Harvard (2-0, 1-0 Ivy) and Yale (2-0, 1-0), two Ivy League contenders, never trailed in their double-digit victories against Brown (1-1, 0-1) and Cornell (1-1, 0-1) on Saturday, but the University of Pennsylvania’s nonleague triumph over perennial Division I-AA powerhouse Lehigh (3-1) was an entirely different story.
Trailing by two touchdowns midway through the contest, the Quakers rallied in the second half to upset their higher ranked foe. Penn (2-0), picked to win the Ancient Eight in the Ivy League Football Preseason Media Poll, has now won eight consecutive games, dating back to last October, and 23 of its last 25.
Like Penn, Columbia (1-1) staged a fourth-quarter comeback, narrowly defeating Bucknell (2-2) in a nonleague affair.
For the second straight week, Princeton (0-2) and Dartmouth (0-2) were soundly defeated by non-Ivy teams, falling respectively to Lafayette (2-1) and New Hampshire (2-3).
Harvard 52, Brown 14
With the loss of quarterback Neil Rose and two-time Ivy League MVP wide receiver Carl Morris, it remained to be seen whether Harvard’s offense would be as productive this fall. For the second week in a row, junior quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick answered with a performance as riveting as a Donald Kagan lecture.
Fitzpatrick, who amassed 471 total yards in setting the Harvard school record at Holy Cross on Sept. 20, nearly equaled that feat against Brown one week later. Against the Bears, Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, accumulating 410 total yards.
After Brown tied the score at seven with five seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Crimson offense finally clicked. In the second quarter, Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes to Brian Edwards and Corey Mazza and ran for a third, giving the Crimson a commanding 28-7 halftime lead.
The Bears did not threaten the Cantabs in the second half, as Fitzpatrick scored on a nine-yard run early in the third quarter and added two more touchdowns through the air.
Fitzpatrick completed 20 of 35 passes for 361 yards on the day. Mazza, Edwards, Ryan Tyler and James Harvey each caught a touchdown pass for the Crimson and all four amassed at least 69 receiving yards.
Brown’s Nick Hartigan rushed for a game-high 127 yards on 15 attempts, but it was not enough to halt the Crimson rout.
Penn 31, Lehigh 24
Last year, an unranked Penn team shocked Division I-AA No. 4 Lehigh at Philadelphia’s Franklin Field, ending the Mountain Hawks’ 26-game regular-season winning streak.
On Saturday, the 21st-ranked Quakers visited No. 19 Lehigh, hoping to hand the Mountain Hawks only their second home loss since 1999.
But at first, Lehigh and Mother Nature seemed determined to prevent the Quakers from getting their way.
The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 10-0 first quarter lead on a Matt Douglas field goal and a 37-yard Chad Schwenk touchdown pass. After senior Penn quarterback Mike Mitchell threw a four-yard touchdown pass to cut the Mountain Hawk lead to three, Penn attempted an onside kick, which Lehigh recovered and returned 43 yards for a touchdown.
Penn’s All-American kicker Peter Veldman booted a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut Lehigh’s lead to one touchdown, but with less than a minute remaining in the half, Swenck threw his second touchdown pass of the game, giving the Mountain Hawks a 24-10 halftime lead.
With 6:52 remaining in the third quarter, Penn drove to the Mountain Hawk eight-yard line, threatening to narrow Lehigh’s lead to one score. However, a lightning storm delayed the game for more than an hour.
After the delay, the Quakers overpowered the Mountain Hawks. Mitchell connected with junior wide receiver Daniel Castles for a touchdown, cutting Lehigh’s lead to 24-17.
Lehigh only gained 48 yards after the lightning strikes, never reaching the red zone.
On the other hand, the Quakers thrived in the second half. Mitchell hooked up with Castles early in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 24 and found Sagar Patel in the end zone with 8:46 remaining in the game, giving the Quakers a lead they never relinquished.
Lehigh, which accumulated less than 300 total yards and had no running back reach 50 yards, did not score in the second half. Schwenk completed 18 of 35 passes for 200 yards.
Mitchell completed 20 of 38 passes for 214 yards and four touchdowns for the Quakers while Castles caught 12 passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Penn sophomore Sam Matthews rushed for 128 yards on 29 carries.
Penn had not won two consecutive games against Lehigh since the mid-1970s, a streak that ended with Saturday’s win.
Columbia 19, Bucknell 16
After rallying from a 21-point deficit late in the fourth quarter but falling just short against Fordham last week, the resilient Lions staged another fourth quarter comeback this week.
This time, Columbia was successful, as junior quarterback Jeff Otis threw a five-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Travis Chmelka with 21 seconds left in the game, giving the Lions a narrow 19-16 victory.
The Bucknell Bison lost a 21-19 heartbreaker to Brown last week but could not fare better against the Lions, considered the bottom-dwellers of the Ivy League.
Columbia scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 31-yard touchdown pass from Otis to junior tight end Wade Fletcher, but both extra points were blocked, so the Lions were up only 12-0.
Bucknell kicker Ryan Korn kicked field goals of 28 and 22 yards in the second quarter, cutting the Lion lead to six. Bison running back Antwan Kennedy scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter, putting Bucknell up 13-12, and Ryan added his third field goal of the game to give the Bison a 16-12 lead with 8:40 remaining in the game.
But with 3:27 left, Columbia rallied. With Otis completing 8 of 10 passes, including five completions to Chmelka, the Lions drove 69 yards to escape with the victory.
Senior running back Ayo Oluwole gained 110 yards on 21 carries for Columbia, but Otis was the key to Columbia’s comeback. Otis completed 25 of 45 passes for 236 yards in the game.
Lafayette 28, Princeton 13
Princeton experienced a little deja vu on Saturday, which was unfortunate for the winless Tigers.
One week after falling 28-13 to Lehigh, trailing 28-0 before putting points on the board, Princeton lost 28-13 to Lafayette, never scoring until the Leopards had a four-touchdown advantage.
Running back Joe McCourt, who rushed for 108 yards on 29 carries, scored three Lafayette touchdowns in the first half. In the first quarter, he scored on three-yard and one-yard touchdown runs; in the second quarter, he caught a nine-yard pass from quarterback Marco Glavic, who completed 19 of 33 passes for 160 yards.
Glavic scored on a three-yard run with only 14 seconds remaining in the first half, giving the Leopards an insurmountable 28-0 halftime lead.
With 1:19 left in the third quarter, junior Princeton quarterback Matt Verbit, who completed 20 of 43 passes for 253 yards, threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Eric Waltz for Princeton’s first score. The Tigers utilized the no-huddle offense in the fourth quarter but only scored once more, never threatening Lafayette’s lead.
New Hampshire 42, Dartmouth 17
One week after scoring just nine points against Colgate, Dartmouth finally reached the end zone at New Hampshire. But 17 points was not nearly enough for the Big Green, who lost their fourth straight game to intrastate rival New Hampshire in the Granite Bowl.
Dartmouth could not stop Wildcat running back R.J. Harvey, who rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The Big Green, which trailed 21-7 early in the second quarter, narrowed the Wildcat lead to 21-17 on a Tyler Lavin field goal with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
But then New Hampshire began the rout. Quarterback Mike Granieri threw a 24-yard touchdown pass later in the third quarter and Harvey scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter to give New Hampshire a 35-17 lead. Giovanni Benson scored the game’s final touchdown on a 100-yard interception return, which tied the New Hampshire school record.
Granieri completed 17 of 26 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats.
Dartmouth split quarterbacking duties between Charlie Rittgers, who completed 12 of 24 passes for 107 yards, and Scott Wille, who completed 10 of 19 passes for 86 yards. The Big Green offense struggled again, as no quarterback threw a touchdown pass and no running back reached 50 yards on the ground for the second consecutive game.