Football: Harvard 31, Lafayette 3
Stellar defensive play keeps the Leopards at bay.
The football team lost a starting quarterback for the second time in three weeks, but still took the measure of Patriot League rival Lafayette with a 31-3 victory at the Leopards’ Fisher Stadium on Saturday.
Harvard (2-1) has defeated Lafayette (1-4) in 10 of the teams’ last 11 meetings. The Leopards had pulled a 37-12 upset of Pennsylvania, the defending Ivy League champion, two weeks earlier.
The Crimson’s swarming defense shut down the Lafayette attack, holding its leading ground-gainer, freshman tailback Ross Scheuerman, to 15 yards, and limiting the ground game to 42 yards on 29 carries.
Lafayette’s only points came on a 26-yard field goal in the second period. The Leopards threatened only once in the second half, when a Harvard fumble gave them possession inside the Crimson 10-yard line. But an apparent touchdown pass was negated by a holding penalty, and Harvard safety Dan Minamide ’12 then came up with an end zone interception.
Backup quarterback Colton Chapple ’13, starting his second game of the season, was sidelined by tightness in his back after a hard hit near the end of the first half. Stepping in for starter Collier Winters ’10 (’12), who had been nursing a hamstring pull, Chapple had led the offense ably in last week’s 24-7 victory over Brown.
The defensive team and the punting unit forced turnovers that set up two of Harvard’s four touchdowns at Lafayette.
With two minutes to play in the opening half, all-Ivy tackle Josué Ortiz recovered a Leopard fumble at midfield. The offense drove downfield, and a three-yard scoring pass from Chapple to receiver Alex Sarkisian ’12 gave Harvard a 17-3 lead.
The Crimson had opened the scoring with a first-period field goal of 26 yards by David Mothander ’14. In the second period, Harvard scored again on a four-yard touchdown by tailback Treavor Scales ’13.
Another Lafayette turnover—a fumbled punt, caused by linebacker and captain Alex Gedeon ’12 and recovered by Kyle Juszczyk ’13—enabled the Crimson to score again in the third quarter.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Pruneau ’14, seeing varsity action for the first time, set this one up with a 13-yard pass to receiver Chris Lorditch ’11 (’12), putting Harvard inside the Lafayette 10. Two plays later, Pruneau threw a three-yard scoring pass to tight end Cameron Brate ’14.
Harvard’s final touchdown came late in the fourth period, on a spectacular 43-yard broken-field run by fleet freshman back Zach Boden.
The Crimson defense was led by linebackers Gedeon and Josh Boyd ’13. Each was credited with eight tackles. Besides his fumble recovery, Ortiz had a quarterback sack and two quarterback hurries.
Punter Jacob Dombrowski ’13 had a outstanding day, averaging 44.2 yards on six kicks, with a long of 54 yards.
In the two quarters he played, Chapple completed 14 of 18 pass attempts for 121 yards and a touchdown. He was not intercepted. Juszczyk and Lorditch each had four receptions. Scales rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Harvard (1-0 in Ivy League games) travels to Cornell next weekend for its second Ivy matchup, kicking off at 12:30. The Big Red (2-1, 0-1 Ivy) lost to Yale, 37-17, in the teams’ Ivy opener. The hope is that Collier Winters will be cleared to start at quarterback for the Crimson.
In other weekend games: Yale (2-1, 1-0) took its first defeat of the season, losing to Lehigh, 37-7, while Cornell beat Wagner, 31-7. In Saturday night games, Penn (1-2, 1-0) nipped Dartmouth (1-2, 0-1), 22-20. Princeton (1-2, 1-0) edged Columbia (0-3, 0-1), 24-21. Brown (2-1, 0-1) defeated instate rival Rhode Island, 35-21.
The Harvard-Lafayette score by quarters:
Harvard 3 14 7 7 — 31
Lafayette 0 3 0 0 — 3
The Season So Far
Holy Cross 30, Harvard 22
Harvard 27, Brown 7
Harvard 31, Lafayette 3
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