Football Drops Matchup with Penn on Senior Day

Brogan McPartland rushes the Penn quarterback.
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.
Play Video

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard football team (4-5, 2-4 Ivy) honored its senior class before falling 24-20 to Penn (5-4, 3-3 Ivy) at Harvard Stadium Saturday afternoon. Twenty Crimson seniors were honored with their families before the game on a sunny afternoon in Cambridge.

After Penn got on the board early, Harvard answered with a beautiful 47-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jake Smith to B.J. Watson to equal the score at seven. The completion moved Smith to 17 touchdown passes on the 2019 season, which is tied for fourth most all-time in a single campaign. After a Quaker field goal, senior kicker Jake McIntyre added a pair of field goals for the Crimson, giving Harvard a 13-10 lead entering intermission.

Penn opened the second half with an early touchdown, but Harvard later answered with an eight-play, 68-yard drive engineered by Smith. The drive was capped by an end-around run from senior Cody Chrest, scoring a touchdown from 18 yards out. The score was Chrest's first rushing touchdown of his Harvard career. The Crimson led 20-17 entering the fourth quarter. 

Nearing the mid-point of the fourth quarter, Penn scored a touchdown on a 4th-and-1 play from 18 yards out to take the lead, 24-20. After a three-and-out from the Harvard defense with under three minutes to go, Harvard took over at the Penn 40. The Crimson, at first, apeared to pick up a first down on a third-down play, but the play was overturned upon a booth review, and Harvard could not convert on the ensuing fourth-down play. 

Harvard Highlights
- Harvard blocked its seventh punt on the season (ninth kick total), continuing to lead the nation.
- Smith threw for 322 yards and one touchdown, the most since throwing for a career-high 325 at San Diego in the season opener.
- Junior Max Jones intercepted his third pass in as many games and the fourth of his career.
- Harvard did not have any turnovers. 

Game Notes
- McIntyre finished the game with a pair of field goals and two made PATs, moving his career total to 222, second all-time among Harvard kickers as well as fourth all-time in total points.
- Smith moved into a tie for fourth-most touchdown passes in a season with 17.
- Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football, remains one victory shy of tying Yale's Carm Cozza (179) for the overall Ivy League wins record.

Up Next
Harvard will travel to New Haven, Conn. for the 136th edition of "The Game" with Yale. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. between the Crimson and the Bulldogs and the contest will be broadcast on ESPNU.