Football Topples San Diego 36-14 in Season Opener

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—In its season opener at Harvard Stadium, the Harvard football team defeated the University of San Diego, 36-14. An explosive first quarter offensive onslaught allowed the Crimson to establish a lead early on in the game.  

To open scoring, San Diego completed a field goal attempt to get on the board just over three minutes into the game. On its opening offensive drive, the Crimson broke through the Toreros' defense, with sophomore running back Aaron Shampklin rushing a career-long 64-yards to put the Crimson up 7-3 with 11:12 left in the first.

On the following drive, Shampklin found his way back to the end zone, rushing for 23-yards to extend the Crimson's lead to 14-3 with 8:07 on the clock in the first. Sophomore running back Devin Darrington followed up with his first career touchdown rush to push Harvard up, 20-3. 

After an interception from captain Zach Miller, the Crimson regained possession late in the first quarter, which allowed Shampklin to return to the Toreros end zone for his third touchdown of the game.  

In a defensive second quarter, San Diego scored the lone field goal of the period to cut the Crimson lead to 27-6 before heading to the locker room.

Opening the second half, kicker Jake McIntyre completed a 22-yard field goal to extend Harvard's lead to 30-6 over the Toreros. With 4:04 left in the third, San Diego scored its first touchdown of the game, putting the score at 30-14 after completing a two-point attempt.  

With 14:54 left in the game, Shampklin tallied his fourth touchdown of the day, sealing the final score at 36-14. His four touchdowns marked the most by a Harvard running back since Oct. 4, 2014.

Harvard Highlights

  • Running back Aaron Shampklin scored four touchdowns and rushed for 178 yards, a career high and the most by a Crimson player since Charlie Booker III last season. Shampklin's scoring success also marks the first time a running back has scored four touchdowns in a game since Oct. 4, 2014.
  • Devin Darrington's first-quarter touchdown was the first of his career and put the Crimson up, 20-3.
  • With seven receptions against San Diego, Justice Shelton-Mosley now has 131 career receptions, giving him sole possession of fifth all-time in the Crimson record books. His 127 receiving-yards today marks the first 100-yard receiving game for a Crimson player since Adam Scott on Nov. 5, 2016.

Game Notes

  • The Crimson's 27 points in the first marks the most points scored in a quarter since the Crimson put up 28 against Brown in Sept. 28, 2013.
  • Harvard is 3-0 all-time in the series against San Diego.
  • Harvard has won 15 of its last 18 season openers.

What's Next

The Crimson opens up Ivy League play next Friday, Sept. 21, when the team travels to Brown to take on the Bears on at 7 p.m.