Football: Harvard 35, Bucknell 7

Another runaway win makes it 14 straight.

Off to the races: Tight end Kyle Juszczyk (44) shook off tacklers on a 59-yard pass play, giving Harvard a 28-0 halftime lead over Bucknell.

Three defenders converged on Kyle Juszczyk at midfield as he brought down a pass from quarterback Colton Chapple. But bringing down Juszczyk is like halting a runaway train. The senior tight end broke free, stiff-armed one more would-be tackler at the 12-yard line, and charged into the end zone, completing the Crimson’s longest pass play of the season.

The play covered 59 yards and climaxed a 21-point second quarter, as Harvard took a 28-0 lead at the half and coasted to a 35-7 victory in a nonleague match with Bucknell at the Stadium on Saturday evening.

Juszczyk’s catch-and-run was emblematic of a big-play Crimson offense that could set new scoring records this season.

This year’s team has scored 202 points in its first five games—the most for a Harvard squad since the 1892 team ran up 224 against a slate that included Phillips Exeter Academy, Williams, Amherst, and the Boston Athletic Association. The modern-era record for a season was set by the 2011 team, which scored 374 points in 10 games.

The 2012 team has scored 21 points in a single quarter in every game so far. The eruptions occurred in the final quarter against San Diego, Brown, and Cornell, and in the first quarter against Holy Cross. 

Saturday’s second-period outburst began when quarterback Chapple hit junior tight end Cameron Brate with a 17-yard sideline pass inside the Bucknell 20-yard line. A 14-yard scoring pass from Chapple to Brate followed two plays later.

On the first play of Harvard’s next sequence, freshman receiver Andrew Fischer carried on a double reverse and sped 58 yards to the end zone, untouched by Bucknell defenders.

Less than four minutes later, Juszczyk’s big moment arrived.

Harvard tallied once more in the third period, when Chapple faked a handoff to backup tailback Paul Stanton Jr. ’16, spun away, and sprinted 59 yards down the right sideline for another big-play touchdown.

Chapple had scored Harvard’s first touchdown of the day, a six-yard option run late in the opening period. He finished as the game’s leading rusher, with a career-high 120 yards in eight carries, while completing 11 of 18 passes for 189 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

The versatile senior quarterback has now accounted for 16 of the team’s 28 touchdowns, passing for 13 and running for three. He is on track to break the seasonal passing record of 18 touchdowns set by Neil Rose ’03 in 2000.

Averaging 7.4 yards per play, Chapple now ranks first in Harvard’s all-time total-offense standings, ahead of such stellar quarterbacks of the past as Rose (6.9 yards per play) and Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 (6.7).

Chapple turned the offense over to sophomore backup Conner Hempel after his long touchdown run, and watched the game’s last 20 minutes from the sideline.

The Crimson defense kept Bucknell off the scoreboard until the final minutes of play, when a 91-yard Bison drive was capped by a one-yard touchdown with 59 seconds left on the clock.

The defense forced two early turnovers, including an end-zone interception, and held the Bucknell running attack to a net 23 yards. Led by tackle Nnamdi Obukwelu ’13 and ends John Lyon ’13 and Zack Hodges ’15, the defensive line had six quarterback sacks and 12 tackles-for-loss. 

Bucknell (1-5, 0-2 Patriot League) had defeated Marist College in its opening game, but then lost its next four. The team's most recent setback had been a 13-6 loss to a Holy Cross squad that had taken a 52-3 beating from Harvard the previous week.

Harvard (5-0, 2-0 Ivy) holds a 6-3-1 lead over Bucknell in an irregular series that began in 1955. The Bison go off the schedule next year.

The Crimson now has a 14-game winning streak—the longest of any NCAA Division I team—dating back to the second game of the 2011 season. 

In other games: Princeton (3-2, 2-0) shut out Brown (3-2, 0-2), 19-0, ending the Bruins’ Ivy League record 162-game scoring streak. Penn (2-3, 2-0) nipped Columbia (1-4, 0-2), 24-20.  In nonleague action, Yale (1-4, 0-2) lost to Lafayette (4-2), 20-10. Cornell (3-2, 1-1) outscored Monmouth (3-3), 41-38. Dartmouth (3-2, 1-1) lost to Sacred Heart (2-4), 27-10.

Next weekend: Harvard returns to Ivy League action with a 1 p.m. contest at Princeton Stadium. The game will be aired on ESPN3. The Crimson leads the league in 18 team and individual categories, including scoring, rushing, passing efficiency, rushing defense, quarterback sacks, tackles for loss, and fumbles forced. The second-ranked Tiger defense did not allow a touchdown in Ivy wins over Brown and Columbia.

Harvard has prevailed in 14 of the last 16 meetings with Princeton. The last was a 56-39 fracas at the Stadium a year ago. 

The Harvard-Bucknell score by quarters:

Bucknell      0    0    0   7  —     7
Harvard       7   21   7   0  —   35

Attendance: 9,558

The season so far:

Harvard 28, San Diego 13
Harvard 45, Brown 31
Harvard 52, Holy Cross 3
Harvard 45, Cornell 13
Harvard 35, Bucknell 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more articles by: Cleat

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