No. 25 Harvard Football Powers Past URI, 41-10, in Opener

Scott Hosch completed 18-of-27 passes for 336 yards (Gil Talbot).

KINGSTON, R.I. – Quarterback Scott Hosch tossed a career-high 336 yards and added a career-best three touchdown passes to lead the No. 25 Harvard football team to a 41-10 season-opening victory at Rhode Island before 4,843 fans at Meade Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Hosch went 18-of-27 and five receivers recorded more than 50 yards through the air, led by Anthony Firkser who made two grabs for 78 yards. Andrew Fischer led the squad with five receptions for 68 yards and amassed 127 all-purpose yards.

Linebacker and captain Matt Koran paced the Crimson (1-0) defense with nine tackles. URI quarterback Paul Mroz completed 17-of-35 passes for 175 yards and running back Harold Cooper ran for 95 yards for the Rams (0-3).

Donning new helmets, the Crimson went right down the field on its first drive, culminating with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Hosch to tight end Ryan Halvorson just 3:26 into the game. The seven-play, 78-yard drive included five completions for 71 yards from Hosch, including two passes to Halvorson for a total of 52 yards. On the scoring play, Hosch found Halvorson down the right sideline, and beat a defender before running the final 35 yards untouched.

Later in the first, Hosch found wide receiver Seitu Smith for a 21-yard score through the air on a post route. Smith lunged ahead of the URI defense and caught the pass in the back of the endzone, as the Crimson went up, 14-0, at the 1:36 mark.

Early in the second quarter, URI struck on a 62-yard passing play from Mroz to Kharyi Denny at the 14:18 mark, bringing the Rams back within seven, 14-7. The Rams added a 33-yard field goal from the right foot of Justin Rohrwasser with 4:29 left in the second to make it a 14-10 game.

In the final minutes of the second on 4th and 1 for the Crimson at the URI 33, Hosch reached through the Rams' defense for a first down. On the next play, Hosch tossed a pass down the right side to Smith for 27 yards, moving the ball to the URI six-yard line. Two plays later, Stanton rushed to the left for a four-yard TD, giving Harvard a 21-10 lead. The touchdown for Stanton was the 30th of his career, moving him into second all-time for total touchdowns in school history (Clifton Dawson '07, 66). The score was also Stanton's 28th career rushing touchdown, as he ranks fourth in that category in the Crimson record books.

Midway through the third, the Crimson took over at the 50-yard line and advance down the field. With 5:29 left to play in the stanza, Hosch, with his third scoring toss of the day, found a wide open Ben Braunecker for a score with a TD pass into the back left corner of the endzone, giving Harvard a commanding 28-10 lead.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Scott Peters blocked a Connor McHugh punt at the URI 25-yard line, and Kolbi Brown picked up the ball and dashed into the endzone untouched, 35-10.  Harvard tacked on another score with 7:11 remaining, as Jimmy Meyer tossed a 37-yard pass to freshman Justice Shelton-Mosley. The play was Meyer's first-career pass and Shelton-Mosely's first-career reception.

The Crimson will now ready for its home and Ivy League opener against Brown. The game, which will be shown live on FOX College Sports, is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26.