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Cornell falls to Harvard, 41-23

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

Quarterback Charles DePrima accounted for six touchdowns and unbeaten Harvard topped Cornell 41-23 on Friday evening at Harvard Stadium. The 19th-ranked Crimson (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) pulled away in the second half to hand the Big Red (2-2, 1-1 Ivy) its second straight loss and first defeat in Ivy League play.

DePrima ran for three touchdowns and threw for three more, posting 361 yards of total offense while guiding an offense that piled up 452 total for the evening. He was 12-of-19 passing for 209 yards and ran for an additional 152 more on just nine carries. He scampered for touchdowns of 1, 42 and 58 yards and connected through the air for scores of 36, 17 and 19 yards. 

The loss overshadowed heroic individual efforts by Big Red junior Jameson Wang, who posted nearly 200 yards of offense and two rushing touchdowns, and senior Manny Adebi, who blocked a pair of extra points to set the career Cornell mark for blocked kicks (seven).

Wang completed 21-of-34 passes for 165 yards and ran for 25 more and a pair of scores. Luke Duby relieved him in the fourth quarter, completing 9-of-11 passes for 78 yards and a 12-yard touchdown to freshman Sam Musungu, his first career score. Adebi, who led the country in blocked kicks a year ago (four) while playing in just six total games, knocked down his second and third kicks of 2023 to match and finally surpass the previous mark of six by Joel Sussman ’05.

Cornell’s formula for success against one of the nation’s top teams allowed the Big Red to hang around for much of the night, but DePrima was the difference maker in allowing Harvard to pull away. The Big Red converted 8-of-17 third downs, posted 27 total first downs and dominated time of possession (35:19-24:41), but Harvard’s explosive plays proved to be the difference.

Nicholas Laboy caught five passes for 66 yards and Doryn Smith hauled in seven passes for 55 to lead the receiving corps. Brody Kidwell had six tackles with one for a loss to pace the defense.

Cornell trailed 21-10 at halftime after the Big Red had a pair of excellent possessions to end the half, including a fire drill 43-yard field goal by Jackson Kennedy at the first half horn. The Cornell defense got a stop to open the second half, but couldn’t take advantage of it and punted it back. That’s when Harvard took control, going 83 yards in just 41 seconds over two plays to make it a three-possession game. The Crimson never looked back.

NEXT UP

• The Big Red is set to close out the nonconference slate when it hosts Bucknell for the team’s second home game of the year.
• Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Schoellkopf Field.
• Fans at home can catch the game on ESPN+.