The Harvard football team led, 21-0, at halftime and seemed to be one score away from putting away Brown Saturday afternoon at Brown Stadium in Providence.
The Crimson (2-0, 1-0 Ivy League) opened the second half with an 81-yard flea-flicker from senior Charlie Dean to Ledger Hatch, then had to fend off the Bears’ comeback attempt en route to a 35-28 victory.
“[Brown] kept the ball alive; they strung a lot of things together and all of a sudden they got the first touchdown,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “All of a sudden they’ve got some different energy and it’s a different game … they just played really well.”
Following Hatch’s touchdown, the Bears (1-1, 0-1) came to life with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a touchdown when junior quarterback Jake Willcox found running back Stockton Owen on a swing route that turned into a 49-yard sprint to the end zone.
A 67-yard touchdown run from senior Aidan Borguet gave the Crimson a 35-7 lead with 11:11 to play in the third quarter. They didn’t score the rest of the game.
The Bears pounced, scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but on fourth and 7 with nine seconds on the clock, a Willcox pass fell incomplete.
Brown could not get much going early and the Crimson capitalized, with Dean throwing a touchdown to receiver Kym Wimberly on their opening drive. In the second quarter, Dean hit Wimberly with a second 26-yard scoring strike and found tight end Haven Montefalco with a 17-yard touchdown pass.
The quarterback battle was impressive, as both teams aired it out. Willcox, an Everett native, finished with 284 yards and three scores on 31-of-55 passing, while Dean had a career-high 282 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-29 passing to earn his fifth win as a starter.
“All I know is [Charlie’s] 5-0 as our starting quarterback,” Murphy said. “He can make all the throws. He still has plenty of room for improvement, but I love a guy who can make all the throws.”