Harvard's offense scored on its first seven possessions of the game (photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Colton Chapple threw for 260 yards on 13-of-18 passing and had five total touchdowns (four pass, one run) all in the first two quarters to build a 49-3 halftime lead en route to a 52-3 victory over Holy Cross. The Crimson avenged its only loss of 2011, while moving its winning streak to 12, the longest in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Harvard took control early and never looked back, amassing a school record 49 points in the first half, while Chapple threw four touchdowns and accumulated 260 yards through the air in the first 30 minutes. All told in the opening half alone, the Crimson poured on 394 yards of offense during a driving rainstorm that limited the attendance to 10,215.
On his first collegiate touch, Paul Stanton, Jr., returned the contest's opening kickoff for 42 yards, giving the Crimson excellent position to start the game. Later on the Crimson's opening drive, Chapple completed a pass to Ricky Zorn for a 36-yard reception on 3rd and 2, getting Harvard all the way to the Holy Cross 10-yard line. On the next snap, Zorn caught across the middle and made a touchdown catch from Chapple, as Harvard went ahead with the game's first touchdown.
On the Crusaders' first play from scrimmage, Holy Cross responded with a 65-yard pass play by Ryan Loughlin to Nate Stanley, who scampered down the right side, reaching the Harvard 12-yard line. The Crimson defense stepped up on the next set of downs, holding the Crusaders to only a 23-yard field goal by John Macomber.
Harvard responded with its second-straight scoring drive, moving 63 yards in only seven plays and 2:35 of action. After the Crimson advanced to the Crusader 35, Chapple made a 35-yard toss, finding a wide open Cameron Brate for the second touchdown pass of the first quarter, as Harvard went up, 14-3.
After Harvard held the Crusaders to a three and out, Connor Sheehan blocked a punt by John Macomber at the Holy Cross 43 and D. J. Monroe picked it up and ran 23 yards for another Crimson touchdown. The block by Sheehan was the first blocked punt return for a touchdown since Grant Sickled blocked a kick and Mike Cook returned for a score against Princeton on Oct. 23, 2010.
Later in the first, Chapple continued to pick apart Holy Cross's defense and advanced his team down to the Holy Cross 14-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Chapple whipped a completion to Kyle Juszczyk for 14 yards, making it a 28-3 contest following a successful extra point.
Harvard, which started the game 7-for-7 on third down conversions, made its way down the field again on its next possession. On third and 8 at the Holy Cross 39, Chapple sent a 20-yard pass to Zorn, who ran all the way to the 19 yard line. On the next play, Chapple made his fourth TD pass of the evening, finding Brate again for a 19-yard score, as the Crimson grew its lead to 35-3.
Chapple and the Crimson continued to dominate against Holy Cross's pass defense in the half, as Chapple, who threw for 260 yards and four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes, scored a touchdown on the ground, as he ran for a two-yard run, making it 42-3 at 5:49. With the extra point, Harvard established a program record for points in a half, surpassing the previous mark of 41 set against Columbia (41) Nov. 5, 2005.
On Harvard's next possession, Chapple completed a pass to Juszczyk for a 51-yard play, moving the Crimson deep into Holy Cross territory once again. Later in the drive, Rich Zajeski took a hand off from Chapple and rushed for a four-yard score. David Mothander made his seventh extra point of the hall, as Harvard went up 49-3.
With sophomore Conner Hempel under center to open the half, the Crimson added a 39-yard field goal off the foot of Mothander to make it a 52-3 contest in the third quarter. Hempel was 4-for-7 in the second half for 36 yards.
The Crimson remains at home to welcome Cornell Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m.
- Harvard improves to 3-0 for the first time since 2006
- The Crimson starts the year 2-0 at home for the third straight year
- Harvard improves to 7-0 in night games at Harvard Stadium.
- Harvard's 52 points was the most for the Crimson since a 56-point performance against Princeton Oct. 22, 2011
- Harvard quarterback Colton Chapple threw for 260 yards
- Harvard started the game 9-for-9 on third downs, until missing a 3rd and 5 in the third quarter
- The Crimson established a new program record of 49 points in a half, breaking the previous mark (41) set against Columbia Nov. 5, 2005.
- On the game's first play, Paul Stanton, Jr., returned the kickoff for 42 yards on his first collegiate touch
- On Harvard's opening drive, Colton Chapple went 2-for-2, connecting on two passes to Ricky Zorn, one for 36 yards and another for 10 yards and a touchdown
- Holy Cross's first play resulted in a 65-yard pass by Ryan Loughlin to Nate Stanley
- Chapple made his second TD pass of the game, firing for a 35-yard score to Cameron Brate
- Harvard's Connor Sheehan's blocked punt, which he returned for a touchdown, was the first blocked punt for Harvard since Josue Ortiz blocked a punt against Yale Nov. 20, 2010 and the first blocked punt returned for a touchdown since Grant Sickle blocked one and Mike Cook returned it against Princeton Oct. 23, 2012
- The Crimson scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, the second straight quarter Harvard got into the end zone three times (Brown, 21 points Sept. 22).
- Chapple finished the first quarter with 110 yards (6-of-9) and two passing TDS
- Chapple threw his third TD pass early in the second quarter, connecting with Kyle Juszcyk for a 14-yard score
- The Crimson got into the end zone again at 10:17 of the second as Chapple made his fourth TD toss, this time to Brate, as the Crimson scored on its fourth straight possession
- Chapple and Harvard made it 5-for-5 on scoring drives with Chapple's two-yard run with 5:47 remaining, as the Crimson went up 42-3
- After setting the program record for points in a half, Harvard advanced down the field again, as Chapple connected on a 51-yard pass to Juszczyk, and Rich Zajeski finished the drive with a four-yard TD run
- At the break, Chapple was 13-of-18 for 260 yards and four touchdowns, while Zorn had six receptions for 99 yards; Treavor Scales ran 15 times for 82 yards
- Harvard saw its perfect rate of third down conversions snapped on a 3rd and 5 in the Holy Cross zone, but David Mothander made a 39-yard field goal attempt, making it 52-3 on the scoreboard
- With 5:25 left in the game, Ryan Delisle picked up a fumble for Harvard