In a battle of nationally ranked teams, Harvard football saw its 11-game win streak snapped by the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University, 36-35, this past Saturday (Oct. 5) in Bethlehem, Pa. With the win, the hosts, who rallied for 15 fourth-quarter points, extended their home victory streak at 26 games.
The Crimson (2-1), 24th in this week’s ESPN/USA Today poll, struck first. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05, playing in place of an injured Neil Rose ’02-’03, capped a 15-play, 66-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown dash. He finished the day with 289 yards on 22 of 36 passing, while collecting 59 rushing yards.
By halftime, the Crimson held a 28-14 advantage, following a pair of touchdown runs by tailback Nick Palazzo ’03 and another quarterback sneak. Palazzo later added a third touchdown to give Harvard a 35-21 lead, to finish the afternoon with 68 yards.
Fourteenth-ranked Lehigh cut the lead to 35-24, following Brian Kelley’s field goal early in the final quarter. After a rare Crimson fumble, the hosts quickly marched 5 yards to make it a 5 point game with more than six minutes remaining.
After grounding out two first downs, Harvard was thwarted at midfield. Upon fielding the punt, Lehigh went 73 yards in 11 plays, a drive capped by Jermaine Pugh’s game-winning touchdown run with 48 seconds remaining. Pugh picked up a game-high 122 yards on 21 rushes.
Carl Morris, denied a TD for the first time in eight games, had seven grabs for 129 yards. Defensively, Mante Dzakuma ’04 had a pair of interceptions.
Harvard returns to Ivy action Saturday (Oct. 12), hosting Cornell at the Stadium at 1 p.m. The return of team captain Rose, who is nursing a back injury, is uncertain.