Pictured: Matt Luft comes down with his eventual
game-winning 15-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth
quarter after tiptoe-ing inside the back of the end zone.
Photo: Dave Silverman
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard's Jon Takamura was among a group of Harvard defenders that batted down a final desperation pass by Brown Friday night as the Crimson defeated the Bears by a score of 24-21 in front of 17,263 fans at Harvard Stadium.
In a matchup between the defending Ivy League champions, Harvard (1-1, 1-0 Ivy) controlled the second half, turning a 14-10 halftime deficit into a 24-14 fourth quarter lead before holding on the victory after Brown scored a late touchdown and then recovered an onsides kick.
The Crimson, ranked in every preseason Top 25 poll this year, has not lost at Harvard Stadium since 2006 and has won 11 straight at home.
Brown remains winless at 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the league.
After recovering the kick with 32 seconds left, Brown QB Kyle Newhall rattled off an 18-yard run to the Crimson 39. He then connected with Trevan Samp for 14 yards to the 25 but then was stopped for nothing on a run and threw the first of three incomplete passes. On third and 10 from the 25, Ryan Barnes nearly intercepted a pass with four seconds left but was undercut by his own teammate, forcing an incompletion and setting up fourth down.
After missing a 40-yard field goal in the final seconds last week at Sacred Heart, Brown would attempt one from 42 this time around, instead choosing to loft a desperation pass into the end zone, which was swarmed by Crimson defenders.
Collier Winters accounted for all three Harvard touchdowns, passing for two - a 30-yard seam route to Nicolai Schwarzkopf and a highlight-reel 15-yard tip-toe pass in the back of the end zone to preseason All-American Matt Luft at the 12:43 mark of the fourth quarter.
Winters was 18-for-27 for 223 yards while also averaging 5.1 yards per carry with a game-high 66 yards (13 attempts) including a three-yard touchdown keeper.
Bobby Sewall accounted for all three Bears' TDs with runs of two and one yards, and an eight-yard pass with 34 seconds left in the fourth to make it close.
Collin Zych led Harvard with eight tackles including a sack while Takamura added a big interception.