ITHACA, N.Y. – Harvard junior quarterback Colton Chapple threw for 414 yards on Saturday as the Crimson overpowered a solid Cornell team, 41-31, in an Ivy League game at Schoellkopf Field in Ithaca, N.Y.
Trailing 24-20 in the third quarter, Harvard scored 21 straight points to take a commanding 41-24 lead. In a decisive 7-minute stretch, Chapple threw touchdown passes of 42 yards to Alex Sarkisian, 27 yards to Cameron Brate and 26 yards to Kyle Juszczyk. During that same stretch, Harvard's defense controlled the game, allowing 21 yards on 20 plays over five Cornell offensive series before a late Cornell score accounted for the 41-31 final.
Chapple's 414 yards places him second on Harvard's all-time single game passing charts, behind only Neil Rose '03, who had 443 yards at Dartmouth in 2002. Chapple, who is 6-1 as a starter, completed 23 of 38 passes with four touchdowns.
Sarkisian and Chris Lorditch became the first Harvard receiving duo to go over the 100-yard mark in a game since 2008 (Matt Luft '09 and Levi Richards '11). Sarkisian caught seven passes for 112 yards while Lorditch had four catches for 103 yards to move into 10th place on Harvard's all-time receptions list (82). Lorditch is four receptions behind teammate Adam Chrissis, who hauled in five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown to give him 86 for his career. Juszczyk meanwhile, was Harvard's fourth receiver with at least 80 yards on the day with exactly that number on five catches.
All told, Harvard collected 544 yards on 82 plays.
Cornell QB Jeff Matthews had a fine day as well, throwing for 322 yards on 21-of-35 with three TDs and an interception. Harvard's defense responded in the critical situations however, holding Cornell to a 1-of-10 mark on third downs and 0-of-1 on fourth down while sacking Matthews four times.
Jacob Dombrowksi stared again on special teams. The junior averaged 46 yards per punt with a long of 58 on six boots. David Mothander recorded field goals of 42 and 26 yards and averaged 57.2 yards on his kickoffs. Seitu Smith II had 106 all-purpose yards with 83 kick, 21 punt return and two rushing yards.
Zach Boden (nine rushes, 39 yards) also had a touchdown to round out the Harvard scores.
A back-and-forth first half saw Harvard take a tenuous 20-17 lead into the locker room. The Crimson had a hard time getting to Matthews early on and the Big Red took just three plays to go 70 yards in taking a 7-0 lead. Matthews hooked up with Shane Savage for a 42-yarder after a pair of short completions.
After trading possession, Harvard even the score on an 11-yard pass from Chapple to Chrissis before taking a brief 10-7 lead on a crisp 42-yard field goal from Mothander.
Cornell reclaimed the lead on a 39-yard screen pass that went for a score by way of two big down-field blocks. A 31-yard field goal gave the home side a 17-10 lead but it was Harvard that answered late in the first half.
After Treavor Scales (19 rushes, 73 yards) briefly went down with an injury, Boden glided in from 2-yards out to tie the game. With Cornell looking to march downfield at the end of the first half, Harvard's defensive line got to Matthews for a pair of sacks to force a punt and set up a 26-yard field goal at the end of the half.