Paul Stanton had 276 all-purpose yards against the Quakers (Hunter Martin).
PHILADELPHIA – Running back Paul Stanton, Jr., rushed for a career-high 235 yards and added three TDs on the ground, helping No. 17/17 Harvard football earn a fourth quarter comeback and knock off Penn, 34-24, Saturday afternoon at Franklin Field. With the victory, the Crimson clinches a share of its 16th Ivy League title and eighth under Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football.
Harvard, which improved to 9-0 (6-0 Ivy League) will prepare for the 131st playing of The Game against archrival Yale (8-1, 5-1) Saturday, Nov. 22. The game, which will be shown live nationally on the NBC Sports Network, is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. A Crimson victory next week would give Harvard the full share of the Ivy crown, while a Yale win would give both teams a share of the title.
The Crimson has now won 13-straight games, the longest active streak in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Stanton's 235 rushing yards was the third most for a single-game in school history behind Matt Johnson '92 (323 yards at Brown in 1991) and Chris Menick '00 (261 yards vs. Holy Cross in 1997). Stanton carried the ball 22 times and had a long rush of 75 yards, a TD in the second quarter. He also finished with three catches for 41 yards, giving him 276 all-purpose yards on the day. Stanton's all-purpose yard total is the most for a Harvard player since Matt Johnson ran for those 323 yards at Brown and his 235 rushing yards is the most since Menick's game in 1997.
Scott Hosch went 13-of-20 for 174 yards and a TD for the Crimson, which finished with 469 yards of total offense. Andrew Fischer recorded five catches for 63 yards to pace the Crimson in both categories. Defensively, Chris Evans led the squad with nine tackles, including 2.0 for a loss, and two pass breakups.
With the Crimson trailing, 24-20, early in the fourth, Hosch found Stanton for a 19-yard pass play, moving the chains to the Penn 38. Two plays later, Hosch tossed a pass to Hamblin for a 28-yard TD, giving the Crimson a 27-24 advantage with 10:31 to play.
Harvard quickly forced Penn to punt on the next Quaker possession and started a drive at the Penn 44. Following four straight rushing plays, including three by Stanton, Hosch handed off again to Stanton, who finished with a 14-yard score, giving the Crimson a 34-24 edge with 6:42 remaining.
After forcing Penn to three and out on the Quakers' first series, Harvard took over at the Penn 41, and Stanton accepted a handoff from Hosch and ran for a 41-yard touchdown, giving Harvard an early 7-0 lead at 13:40 of the first quarter. The Crimson attempted an onside kick on ensuing kickoff, but the Quakers grabbed it and took over at the Harvard 49. Penn used 10 plays to move the chains to the 7-yard line, before settling on a 24-yard field goal by Jimmy Gammill, making it 7-3.
With 4:47 left in the opening stanza, Penn took a 10-7 lead on a jump pass by Adam Strouss to Ryan O'Malley on fourth and goal from the 1. The Crimson stuffed the Quakers on the first three chances from inside the 2, but the Quakers went for it on fourth down and converted for the score. The series began after Hosch threw an interception that was returned by Jack Madden to the Harvard 40.
The Crimson took over at its own 12-yard line at the 8:12 mark of the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, Hosch rolled to his right and found Andrew Fischer for a 13-yard gain. On the next play, Stanton rushed right up the middle, untouched, for a 75-yard score, as the Crimson regained the lead, 14-10. Stanton finished the half with 10 carries for 173 yards and two scores.
In the second half, Penn scored two touchdowns early in the third to go up, 24-17. First, Alex Torgersen found Mitchell King for a 12-yard pass and catch TD at the 9:31 mark, tying the game. After forcing Harvard to punt from deep inside its own zone, the Quakers took over at the Crimson 38. Following a 25-yard pass play by Torgersen to Justin Watson, Torgersen ran up the middle for a four-yard score, 24-17.
With 1:38 left in the third, Gammill had a 38-yard field goal-attempt blocked, keeping the score 24-17. The Crimson took over and eventually concluded a drive with a 38-yard field goal by Andrew Flesher, as Harvard cut the deficit to 24-20.