No. 13/15 Harvard Holds Off Columbia, 24-16, to Improve to 8-0

Justice Shelton-Mosley had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in fourth quarter (Mike McLaughlin).

NEW YORK – Justice Shelton-Mosley amassed 270 all-purpose yards, including 131 receiving yards and 121 punt return yards, as the No. 13/15 Harvard football team knocked off Columbia, 24-16, to improve to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Ivy League.

The Crimson extends its win streak to 22 games, tying the third-longest streak in program history and picks up its program-record 16th-consecutive Ivy win and 14th-straight road victory, also a school best.

Harvard will return home to face Penn on Senior Day Saturday, Nov. 14. The game, which will be broadcast nationally on the American Sports Network, is slated for a 12 p.m. start.

A Crimson win over the Quakers next week would clinch at least a share of Harvard's third-straight Ivy League title.

Senior quarterback Scott Hosch finished 22-of-39 for 324 yards and had two touchdowns through the air for Harvard, while Ben Braunecker made seven grabs for 130 yards. Shelton-Mosley made eight receptions for his 131 yards. Senior linebacker Eric Medes paced Crimson defense with nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and 1.0 sacks, while captain Matt Koran had a 12-yard interception return.

The Lions were led by Skyler Mornhinweg, who was 17-of-33 for 120 yards and a TD.  

In the first quarter, Columbia (2-6, 1-4) threatened to get on the board first, but Richie Ryan blocked a 23-yard field goal attempt by Cameron Nizialek at the 4:11 mark.

With 7:44 remaining in the second quarter, Hosch connected down the right sideline with Braunecker for a 53-yard TD, giving Harvard a 7-0 lead. A Columbia defender fell down just as Braunecker made the grab, enabling him to run down the field with no pressure.

Later in the second, Hosch opened a scoring drive with a 37-yard pass play to Seitu Smith II. Following a nine-yard run by Paul Stanton, Jr., which advanced the ball to the Columbia 26, Hosch found Shelton-Mosley for a 26-yard TD, making it 14-0 at 4:37.

With 11 seconds left in the half, Nizialek hit a 20-yard file goal, as Columbia ended a scoring drought against Harvard that lasted 219:20 (back to the fourth quarter of the 2011 contest), cutting the Crimson lead to 14-3.

At the 5:29 mark of the third quarter, Kenny Smart nailed a career-high 40-yarder to give the Crimson a 14-point advantage, 17-3.

Seconds into the fourth, Columbia punted the ball to the Harvard 14, and Shelton-Mosley returned it 86-yards, breaking several tackles, for the Crimson's first punt return for a TD since Mike Cook had one at Princeton in 2010. With the score, the Crimson upped its lead to 24-3. The punt return was the third-longest for a touchdown in school history.

In the fourth, the Lions found the end zone twice, first on a 51-yard passing play from Anders Hill to Cameron Dunn at 13:00, making it 24-9. With 2:04 to play, Mornhinweg found John Hunton for a three-yard score, as the Lions cut it to 24-16, but the Crimson retained possession on the ensuing onside kick.