Harvard started the defense of its 2001 Ivy League championship on the right foot this weekend, joining Yale at 1-0 in conference play. The Crimson erased an 18-7 deficit in the second quarter to outlast Brown 26-24. Penn snapped Division I-AA No. 4 Lehigh’s 26-game regular season winning streak. Elsewhere around the league, Princeton downed Lafayette, Dartmouth dropped a heartbreaker to New Hampshire, and Columbia fell to Colgate.
Harvard 26, Brown 24
This weekend, defending Ivy League Champions Harvard (2-0, 1-0 Ivy) extended their win streak to 11 games, its longest since 1914. Unfortunately, the Cantabs lost starting quarterback Neil Rose, who started 10 of the last 11 games.
Rose left the game after he aggravated a back injury incurred in preseason conditioning.
Rose’s replacement Ryan Fitzpatrick came into the game with the Bears (0-2, 0-1 Ivy) leading 18-7. Although a sophomore, Fitzpatrick had seen plenty of action last season, leading the Crimson to victory over Princeton after Rose injured his shoulder.
Fitzpatrick rallied the Crimson, leading touchdown drives on his first three series. Fitzpatrick completed 10 of 15 passes for 113 yards, including touchdown passes to Carl Morris and Kyle Cremarosa. Fitzpatrick added 131 yards on 18 carries, becoming the first Harvard quarterback in 10 seasons to rush for over 100 yards.
In the losing effort, Brown’s star wide receiver Chas Gessner finished the day with 10 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Penn 24, Lehigh 21
The last time the Quakers (2-0, 0-0 Ivy) won a game against Lehigh was Sept. 25, 1982. Back then Reagan was still president and 20 members of the Penn squad weren’t even born yet.
On the same day that Penn dipped into the history books for its first win against Lehigh in two decades, wide receiver Rob Milanese caught 10 passes for 111 yards, setting a new all-time receiving record for the Quakers with 2,496 yards. Penn’s quarterback Mike Mitchell threw for a career-high 277 yards, including two touchdown passes.
The Quaker defense was equally impressive, forcing three interceptions and two fumbles.
Penn led throughout the game, including a 24-7 cushion with approximately 20 minutes left in the game. Lehigh, however, refused to go quietly, mounting a fierce comeback including two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
With 1:17 remaining in the game, the Mountain Hawks set themselves up for a tying field goal but were denied a second consecutive come-from-behind victory when Matt Douglas’s 29-yard field goal attempt sailed wide.
Princeton 34, Lafayette 19
The Tigers (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) were the top cats in their home opener Saturday against the Leopards.
Senior Cameron Atkinson led Princeton’s offense, rushing for 121 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Unlike last week when the Tigers blew a 24-7 halftime lead against Lehigh, Princeton managed to stave off a 19-point surge by Lafayette, coming up with three interceptions.
New Hampshire 29, Dartmouth 26
Despite a strong offensive display, Darmouth (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) fell three points short of victory against New Hampshire.
Quarterback Brian Mann completed 30 of 45 passes for 303 yards. Wide receiver Casey Cramer finished the day with a career-best 12 receptions for 120 yards.
Dartmouth had a chance at the lead with 4:08 remaining when they got down to the New Hampshire 13-yard line. Unfortunately for the Big Green, however, New Hampshire linebacker George Yasso intercepted Mann’s pass in the end zone with 16 seconds left.
Colgate 38, Columbia 6
The Lions (1-1, 0-0 Ivy) could not find their footing this Saturday against Colgate, turning the ball over six times. The host Raiders, on the other hand, ruthlessly capitalized on Columbia’s mistakes, converting three turnovers and a blocked punt into touchdowns. Columbia, who has yet to face off against Ivy League opponents, drops to to 1-1 after this weekend’s loss.