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Sports | Football

Harvard 42, Lafayette 0

10.24.15

Harvard senior linebacker Eric Medes (49) had a team-high seven tackles and a sack of Leopard quarterback Drew Reed.

Harvard senior linebacker Eric Medes (49) had a team-high seven tackles and a sack of Leopard quarterback Drew Reed.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications


Harvard senior linebacker Eric Medes (49) had a team-high seven tackles and a sack of Leopard quarterback Drew Reed.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications

On kick runbacks and pass receptions, freshman Justice Shelton-Mosley had Leopard defenders such as Andrew Chuma (34) tackling nothing but air.

On kick runbacks and pass receptions, freshman Justice Shelton-Mosley had Leopard defenders such as Andrew Chuma (34) tackling nothing but air.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications


On kick runbacks and pass receptions, freshman Justice Shelton-Mosley had Leopard defenders such as Andrew Chuma (34) tackling nothing but air.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications

All but unstoppable, senior running back Paul Stanton Jr. churned, cut, and bulled his way to two touchdowns and a game-high 123 yards and two touchdowns.

All but unstoppable, senior running back Paul Stanton Jr. churned, cut, and bulled his way to two touchdowns and a game-high 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications


All but unstoppable, senior running back Paul Stanton Jr. churned, cut, and bulled his way to two touchdowns and a game-high 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications

Even with Quinn Smith (11) helping out, Leopard runner DeSean Brown (30) was unable to get past the Crimson senior defensive back double team of Sean Ahern (6) and Scott Peters (44).

Even with Quinn Smith (11) helping out, Leopard runner DeSean Brown (30) was unable to get past the Crimson senior defensive back double team of Sean Ahern (6) and Scott Peters (44).
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications


Even with Quinn Smith (11) helping out, Leopard runner DeSean Brown (30) was unable to get past the Crimson senior defensive back double team of Sean Ahern (6) and Scott Peters (44).
Photograph courtesy of Lafayette College Athletic Communications

It’s a football axiom: To win, you must establish the running game. Last Saturday at Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pennsylvania, the Lafayette football team failed abjectly to achieve that aim against Harvard. After 30 minutes, the Leopards’ total on the ground was minus-four yards. That was their good half. At game’s end, Lafayette’s rushing number was minus-18 (on 19 carries). It is little wonder, then, that the Crimson numbed the Leopards 42-0. The victory, which capped Harvard’s 2015 non-conference schedule, ran the Crimson’s record to 5-0. (Harvard is 2-0 in Ivy League play.) Lafayette dropped to 1-6. Harvard’s nineteenth triumph in a row—a streak second in NCAA Division I only to that of Ohio State (20)—was also the Crimson’s thirteenth straight road win, best in school history.

The shutout was the second of the season for Harvard, which had blanked Lafayette’s fellow Patriot League member Georgetown 45-0 on October 2. This year’s squad has not allowed a touchdown in 188 minutes and 41 seconds of play (since the fourth quarter of its 53-27 defeat of Brown on September 26). In its victories the Crimson has scored 221 points—the most in its first five games since the ’92 team piled up 231. That’s the 1892 team, which also shut out its first five foes. (Ominous note: That squad would lose once—at Yale, 6-0.)

“We’re a good tackling team,” said Harvard coach Tim Murphy afterward. “We really work hard at that. We try to find out what the other team does best and the best way to beat them, then, is to take it away.”

On a sparklingly cold day and before spectators who included ESPN commentator Jon Gruden—whose son Deuce, a senior backup running back for the Leopards, gained three yards on two carries—the Crimson, controlling the line of scrimmage, was not tested. To be fair, Lafayette has been wracked by injuries. Its quarterback, Drew Reed (23 of 42 passing for 215 yards), was restricted to short routes; he lacks the arm strength that might have loosened the Harvard defense, which was headed by linebacker Eric Medes ’16 (seven tackles, including a sack). In running his record as a starter to 11-0, Crimson quarterback Scott Hosch ’16 (playing three quarters) finished a turnover-free 17 of 29 for 272 yards and a touchdown. (He was sacked for the first time this year.) Running back Paul Stanton Jr. ’16 again was the battering ram, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries; Noah Reimers ’19 chipped in with 57 yards, mostly between the tackles, and a score.

As has happened with regularity this season, Harvard scored early and often. The first touchdown came at the end of a five-play, 70-yard drive marked by a personal-foul penalty on Lafayette, incurred when Stanton was shoved after going out-of-bounds. Two plays later, from the Leopards 16, he cut through a cavernous hole and sprinted into the end zone. Kenny Smart ’18 kicked the extra point. Harvard 7, Lafayette 0, with 5:49 gone in the first period.

Harvard’s next drive, which began on its 23, was highlighted by a sweet 40-yard completion from Hosch to Justice Shelton-Mosley. The freshman wideout caught a short square-out, then left his defender grabbing the air before racing down the right sideline. Hosch capped the seven-play drive with a one-yard plunge. Smart booted the point. 14-0. (After this score, Harvard committed perhaps its most egregious error of the season: the Crimson was penalized five yards for delay of game before the kickoff.)

For the remainder of the half Lafayette pluckily held its ground—until the end. The Crimson might have gotten away with one, as they say, when on a Leopards punt Harvard’s Sean Ahern ’16 made contact with kicker Ryan Forrester but was not flagged. The Crimson took the full advantage, going 44 yards on nine plays, with Stanton eventually barreling in for the score. Smart again converted. At the half, 21-0.

The first drive of the second half, which began at Harvard’s 20, saw Hosch spread the ball to receivers Seitu Smith II ’16, Tanner Wrisley ’16 (who has been gradually working into the rotation), and twice to tight end Ben Braunecker ’16. The second time, “Bronk” was wide open in the middle; he caught the ball and took it the few remaining yards for a 32-yard score. Smart booted and it was 28-0.

Lafayette hung in there and actually appeared to score a touchdown on a Reed-to-Matt Mrazek pass—but Mrazek’s circus catch was negated by a holding call. When Harvard got the ball back, Hosch and Braunecker put on a show, hooking up for four completions. The drive was also marked by the heady rushing of Smith, who displayed his versatility by moving to running back and gaining 19 yards on four carries, sifting the final six into the end zone to cap the 10-play, 90-yard drive. Smart’s kick made it 35-0 with 33 seconds to go in the period.

In the fourth quarter Jimmy Meyer ’16 took over at quarterback but otherwise nothing changed. With Meyer setting the table with a 14-yard completion to tight end Jack Stansell ’18, the Crimson scored its final touchdown on a four-yard Reimers run. Smart punctuated to make it 42-0. Lafayette drove to Harvard’s 14, but the Leopards’ hopes of breaking the shutout were snuffed when linebacker Chase Guillory ’18 sacked Reed on fourth down.

For Harvard, the non-conference portion of the schedule is now complete. From now on, it’s all Ivy, all the time. Or as coach Murphy put it, “Our playoffs start with the Princeton game.”

 

Weekend Roundup

Brown 38, Princeton 31
Penn 42, Columbia 7
Dartmouth 34, Central Connecticut 7
Sacred Heart 31, Cornell 6
Yale 21, Maine 10

 

Coming up: Next Saturday Harvard returns to the Stadium to take on Princeton. Kickoff: Noon. The game will be shown on the American Sports Network and the Ivy League Digital Network, and broadcast on WXKS 1200 AM and 94.5 FM-HD2, and WHRB FM 95.3. Princeton leads the series 54-46-7; the Crimson won last year in New Jersey 49-7. As Eric Medes noted, Princeton is the one team against which this year’s seniors have a losing record, having fallen 39-34 as freshmen and 51-48 (in triple overtime) as sophomores. The 2015 Tigers are 4-1 and 1-1 in the Ivy League. Coach Bob Surace’s team is dangerous; the Tigers have been potent offensively behind the quarterbacking of junior Chad Kanoff. Their loss at Brown was a surprise; all credit must go to Bears coach Phil Estes for resuscitating his charges after Harvard massacred them. But that’s Ivy League football, where the unexpected is expected.

 

 The Score By Quarters 

Harvard147147  42
Cornell0000    0

Attendance: 7,108

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