White Edges Crimson in Annual Football Spring Game

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot

Conner Hempel throws for 138 yards and two touchdowns, while Joseph Viviano III combines for 111 total yards.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The White squad, led by 111 combined yards and two touchdowns from freshman QB Joseph Viviano, edged the Crimson in Harvard football's annual Spring Game Saturday evening under the lights at Harvard Stadium.

Junior QB Conner Hempel, leading the Crimson, completed 10-of-18 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, adding 35 yards rushing. Junior WR Seitu Smith II led the Crimson's rushing efforts with 82 yards, averaging 5.9 per carry, and one touchdown.

Junior RB Andrew Casten and freshman RB Blade Brady each rushed for a touchdown in the White's winning efforts. Freshman WR Anthony Firkser caught two passes for 75 yards, including a 65 yard completion in the third quarter.  

Defensively, sophomore LB Eric Medes recorded five tackles for the White squad, while freshman LB Dominique Packer notched four for the Crimson.

At the end of the first quarter, White led Crimson, 7-6. White struck first, as Casten scampered for a two-yard score. Crimson answered on the ensuing drive, but missed the extra point to trail by a point. On third-and-long, Hempel connected with junior WR Ryan Simpson for a 22-yard strike.

The Crimson regained the lead in the second quarter, as Hempel broke off a 31-yard run to come within three yards of the goal line. Hempel earned six on the next play, floating a pass to freshman TE Ryan Halvorson in the back of the end zone. The extra point put the Crimson ahead, 13-7.

Running a two-minute drill, the Crimson scored again just before the half to push ahead 19-7. Smith burst through for a one-yard score to cap a five-play 58-yard drive. Hempel sent a 25-yard bullet to sophomore WR Andrew Fischer to bring the Crimson to within eight yards of the end zone.  

White scored twice in the third quarter, both rushes by Viviano. After a 65-yard completion from Viviano to Firkser, the rookie quarterback finished the drive with a one-yard push. On White's next drive, the field opened up for Viviano, sprinting up the right side 29 yards to pull ahead two, 21-19.

A six-play, 36-yard drive ended with Brady connecting on a two-yard score that would account for the final tally.

This completes spring practice for Harvard, who opens the 2014 season at home against Holy Cross Sept. 19.