Football Drops Second Game of Season at Harvard, 27-17
Oct. 13, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A Harvard interception and 91-yard return for touchdown extinguished Lafayette's potential game-winning drive in the fourth quarter as Harvard held on for a 27-17 win on Saturday.
The Leopards' (4-2) defense set the tone on the first play of the game when sophomore Mark Leggiero sacked Harvard quarterback Chris Pizzotti, the first sack of Leggiero's career.
Junior linebacker Andy Romans made 17 tackles and the Leopards' defense sacked Harvard's quarterback four times on the afternoon.
Lafayette and Harvard (3-2) traded scores in the first quarter. Lafayette's Brandon Mitchell blocked Thomas Hull's punt at the 15-yard line, recovered it and returned it to the Harvard one-yard line. Junior fullback Joe Russo was stopped on his first rushing attempt, but scored on second-and-goal at the 12:46 mark.
Harvard responded with a 10-play, 41-yard drive that was culminated by a three-yard pass from Pizzotti to Crimson fullback Noah Van Niel. The score tied the game at seven apiece with five minutes to go in the first quarter.
Late in the first quarter, a fumble recovery by safety Nigel Bryant put Lafayette within field-goal range at the Harvard 34-yard line. Six plays later, kicker Davis Rodriguez connected on a 27-yard boot to put the Leopards up 10-7.
Two minutes into the second quarter, the Crimson came back. Jason Miller caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Pizzotti to put Harvard ahead 14-10.
Lafayette marched the ball down the field on the ensuing possession. Senior quarterback Mike DiPaola hit Duaeno Dorsey for a 19-yard first down reception and tailback DeAndre' Morrow added 25-yard first-down run to move the ball down the field.
DiPaola capped an 8-play 51-yard drive with a nine-yard scoring strike to Kyle Roeder who snatched the ball away from the defender for his second touchdown of the year. The Leopards regained the lead, 17-14 with 10 minutes to go in the second quarter.
Harvard tied up the game for a second time on a 38-yard field goal by Patrick Long. The teams went into the half tied at 17-17.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, but Harvard took control of the seesaw battle with a 40-yard field goal five minutes into the fourth quarter to lead 20-17.
Lafayette started the next drive own its own 18-yard line after an illegal block negated a 26-yard return by Morrow. On the first play of the drive, DiPaola hit Morrow for a 32-yard pass to move the ball to the 50. Morrow added 16 more yards on three carries.
The Leopards faced a third-and-one at the Harvard nine-yard line. DiPaola's play-action pass was picked off by Steve Williams and returned 91 yards for a touchdown, essentially ending the game.
"We played three quarters of a good game and then we got sloppy, and to their credit, they finished it," said Lafayette head coach Frank Tavani.
DiPaola finished the day 23-for-40 for 266 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Morrow led the offense with 16 carries for 52 yards and with seven passes for 89 yards in the first start of his career.
"It's a tough loss but we have to put it behind us," Bryant said. "We've got a big stretch of league play next."
Lafayette returns home on Oct. 20 to host Fordham at 1 p.m. The Homecoming matchup will be the first conference game for the Leopards since they defeated Georgetown on Sept. 8. The game can be seen on the Lafayette Sports Network on RCN-4 and WBPH-60 and on WGPA-1100.
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