CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Junior wideout Kurt Williams recorded his first 100+ yard receiving game, but Harvard scored three times in the first half en route to a 23-7 loss to Harvard in Cambridge.
Neither team scored until the second quarter when David Mothander hit a 29-yard field goal after an 11-play, 56-yard drive for Harvard. The field goal capped a drive that spanned 2:45.
Harvard added to the lead when Collier Winters's fourth and 10 pass was intercepted by Columbia's Craig Hamilton at the Columbia 18, but Hamilton was immediately tackled by Harvard's Mike Cook and Cook forced a fumble to give the Crimson first and 10 at the Columbia 19 to keep the drive alive. Gino Gordon soon rushed five yards for a touchdown, giving Harvard the 10-0 lead with 3:41 left in the half.
After a Columbia three-and-out, Hrvard started a drive on the Columbia 49-yard line. It took just six plays for Harvard to have a first and 10 at the Columbia 11. Winters kept for a three-yard run for Harvard's second touchdown, extending the Crimson lead to 16-0 when the extra point was wide left.
The Lions threatened to score to open the third quarter when Sean Brackett found Andrew Kennedy twice for gains of 11 and 17 yards to put Columbia on the Harvard side of the field. Zack Kourouma caught a pass for 27 yards to give the Lions a first and goal at the Harvard two. On the next play, Brackett's pass was tipped at the line and intercepted by Alex Gedeon. Gedeon returned the ball 29 yards to the Harvard 32.
The Crimson picked up two first downs, but Gedeon punted fromt he Columbia 43 after Shad Sommers tackled Treavon Scales for a loss of two to make it fourth and 13.
Harvard added another touchdown after a Columbia three and out forced Tyler Feely to punt on fourth and three from the Columbia 16. Feely's punt was 41 yards, but Harvard still started its drive on its own 41. Harvard scored on an 11-yard run by Treavor Scales with 4:47 left in the third to make it 23-0.
Columbia looked poised to stage another rally, driving 67 yards on just six plays in 2:37. The Lions scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Brackett to Williams. Luke Eddy added his 24th consecutive PAT to make it 23-7.
Neither team scored in the fourth and both teams missed field goals. Eddy missed a 35-yarder, wide left and Mothander missed a 34-yarder, wide left.
Columbia finished with 394 yards of total offense to Harvard's 412. Brackett went 26-45-2 for 284 yards with two touchdowns, while Winters went 25-38-1 for 246 yards and one touchdown. Brackett also rushed for 47 yards. Kourouma had 39 yards rushing and 47 receiving. Tight end Andrew Kennedy caught eight passes for 71 yards, while Kurt Williams finished with 123 yards and the lone Columbia touchdown.
Defensively, Alex Gross led all players and finished with 12 tackles, half a sack and a quarterback hurry. Ben Popeck added eight tackles while Adam Mehrer, Calivn Otis and Neil Schuster added seven each.
Columbia dropped to 3-5, 1-4 Ivy League, while Harvard improved to 6-2, 4-1 Ivy League.
Columbia returns to action on Saturday, November 13, for a 12:30 p.m. game vs. Cornell at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The newly minted Empire State Bowl marks Columbia's final home game of the 2010 season.