Running back Gino Gordon had 222 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on 12 touches Saturday. Ten of his 12 touches resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. (Photo, Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For a second straight season, Harvard's offensive line and running backs dictated play as the Crimson collected 315 yards via the ground en route to a 42-21 whitewashing of Dartmouth at Harvard Stadium.
With Harvard (5-2, 4-0 Ivy) missing an injured Cheng Ho, the duo of Gino Gordon and Treavor Scales carried the load against Dartmouth (1-6, 1-3 Ivy) as the Crimson defeated the Big Green for the 12th time in the last 13 meetings behind its massive offensive line, led by center Alex Spisak and All-American tackle James Williams.
Saturday marked the first time in 10 years that two Harvard players rushed for at least 100 yard each as Gordon collected 119 yards and Scales 120 with five combined touchdowns. Both players had their huge numbers before the end of the third quarter as Harvard built a big lead.
The last time two backs collected such big rushing yardage came back in 1999 when Chris Menick (22 rushes for 115) and Chuck Nwokocha (14 rushes for 110 yards) broke out against Cornell. For Gordon, the numbers were even more startling.
His 119 yards came on just eight carries, for an average of 14.9 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 103 yards to become the first player on record to rush and receive for 100 yards in a single game. In all he totaled 222 yards on 12 touches for an average of 18.3 yards per touch.
Last season Harvard had 368 rushing yards on 63 attempts in Hanover, N.H. On Saturday it took 48 carries for the 309 mark. Junior QB Collier Winters was also effective through the air, completing 12 of 15 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.
In all, Harvard outgained Dartmouth 521-262.
Harvard scored first when Scales, on a beautiful kickout block from Spisak, cut back to the middle of the field and put on the jets for a 40-yard score. Gordon then converted a 15-yard run at the beginning of the second quarter thanks to two huge downfield blocks including one from fullback Anthony Rotio. With 1:33 left, Scales capped his scoring with a punishing one-yard run in a collision at the goal line that left him celebrating a 21-0 lead.
Dartmouth drove down the field in 1:09 to get on the board as Connor Kempe found Tanner Scott on a 12-yarder with 17 seconds left after the drive had been kept alive by a pass interference call.
In the second half, Gordon scored on runs of 48 and eight yards and Kyle Juszczyk pulled down a 31-yard touchdown pass from Winters but Dartmouth kept within constant striking distance thanks to heady special teams plays and critical mistakes by the Crimson.
Dartmouth used a fake field goal conversion to set up a one-yard run from Kempe early in the third that made the score 28-14 at that point. The Big Green then recovered an onsides kick but touched the ball before it had traveled 10 yards to set the Crimson up in prime position for another score at Dartmouth's 39.
Harvard fumbled the ball away twice in the fourth quarter and the Big Green blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown but in the end Harvard's running attack was too much to overcome as the Crimson remained in first place in the Ancient Eight, alongside Penn which defeated Brown, 14-7, in overtime.
Collin Zych led Harvard with seven tackles while three different players had sacks.