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Miscues Hurt Crimson In 35-18 Setback To Lafayette

Pictured: Josue Ortiz was a bright spot on the Crimson defense with 3.5 tackles for a loss against Lafayette.
Photo: Gil Talbot

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - First half miscues doomed the Harvard football team as Lafayette downed the Crimson, 35-18, Saturday afternoon at Harvard Stadium.

The loss ended an eight-year reign over Lafayette by the Crimson (3-2, 2-0 Ivy), which lost at home for the first time in over two years to break an 11-game win streak at Harvard Stadium. Lafayette improved to 5-1 overall while giving the Patriot League just its second win in its last 11 outings at The Stadium.

Two first quarter turnovers in its own territory - one a fumble and one interception preceded by a dropped pass - led to short touchdown scores and a 14-0 Lafayette lead.

A 51-yard Harvard drive was capped by a 30-yard field goal from Patrick Long to make it 14-3 early in the second quarter but penalties allowed Lafayette to score twice more.

Midway through the second, a running-into-the-kicker penalty negated a Lafayette punt and, later, an illegal helmet contact penalty kept the Leopards' drive alive again after an incomplete pass on third and 10 would have forced another punt. The miscues allowed Lafayette to hold the ball for nearly six minutes before making it 21-3. Then at the end of the half, Lafayette benefitted from a pass interference call to extend another drive before Kyle Hayes laid out to pull down a nice catch in the end zone five seconds before the break for a 28-3 cushion.

In the second half, Harvard outgained Lafayette 208-121 but the damage was too much to overcome despite touchdown passes of 14 and 47 yards from Collier Winters to Marco Iannuzzi and Chris Lorditch. Lorditch ended up with four catches for 100 yards. Iannuzzi added 138 return yards for 175 all-purpose yards on the afternoon.

In spite of the penalties, Harvard's defense played well, led by Josue Ortiz's 3.5 tackles for a loss (13 yards) and eight tackles. Collin Zych added 10 tackles (nine solo) and the Crimson had eight tackles for a loss on the day.  

Lafayette used a steady diet of play-action rollout and misdirection screen passes to running backs, allowing Rob Curley to complete 21 of 31 attempts for 210 yards. Backs DeAndre' Morrow (11 rushes, 85 yards, four catches, 54 yards) and Maurice White (9 rushes, 33 yards, four catches, 22 yards) paced the Leopards.