Harvard scored early and often on Saturday against Columbia (Photo courtesy: Justine Agaloos).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – It was a record-setting afternoon at Harvard Stadium Saturday.
Senior quarterback Colton Chapple set the school record for single-season touchdown passes with his 19th, 20th and 21st of the year, the Crimson scored a modern-day program record for points in a quarter with 35 in the second quarter, David Mothander established a new mark for most career kicking points by a kicker in his career and the No. 21/- Crimson (7-1, 5-1) scored its most points since 1946 in a 69-0 win over Columbia.
It was the most lopsided win since the formation of the Ivy League in 1956 and was Harvard's biggest against an Ivy League rival since beating Cornell 77-0 in 1890.
Chapple finished the afternoon 14-of-19 for 204 yards and three passing touchdowns, and he also added a rushing score in just two quarters of action to break Neil Rose's record of 18 touchdown passes in a single season and guide the Crimson to its largest margin of victory since a 69-0 win over Coast Guard Oct. 19, 1946.
On offense, Damani Wilson carried the ball eight times for 121 yards and two scores, all in the second half, to lead the team in rushing, while Ricky Zorn had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
On the defensive side, the unit recorded its first shutout since Nov. 22, 2008 when the Crimson blanked Yale, 10-0. The squad also recorded eight sacks, nine tackles for loss, limited the Lions to eight first downs and -19 yards rushing and forced five turnovers, which turned into 28 points for the Crimson. Individually, Chris Splinter had two interceptions, while Nnamdi Obukwelu had two sacks. Connor Loftus also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.
After punting on its first possession, Harvard's offense started rolling and didn't stop until the final whistle. Chapple connected with a wide open Zorn in the back left corner of the end zone to get Harvard on the scoreboard and break the school record.
Chapple added to his record-setting total on the very next drive. He again methodically drove the Crimson down the field, connecting with three different receivers on the drive, including a perfectly placed ball in the back corner of the zone to Berg from 20 yards out for the Crimson's second score.
On the ensuing Columbia possession, a botched hand off was recovered by Jaron Wilson to leave Harvard 27 yards away from the end zone. The Crimson used Treavor Scales to bulldoze its way down to the eight before Chapple fooled everybody rolling out to his right before throwing to a wide open Kyle Juszczyk on the left side for his third score of the afternoon.
The defense continued to pressure the Columbia offense, forcing a turnover on the next possession as Chris Splinter intercepted a pass and returned it to the Columbia one. Scales hit pay dirt on the next play to make it 28-0.
On the very next Columbia offensive play, Loftus picked off the Lions' pass and didn't give the offense an opportunity to touch the field as he returned it 15-yards to the end zone to make it 35-0.
Harvard's scored on its fifth consecutive possession when Chapple orchestrated a five-play, 60-yard drive that ended when he scrambled in from 11 yards out to end his afternoon.
Harvard's only tense moment came in the closing seconds of the first half as a fumbled punt gave Columbia the ball at Harvard's three yard line with six seconds. The Crimson responded by pressuring the Lions on two consecutive plays, forcing incomplete passes to preserve the shutout.
In the second half, Harvard continued to fire on all cylinders offensively despite removing Chapple from the game. Hempel came in and orchestrated an 11-play, 69-yard drive that culminated with Paul Stanton Jr.'s one-yard touchdown plunge to make it 48-0.
Another Columbia fumble turned into a quick seven points for Harvard as Rich Zajeski plunged in from five yards out, and Mothander converted the extra point with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Wilson took over for the Crimson. Following Splinter's second interception of the afternoon, Wilson sprinted 45 yards to pay dirt to put Harvard over the 60-point plateau for the first time since 1999. He followed up with a 43-yard jaunt three series later for his second score of the game to cap the Harvard scoring at 69 with 5:19 left in the game.
Harvard travels to Penn Saturday, Nov. 10, for a first-place showdown with the Quakers.
- Chapple now has 36 career touchdown passes, which is the fourth most all-time behind Neil Rose '03 (41), Ryan Fitzpatrick '05 (39) and Chris Pizzotti '08-09 (37).
- Tim Murphy moved into a fourth-place tie with former Dartmouth coach Bob Blackman for most career Ivy League wins (127). He sits 52 behind Yale's Carm Cozza for the all-time mark.
- The five turnovers forced by Harvard (three interceptions, two fumbles) is a season high.
- Kicker David Mothander broke Matt Schindel's '08 record for most career-points kicking with his 184th kicking point. He also is third-place all-time with 190 career points.
- The 69 points scored by Harvard is also a season-high, topping the 52 scored against Holy Cross. It is also the most points scored under Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football Tim Murphy, surpassing the 63 points scored against Dartmouth Oct. 30, 1999.
- Nine different players scored a touchdown for Harvard.
- Columbia is the second team to be held under 250 yards of total offense this season (Holy Cross).
First Quarter Notes
- Harvard won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. The Crimson has only received the ball to begin the game once in eight games this season.
- The Crimson's defense recorded three sacks in the first quarter.
Second Quarter Notes
- Harvard scored 21 points in the second quarter, which marked the seventh time in 2012-13 that the Crimson had scored at least that many points in a quarter. Harvard did it against San Diego, Brown, Holy Cross (twice), Cornell, Bucknell
- Loftus' interception returned for a touchdown was Harvard's first since last year's game against Yale when Alex Gedeon returned a pass 32 yards for a score.
- Harvard forced turnovers on three consecutive possessions, one fumble recovery and two interceptions.
- With his rushing score, it marked the fifth time this season that Chapple has accounted for at least four touchdowns.
- The 35 points in the second quarter established a new modern record for points in a quarter. The old mark was also set against in Columbia in 1973 as Harvard scored 29 points in a 57-0 win.
- Harvard scored on six consecutive possessions for the second time this season. Harvard scored on eight straight against Holy Cross, spanning the first possession of the game to the second possession of the third quarter.
- The 42 points in the first half is the second-most in the modern era behind the 49 scored against Holy Cross earlier this season.
- Columbia finished with -6 rushing yards in the first half.
Third Quarter Notes
- Colton Chapple was lifted from the game prior to the third quarter. It marked the second time this season he did not play after the intermission.
Fourth Quarter Notes
- Chris Splinter intercepted his second pass of the afternoon and fourth of the season.
- Damani Wilson went over 100 yards for the first time in his career.
- Wilson was also the only Harvard player to score multiple touchdowns in Saturday's game.