Harvard Football Hopes to Continue Win Streak.
Boy, were the preseason polls at the 2014 Ivy League Football Media Day wrong. I’m sure that all nine of the people who voted Princeton first are slowly sinking into their seats. Harvard, just one point behind the Tigers, was polled second in the Ivy League despite sharing the 2013 Ivy League Championship.
Alas, Harvard football made it quite clear that they do not come second to anyone. The evidence? Five consecutive wins over old foes and new enemies, including Georgetown. The closest margin so far has been the 22-14 win over Brown earlier this season.
Most recently, Harvard beat Lafayette 24-14 at home last Saturday. The stadium was filled (by Harvard standards, anyways) with fans as the then 24/25 Crimson took on the Leopards. This win marked Harvard’s 24th consecutive non-conference win.
Harvard started the game explosively with an impressive 78-yard touchdown by wide receiver Andre Fischer ’16. Harvard was now 10-0 with a 24-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game by senior Andrew Flesher. Standout running back Paul Stanton Jr. ’16 gave Harvard its second touchdown after a 43 yard run. The Crimson’s next touchdown was scored in the middle of the third quarter by tight end Ben Braunecker ’16. Braunecker scored with a 31-yard run.
Despite Harvard’s energetic start, the team seemed to get a little complacent with their lead as the game progressed. Quarterback Scott Hosch ’16 seemed to be a little shaky in his fourth consecutive start for this season. Hosch had 11 complete passes over 203 yards.
After the Crimson’s third and final touchdown of the game, the Crimson could only stave off any attempts from Lafayette to score. Harvard’s defense was key to maintaining the Crimson’s lead; The Crimson defense only allowed two touchdowns. Defensive end Dan Moody ’16 cheekily sacked a Lafayette player towards the end of the fourth quarter. Moody’s sacked added a jolt of energy to the Crimson’s play. Linebackers Eric Medes ’16 and Jacob Lindsey ’16 lead defense with 9 sacks each. It should also be noted that Lafayette literally could not stand up to the Crimson’s play given that the Leopards had 3 leg injuries during the game.
Harvard’s dependence on defense during the Lafayette game is not enough for the Crimson to beat Princeton this Saturday, much less maintain their perfect record. Given the dramatic loss in 3OT to Princeton last season, the Crimson needs to tighten up its game on both sides. Despite Princeton’s current 3-2 record and third place standing in the Ivy League, one can be certain that this matchup won’t be easy. Princeton will want to try their hand at continuing to dominate Harvard in their 107th match up.
However, given how strong the Crimson has been and the crop of talent on the roster, the Crimson stands an excellent chance at revenge. The Crimson’s tenacity will be key not only in this game, but the following four games as well. For the rest of the season, the Crimson will take on other members of the Ivy League. Hopefully the Crimson can carry their momentum forward towards a perfect season and an Ivy League Championship.
Shaquilla Harrigan ’16 (sharrigan01@college) wishes the Crimson good luck this Saturday.