The Game quickly turned into a slaughter Saturday at the Yale Bowl. Four first-half touchdowns by sophomore Paul Stanton tied the record for scores in the Harvard-Yale game and allowed the Crimson to coast to a 34-7 beatdown of its archrival.
With Dartmouth upsetting Princeton later Saturday, the win earned Harvard a share of the Ivy title. The championship is Crimson coach Tim Murphy’s seventh in 20 seasons.
Stanton’s quartet of touchdowns came on Harvard’s first four drives of the game, putting the visitors up 28-0 at halftime. He finished the game with 118 yards rushing and 40 receiving. After the game, Stanton could not remember a game at any level in which he scored four times.
A week after giving up 30 straight second-half points to Penn, Murphy left his starters in the entire game this time, allowing them to run the clock late.
The first-team offense burned the game’s final 5:12, with Stanton converting a fourth-and-one along the way, while Harvard (9-1, 7-1 Ivy) fans cheered and Yale (5-5, 3-4 Ivy) fans exited their stadium. Senior Michael Pruneau came in to kneel the ball before the remaining Crimson fans stormed the field to celebrate Harvard’s seventh straight victory in The Game.
Neither team had amassed a seven-game winning streak over the other since the 1880’s.
“Our thinking was finish the play, finish the game, finish the season,” captain Josh Boyd said. “We worked hard all week and we wanted to finish things the right way.”
With Stanton clicking, junior quarterback Conner Hempel had an efficient day, completing 73 percent of his passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
“I feel like I didn’t really do much today,” Hempel said. “I just flipped it up in the air and let Paul catch it and run for however many yards.”
Hempel also tallied 57 yards on the ground. Senior Cam Brate had just three catches, but all of them were for big yardage as he led the Crimson with 91 yards receiving.
The balanced offense accrued 425 total yards and punted just three times.
On the other side of the ball, Harvard’s defense held Yale to 179 yards passing and 100 yards rushing while forcing two turnovers.
The first came midway through the first quarter with the Bulldogs attempting to tie the game at seven.
On third and 10, Yale quarterback Henry Furman completed a 15-yard pass to Chandler Rich, but junior cornerback Norman Hayes then popped the ball loose and senior D.J. Monroe fell on it.
“That was a big play in the game,” Yale coach Tony Reno said.