Letting a 24-point fourth-quarter cushion at Princeton slip away Saturday afternoon was painful enough for the Harvard football team.
But the defending Ivy League champion Crimson will now be without their senior captain, and leading tackler, Bobby Schneider, the final four weeks of the season.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound weakside linebacker from Grapevine, Texas, underwent surgery Wednesday morning to repair a broken left arm suffered on Harvard’s next-to-last defensive snap in the 39-34 loss to the Tigers.
Realizing that Princeton was out of timeouts, Schneider scurried off the field, rather than staying down on the turf and wait for assistance, despite suffering a compound fracture.
Princeton then connected on a go-ahead 36-yard touchdown pass from Quinn Epperly to Roman Wilson with 13 seconds left, halting Harvard’s Division 1-best 14-game winning streak.
“Just a great kid,” said Harvard coach Tim Murphy of Schneider, who registered a team-leading 43 stops (22 solo) along with four pass breakups this season.
“Losing Bobby is a significant loss. He is a tough, experienced, physical, relentless player who led by example. Those guys don’t grow on trees.”
The Crimson have already lost two other starters, sophomore right tackle Will Whitman (knee) and sophomore receiver/return specialist Seitu Smith (hand), for the season.
Jake Lindsey, a redshirt freshman from Cleves, Ohio, and true freshman Eric Medes (St. Joe’s Prep/Philadelphia) will share time at Scheider’s spot when Harvard (5-1, 2-1 Ivy) travels to Dartmouth (4-2, 2-1) Saturday for a 5 p.m. kickoff.
Craig Larson can be reached at email@example.com.