In a battle of two of the Ivy League’s top defenses, No. 22 Harvard made two more big plays than Cornell and turned them into a 24-10 victory on Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium. The Crimson remained unbeaten at 4-0 (2-0 Ivy), while the Big Red slipped to 0-4 (0-2 Ivy).
The Big Red defense surrendered just 343 yards to a powerful Crimson offense with 110 coming on the Crimson’s final two scoring plays. Cornell forced three turnovers – one on an interception, one on a forced fumble and another after a muffed punt – and caused a total of 10 negative plays. It limited Harvard to 4-of-14 on third down and had had 24 different players credited with at least one tackle.
Jake Stebbins had seven tackles, including 2.5 for a loss, and Michael Irons made five stops with two for a loss, including a sack, and a pass breakup. Demetrius Harris, who had an interception on Harvard’s first play from scrimmage and ended the afternoon with another pass breakup and four stops, set the tone. The Crimson entered the game averaging 42.3 points per game and 239.0 yards on the ground.
Koby Kiefer averaged 41.7 yards on seven punts, with two over 50 yards and Garrett Patla booted all three of his kickoffs through the end zone. Scott Lees made a 32-yard field goal to knot the score at 10-10 in the third and Logan Thut recovered a fumble on a punt return to highlight the play of the special teams.
The Big Red offense had 299 yards of offense against Crimson, including 103 on the ground against a defense that had allowed just 149 total in its first three games. SK Howard rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on eight carries to lead the way. Richie Kenney completed 20-of-42 passes for 196 yards, including eight passes for 92 yards to his favorite target, Alex Kuzy. Cornell’s offense didn’t turn the ball over, but was just 2-of-16 converting on third down and was 0-for-4 on fourth down.
For Harvard, Aaron Shampklin finished with 92 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while BJ Watson had two receptions for 87 yards, including the go-ahead 75-yard score on a toss from Charlie Dean. Dean came off the bench to complete 12-of-21 passes for 204 yards. James Herring and Andrew Irwin each had a game-high nine tackles to pace the defense.
Kyle leads sports coverage and hosts the Concrete Jungle podcast. Have a lead or question? Send it to [email protected].