Football: Harvard 34, Yale 7

Crimson gridders make it seven straight over the Blue.

Harvard partisans stormed the field at Yale Bowl to celebrate the Crimson’s seventh consecutive victory over the Blue. Thousands of discouraged Yale followers had left the Bowl at halftime.
On Harvard’s first series, tailback Paul Stanton Jr. took a handoff from quarterback Conner Hempel, cut to the left sideline, and sprinted 25 yards for a touchdown. Stanton would score three more times in the opening half. Following him into the end zone are Yale defensive backs Robert Ries (34) and Spencer Rymiszewski (17), and Harvard wide receiver Andrew Berg (8).
Quarterback Conner Hempel directed the Crimson offense, passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns and gaining 57 yards on 10 carries. The Yale defender is safety Robert Ries; blocking for Hempel is running back Seitu Smith III.
Safety Chris Splinter’s 33-yard return of a fourth-period pass interception set up Harvard’s final score of the game, a 48-yard field goal by kicker David Mothander. Trailing Splinter is cornerback D.J. Monroe.

Once again, the big game went Harvard’s way.

Tailback Paul Stanton scored four first-half touchdowns as the Crimson overpowered Yale in New Haven on Saturday, 34-7.

Harvard has now won seven straight over the Bulldogs, has prevailed in 12 of the teams’ last 13 meetings, and has not lost at Yale Bowl since 1999.

Adding a fillip to the season-ending victory, Dartmouth's 28-24 upset of Princeton—previously unbeaten in Ivy League play—gave Harvard (6-1 Ivy, 9-1 overall) a share of the Ivy title. The Crimson's only defeat of the year was a 51-48 loss to the Tigers in triple overtime.

Yale (3-4, 5-5) finished in a tie with Brown and Pennsylvania for fourth place in the league standings.

Stanton’s four-touchdown day matched a Harvard-Yale record set in 1915 by Eddie Mahan ’16. The sophomore tailback's first and last scores came on a 25-yard breakaway and a two-yard rush. He caught passes of 21 and 18 yards from quarterback Conner Hempel for his other two touchdowns.

Hempel had his team’s passing and ground games working in almost perfect synchronicity in the opening half, when the Crimson offense scored on its first four possessions. He completed all but three of 16 pass attempts in the first two periods, for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

With both teams using no-huddle offenses, the tempo of the game was rapid. Harvard led at the half, 28-0, causing thousands of dispirited Yale followers to head for the parking lots.

Senior David Mothander kicked field goals of 19 and 48 yards in the third and fourth quarters to round out Harvard's scoring. His 48-yarder was the longest ever in a Harvard-Yale game, and the longest ever for Mothander. He completed a stellar kicking career with 27 field goals and 158 points-after, for a total of 239 points, an all-time Harvard kicking record.

The Crimson defense confined Yale to its own half of the field for much of the game. The Bulldogs had 11 possessions in all, and advanced beyond midfield on only two of them. Yale’s only touchdown came in the third period, on a three-yard run by senior Deon Randall, a quick wide receiver who alternated as a running back.

Yale's best all-around back, junior Tyler Varga, left the game after the Blue's second series. A foot strain had kept him on the sideline for the past four weekends.

Head coach Tim Murphy called the Crimson defensive effort “one of the most outstanding we have had in a long, long time. That set the stage for the game.” 

The defensive unit’s top tacklers, with seven stops apiece, were linebacker Eric Medes and safety Chris Splinter. Splinter, a senior, also made a fourth-quarter interception, returning the ball 33 yards to set up Mothander’s second field goal.

Stanton finished with 27 carries for 118 yards rushing, and had four pass receptions for 40 yards. He ended the season with 17 touchdowns. Clifton Dawson ’07, with 22 touchdowns in 2006 and 18 in 2004, is the only Crimson player to have scored more TDs in a single season.

Hempel completed 19 of 26 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He was not intercepted or sacked. Hempel also picked up 57 yards rushing on 10 carries.

Senior tight end Cam Brate, who had missed the Dartmouth and Columbia games because of a leg injury, caught Hempel’s longest passes of the day—a 36-yard catch-and-run that set up a touchdown pass to Stanton at the start of the second quarter, and a 25-yarder that advanced the Crimson’s next scoring drive. 

Harvard now holds a 33-24-1 lead over Yale in games played since the formalization of Ivy play in 1956. Yale still has a 65-57-8 advantage in the overall series, begun in 1875. In his 20 seasons as Harvard’s head coach, Tim Murphy is 15-5 against Yale.


The Harvard-Yale scoring:

Harvard    14   14   3    3   —  34 
Yale            0     0   7    0   —    7


Attendance: 50,934


The 2013 season:

Harvard 42, San Diego 20
Harvard 41, Brown 23
Harvard 41, Holy Cross 35
Harvard 34, Cornell 24
Harvard 35, Lafayette 16
Princeton 51, Harvard 48
Harvard 24, Dartmouth 21
Harvard 34, Columbia 0
Harvard 38, Pennsylvania 30
Harvard 34, Yale 7

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