Extending its unbeaten streak to six games in astonishing fashion this past Saturday at Harvard Stadium, the Crimson football team (6-0, 4-0 Ivy) rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to defeat Dartmouth (1-5, 1-3 Ivy) 31-21. A season-record crowd of 12,000 witnessed what proved to be the largest come-from-behind victory in the program’s 128-year history.
Following what one could only imagine to be this season’s least cordial of halftime chats between coach Tim Murphy and his cast of players, Harvard rattled off 21 straight points in a four-minute stretch. Wide receiver Carl Morris ’03, who caught 11 passes for 153 yards, commenced the comeback with a 35-yard option pass to senior Sam Taylor. Seventeen seconds later, after recovering a Big Green fumble, the Crimson struck again. This time, playmaker Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05, in his first start in place of the injured Neil Rose ’02, hit Morris for a 32-yard touchdown reception. Fitzpatrick tallied 262 yards and one touchdown on the day. Nick Palazzo ’03 scored next on a one-yard run. Junior Anders Blewett’s extra point knotted the game at 21.
Harvard took a 24-21 lead on its first drive of the final stanza with a 30-yard field goal by Blewett. Following some key defensive stops in the fourth quarter, such as Marc Laborsky’s ’02 fumble-inducing sack of Dartmouth quarterback Evan Love, the Crimson never looked back. A two-yard insurance touchdown by Palazzo – his second of the day – capped the amazing 31-21 comeback.
The Harvard football team takes to the road this Saturday, Nov. 2, against the recently roaring Columbia Lions (2-4, 2-2 Ivy).