NOTEBOOK: Football Dominates On Both Sides of the Ball Against Lafayette


EASTON, Pa.—For the top scoring defense of the Ivy League, there were remarkably few theatrics. There were no interceptions, no strip sacks, no forced fumbles.

But on Saturday afternoon, the Crimson needed no flashy antics to get the job done as it swiftly and methodically dismantled Lafayette’s offense in every facet on Fisher Field.

Spurred by a dominant defense that has allowed just three points over as many games, Harvard (5-0, 2-0 Ivy) delivered a thrashing to a battered Leopards squad (1-6, 0-2 Patriot), 42-0, to wrap up nonconference play and win its 19th straight.

It took less than five minutes to realize that Lafayette quarterback Drew Reed wouldn’t spend much time in the pocket.


On the Leopards’ second drive—the first having resulted in a quick three-and-out—Reed faced a third-and-13 after a first down run went the opposite direction. Reed dropped back and scanned the coverage for just a second before captain Matt Koran came flying in his direction. The Lafayette playcaller barely evaded the sack by throwing into double coverage, and the ball sailed over his intended receiver’s head.

The next Leopards series—now with the home team down seven—fared about as well. Both times Reed dropped back to throw, he backpedaled so far that his passes barely broke the line of scrimmage. Three possessions in, Lafayette’s offense still had yet to move the chains.

“Any time you can limit an offense to three-and-out, it’s big,” senior cornerback Chris Evans said. “You get your offense the ball back almost immediately, and usually with good field position, so that’s how you want to come out every game.”

For the remainder of the game, the Harvard’s defense didn’t make it much easier for Reed, who was sacked four times by four different white jerseys and hurried another five times. The Crimson front seven also continued its domination against the run, holding Lafayette to negative 18 yards on the ground.

The Leopards offense did come close to putting points on the scoreboard early in the second quarter, but a turnover on downs at Harvard’s 26 stymied the scoring attempt. Another pair of unsuccessful fourth down attempts kept Lafayette scoreless despite two trips into the red zone in the second half.

The Crimson’s defense has now kept opponents out of the end zone for the past 188 minutes of play, since Brown scored a touchdown three weeks ago.

“Every game, our goal is to not let them score,” Evans said. “If they can’t score, they can’t win.”


Harvard entered Saturday’s contest missing a few crucial players on offense—senior right tackle Cole Toner to a soft tissue foot injury, senior wide receiver Andrew Fischer to an upper body injury, and junior tight end Anthony Firkser to a high ankle sprain.

Early on, it seemed that the Crimson’s veteran offensive line was missing Toner. In Harvard’s opening possession, Lafayette defensive end Beau Bosch broke through the right side to take down senior quarterback Scott Hosch, the play-caller’s first sack of the year. Junior right tackle Willie Nichols, who is filling in while Toner recovers, and the rest of the line eventually settled in to find clean running lanes for senior running back Paul Stanton, who notched 123 yards and two scores.