, Harvard added second-quarter touchdowns on a 15-yard sprint by Gordon and a one-yard rush by Scales. With 17 seconds left in the half, Dartmouth’s rangy sophomore quarterback, Conner Kempe, connected on a 12-yard scoring pass that put the Green on the board. Harvard led, 21-7, at the break.

On the first second-half series, Gordon flashed through a gaping hole in the line and scored on a 48-yard breakaway. Dartmouth would score again — after fooling the Crimson defense with a fake field goal — but Harvard put the game out of reach with an eight-yard touchdown run by Gordon and a 31-yard scoring pass from Winters to freshman back Kyle Juszczyk.

The reserves came on in the final quarter, making almost enough errors to fan Dartmouth hopes of a miracle comeback. The offense fumbled the ball away twice, and a blocked punt was returned 16 yards for a third Big Green touchdown. “It wasn’t pretty,” coach Murphy conceded after the game. He added wryly, “We did not do a great job on what might be called situational awareness.”

Injury list: Murphy revealed at his postgame press conference that senior tailback Cheng Ho had sustained a foot injury in a practice session and won’t play again. “We could not have won back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008 without Cheng,” said Murphy. Ho came to the United States from Taiwan at the age of 12, not speaking English and unfamiliar with football. The team’s top rusher in 2007, he missed parts of last season because of injuries and had been used sparingly this fall. He rushed for 132 yards and scored two touchdowns against Lehigh, and had 73 yards and a touchdown in the final period of the 37-3 rout of Princeton. When sidelined, he was an irrepressible cheerleader.…The defensive unit faced Dartmouth without linebackers Conor Murphy ’11 and Alex Gedeon ’12. Murphy has an ankle injury. A broken elbow will keep Gedeon out for the rest of the season.…The defensive line lost two starters, Ryan Burkhead ’10 and Ben Graeff ’11, in September.

Fresh talent: Kyle Juszczyk (pronounced Yew-chick) has emerged as an offensive stalwart. A 245-pound freshman from Medina, Ohio, he’s the team’s H-back — a position combining the blocking duties of a fullback with the blocking and pass-catching roles of a tight end. Juszczyk has caught scoring passes in each of the last two games.

Upbeat: The Harvard University Band, celebrating its ninetieth anniversary on the Dartmouth weekend,  had 200 Band alumni and 89 undergraduate members on the field at halftime. The combined forces sounded glorious.   

In other Ivy action: In Providence, Penn (4-0, 5-2) gained a 14-7 overtime victory against Brown (2-2, 4-3). Penn and Harvard are the Ivies’ only unbeaten contenders. They’ll duke it out at the Stadium on November 14.…Yale (2-2, 4-3) scored three times in the final quarter to overtake Columbia, 23-22. The Lions (1-3, 2-5) host Harvard next Saturday in a game that kicks off at 12:30.

The score by quarters:

Dartmouth  0   7    7   7  —    21 
Harvard        7    14  21  0 —   42

Attendance: 8,107

THE SEASON SO FAR

Holy Cross 27, Harvard 20
Harvard 24, Brown 21
Harvard 28, Lehigh 14
Harvard 28, Cornell 10
Lafayette 35, Harvard 18
Harvard 37, Princeton 3
Harvard 42, Dartmouth 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more articles by: Cleat

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