CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard football sophomore DeMarkes Stradford and first-year Khalil Dawsey were named Ivy League Special Teams and Rookie of the Week, respectively, the league announced Monday afternoon. The awards are the first of the 2019 campaign for the Crimson.
Hailing from Waxhaw, North Carolina, Stradford scored three times, two on the ground and one after blocking a punt in Harvard's 63-17 victory over Howard. At the 14:53 mark of the second quarter, with the Crimson leading, 7-3, Stradford blocked a punt in the end zone and fell on the loose ball for a touchdown, marking Harvard's first score off a blocked punt since Kolbi Brown accomplished the feat against Rhode Island in 2015. Stradford, who finished the game with six carries for a career-high 108 yards (18.0 ypc), also added TD runs of 33 and 59 yards in the second half, and had a 19-yard punt return.
Dawsey, meanwhile, blocked two punts, including the first blocked punt for the Crimson since Tim Haehl against Dartmouth in 2017. The Detroit, Michigan native got his first block with 13:15 left in the first quarter, giving the Crimson the ball on the Howard 6-yard line. Harvard scored on the ensuing play to go up, 7-0. Later in the second quarter, Dawsey blocked another punt, giving the Crimson the ball at the Howard 18-yard line, which led to another Crimson TD to put it ahead, 34-3. The first-year also finished the game with two tackles.
Stradford is the first Harvard player to earn Ivy League Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors since Jake McIntyre back on Oct. 15, 2018, and Dawsey is the first Crimson to be named Rookie of the Week since Oct. 30, 2017, when Jake Smith was a co-winner.
Harvard (2-1; 1-0 Ivy Leauge) returns to action this week when it closes out its three-game homestand on Saturday vs. Ivy League-foe Cornell (1-2; 0-1 Ivy League). Game time is set for 1 p.m., inside Harvard Stadium with the contest airing on ESPN+.