No. 24/25 Football Remains Unbeaten with 24-14 Triumph Over Lafayette

Andrew Fischer tallied 237 all-purpose yards for the Crimson, the highest total since 2011 (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior wide receiver Andrew Fischer racked up 237 all-purpose yards and a touchdown to help the Harvard football team defeat the visiting Lafayette Leopards, 24-14, at Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon. Fischer's great performance in the receiving and kick return game marked the first time since Oct. 22, 2011 that a Harvard player went over 200 all-purpose yards in a single game.

Quarterback Scott Hosch connected on 11 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 28 yards, and Paul Stanton notched his sixth career 100-yard rushing game, gaining 102, including a 43-yard touchdown burst. Linebackers Jacob Lindsey and Eric Medes led the Crimson defense with nine tackles apiece. Ten different Crimson earned credit for a tackle for loss in the win.

Harvard (5-0) started its opening drive on its own 20-yard line after a sack by Zack Hodges led to a Lafayette (3-4) punt. Fisher caught a pair of passes during the Crimson's first possession, but Harvard was ultimately forced to punt. The Crimson started the second drive with a pair of passes down the middle to Ben Braunecker for 26 yards, and Anthony Firkser for 10 yards to cross into Lafayette territory. After fourth-down conversions from Fischer and Hosch kept the drive alive, Andrew Flesher drilled a 24-yard field goal to put the Crimson on top 3-0 with 1:50 remaining in the first quarter. The field goal set Ivy League history, as the Crimson broke a conference record by scoring in its 163rd-consecutive game.  

With 6:26 remaining in the second quarter, Fischer caught a screen pass, burst through a gap and sprinted down the sideline for a 78-yard score. The touchdown was the eighth-longest passing touchdown in Harvard history, and gave the Crimson a 10-0 advantage.

Lafayette threatened late in the second quarter after a 30-yard pass from Blake Searfoss to Ross Scheuerman brought the Leopards to the Crimson 16-yard line. Norman Hayes, however, backed up the Lafayette offense to the 24-yard line after tackling Scheuerman for an eight-yard loss on the very next play. The tackle for a loss forced a field goal attempt from 41 yards, which was missed wide to the right.

Facing a two-minute drill to end the first half, Fischer caught his fifth pass of the game to move the chains for the Crimson to its own 36, going over the century mark in the process with 1:36 to play. Hosch then connected with Braunecker for 21 yards before Stanton broke a 43-yard rushing touchdown up the middle with 57 seconds left. After converting the extra point, the Crimson took a 17-0 advantage into half.

Fischer started the second half right where he left off, returning the opening kick 46 yards to midfield. After trading punts, Hosch connected with Braunecker for a 31-yard score down the right side of the Leopards' defense. With the touchdown, Harvard extended the lead to 24-0. On the ensuing kickoff, Asante Gibson forced and recovered a fumble to give Harvard possession at its own 38. Facing a third and long, Hosch's screen pass to Fischer was picked off by Lafayette's Phillip Parham and returned 35 yards to put the Leopards on the board, 24-7. Lafayette nearly got on the board for a second time in the third quarter after a 54-yard completion from Searfoss to Scheuerman set up a field goal attempt from 26 yards, but the kick sailed wide.

Following a Harvard punt, Lafayette scored its second touchdown of the day when Searfoss connected with Scheuerman for 20 yards through the left side of the defense, cutting the Crimson lead to 24-14.

The Leopards attempted a final charge to make it a one score game, but a Dan Moody sack forced a 4th-and-21 from the Harvard 40 that Lafayette was unable to convert. The Crimson came out and kneeled for the 24-14 victory to remain unblemished at 5-0.

The Crimson will head on the road to begin the second half of the season at Princeton Saturday, Oct. 25. The two teams, which shared last year's Ivy League crown, will face off in a game shown live nationally on ESPN3 at 1 p.m.