CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Harvard quarterback Colton Chapple scrambled 18 yards for one touchdown and had a 61-yard run to set up another on Saturday to lead the Crimson to a 34-24 victory over Yale and their sixth consecutive victory in The Game.
It is the first time in a rivalry that started in 1875 that Harvard (8-2, 5-2 Ivy League) has beaten Yale six times in a row. Yale (2-8, 1-6) won six in a row from 1902-07 and eight in a row in the 1880s.
A game that was 3-3 at halftime broke open in the second, as emergency Yale quarterback Henry Furman — who’s on the roster as a wide receiver — led the Elis to three second-half touchdowns.
But after Yale took a 24-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Chapple broke free on Harvard’s first play for his 61-yard run to the Eli 9 yard-line.
Five plays later, he hit Cameron Brate in the middle of the end zone to give the Crimson the lead for good.
After forcing Yale to punt, Harvard faced a third-and-13 for a first down that could have enabled the Crimson to run out the clock. But Treavor Scales broke free down the right sideline for a 63-yard touchdown that made it 34-24.
Chapple completed 22 of 32 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 128 more on 18 carries. Scales had 177 yards on 19 carries for the Crimson, who would have shared the Ivy League title had Pennsylvania not beaten Cornell on Saturday.
Furman was 13 for 20 for 158 yards and Derek Russell, another former receiver, completed 9 of 10 for 73 yards. Tyler Varga also took some snaps at quarterback but did not throw a pass; in all, he ran 22 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
The Game lost some of its luster when Harvard, after 10 consecutive Ivy victories — including a perfect conference record en route to the 2011 league title — lost to Princeton and, three weeks later, to Penn. That allowed the Quakers to clinch the Ivy League title with a 35-28 victory over Cornell on Saturday.
Still, the 109-year-old stadium was packed and bathed in bright sunshine until the shadows began to creep over the closed end of the horseshoe.
That’s when the game started getting interesting, too.
After heading into the half 3-3, Harvard broke open a 10-point lead with an early field goal and then took a 13-3 advantage when Chapple looked left and then broke right, outrunning a pair of rushers to turn the corner and head into the end zone.
On Yale’s next drive, Cameron Sandquist made a diving catch of Furman’s 46-yard pass to put the ball at the Harvard 5 yard-line. Vargas took the snap at quarterback and moved to his right before plunging into the end zone to make it 13-10.
Yale took the lead when Furman, forced to his right, threw into traffic in the end zone, where Grant Wallace stepped in front of a defender at the last minute and got the ball to make it 17-13 with 13:30 left.
But Harvard struck just as quickly, scoring on a 32-yard touchdown pass to a well-covered Berg in the right corner of the end zone to give Harvard a 20-17 lead.
The Crimson seemed back in control until Chapple was pressured by blitzing safety Charles Cook and aired a floater toward the line of scrimmage. Defensive tackle Nick Daffin caught it at the Harvard 29 yard-line with 10:08 left in the game.
On third-and-goal from the 1, Varga again gave Yale the lead.
But Chapple ran for 61 yards on Harvard’s first play of the next possession. And nothing went right for the Elis after that.
It was a noble effort from Yale, which has used seven different players at quarterback this season because of injuries. The Elis won just one Ivy League game all season — against eventual conference champion Penn.