In a season marked by near-perfect execution, the most ordinary blunder can seem downright freaky. So when the Harvard football team (5-0, 2-0 Ivy) committed four turnovers (and enough bad snaps to fill a beatnik café) against Ivy rival Princeton (1-4, 1-2 Ivy), it seemed as if Halloween had made an early appearance this past Saturday (Oct. 20) at the stadium.
And yet, the Crimson still managed to pull off a 28-26 victory. With just seven seconds remaining, a 49-yard field goal attempt by Princeton pro-prospect Taylor Northrop sailed wide left, giving the Crimson its best start in 33 years.
Unfortunately, the victory came with a price, as Harvard sustained key blows to its starting lineup when quarterback Neil Rose ’02 left the game with a shoulder injury. Likewise, running back Josh Staph ’02 exited the action after re-injuring his left ankle, though not without scoring Harvard’s first two touchdowns. Neither player is listed on the depth chart for next Saturday’s game (Oct. 27) against Dartmouth (1-4, 1-2 Ivy) at the stadium.
On the upside, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05 excelled in place of the injured Rose, completing five of six passes for 61 yards, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to Carl Morris ’03. The score extended Harvard’s 1-point lead to a 28-20 edge – and secured, albeit precariously, the Crimson victory.