CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Colton Chapple matched a school record with five touchdown passes and the Harvard football team held Bucknell to 140 yards and caused five turnovers en route to a 42-3 win Saturday at sunny, windy Harvard Stadium.
Chapple accounted for 247 yards of offense, including 71 on the ground, despite sitting out the final 25 minutes of game play. He threw two touchdowns each to Cameron Brate and Kyle Juszczyk, along with one to Alex Sarkisian. He became the first Harvard quarterback to throw for four or more touchdowns in consecutive games and the second to throw for five in one game. The lone previous five-score passer was Carroll Lowenstein '52 ('54) in 1953. A total of 544 Harvard games had passed since Lowenstein threw five touchdown passes against Davidson.
Meanwhile, in front of a home crowd of 16,236, the Crimson (4-1) totaled 223 rushing yards against a Bison squad (4-3) that entered allowing an average of 62.3 yards per game on the ground. Seitu Smith III added 114 kick-return yards, with 91 coming on a third-quarter touchdown, just the 10th return of 90 or more yards in Harvard history.
Then there was the defense. Harvard limited Bucknell to five first downs, with just one coming before the final 90 seconds of the third quarter. The Crimson held Bucknell to -5 rushing yards, sacked Bison quarterback Brandon Wesley four times and intercepted four passes, including three inside its own 5-yard line. Alex Gedeon registered 11 tackles, seven solo, notched 2.5 tackles for loss and recovered a fumble.
The Crimson outgained Bucknell by a 294-31 margin in the first half and earned 16 first downs to the Bison's one. Chapple threw four first-half touchdown passes for a 28-0 lead.
After Gedeon ended consecutive Bucknell drives with a fourth-down stop and a third-down sack, the Crimson took a 7-0 lead. A 26-yard pass to Brate got Harvard in the red zone, and an 11-yard strike over the middle to Juszczyk opened the scoring on the final play of the first quarter.
The Crimson built on its lead quickly. Wesley threw a deep ball that Brian Owusu intercepted on his own 4-yard line and ran back to the Bison 38. Two plays later, Chapple lofted a pass over a defender to Alex Sarkisian in the back right corner of the end zone for a 14-0 edge.
Bucknell could not handle the ensuing kickoff, and Gedeon recovered the ball for the Crimson at the Bucknell 13. Chapple soon connected with Brate on a corner route for a nine-yard score. The fourth scoring drive of the half started with consecutive runs of double-digit yardage for Treavor Scales. Chapple then moved Harvard down the field by connecting with Brate for 30 yards and rushing up the left side 23 yards to the Bucknell 7. Chapple and Brate then hooked up for a four-yard scoring play.
After Chapple capped his day by finding Juszczyk for a 25-yard score, the big plays in the second half belonged to the defense and special teams. In the third quarter, Nnamdi Obukwelu batted a pass out of the air that was picked off by Brian Reilly. Drew Orth got the Bison on the board with a 23-yard field goal, but his kickoff was run all the way back by Smith.
The Bucknell offense showed some life late in the third quarter, but on consecutive drives to start the fourth, Norman Hayes picked off Wesley at the Harvard 1 after an Adam Riegel defelection and Brian Splinter made an interception in the end zone.
Jacob Dombrowski pinned the Bison at their own 1-yard line with a third-quarter punt and at their 10 in the fourth quarter. He averaged 41.8 yards on six punts.