Breaking Free

The running back tandem of junior Gino Gordon and freshman Treavor Scales combined for 229 yards on the ground and three touchdowns in the Crimson’s victory over the Big Red

Keren E. Rohe

ITHACA, N.Y.—In Harvard football’s second Ivy League matchup of the season, the Cornell defense was run over worse than Harvard Yard after a visit from a busload of international tourists. The Crimson rushing attack, spearheaded by junior Gino Gordon and freshman Treavor Scales, combined for 251 yards and four touchdowns, as Harvard (3-1, 2-0 Ivy) defeated Cornell (2-2, 1-1), 28-10, on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.

“There’s no doubt who was the better team on the field [Saturday]; that was Harvard,” said Big Red coach Jim Knowles. “If you can’t stop the run, and you can’t run the ball effectively, it makes for a tough game. It makes for a very tough game.”

Cornell gained just 51 yards on the ground, less than half the total produced by Gordon alone.

“I don’t believe that today’s performance was a reflection on how I played—it was more how the offensive line took control of the line of scrimmage,” said Gordon, who finished with 137 rushing yards and one touchdown.

“The holes were wide open, and I just ran through them.”

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The Crimson quickly established the run, using a combination of Gordon and Scales to punch the ball 54 yards up the field and into the endzone on its opening drive.

Harvard began the march with three straight rushes from Gordon, who sat out the Crimson’s previous game against Lehigh, for 19 yards. Scales maintained the momentum, taking the next two carries for nine yards, bringing Harvard to the Cornell 26-yard line.

The Crimson finally went to the air on its sixth offensive play, as junior quarterback Collier Winters connected with senior wide receiver Matt Luft for seven yards. But Harvard quickly returned to the ground assault, calling two plays for Gordon that brought the ball to the five-yard line, setting up Scales for the knockout blow. The rookie took the handoff and was barely touched as he marched into the endzone with 8:22 remaining in the first quarter, giving the Crimson an early 7-0 lead that it would not surrender.

Scales’ first-quarter touchdown was the first of his career, and it wasn’t long before he added his second. Scales struck again in the fourth quarter, this time at a more crucial moment in the contest.

The Harvard defense kept the Big Red at bay for the majority of the game’s first three quarters. Freshman cornerback Brian Owusu led the way for the Crimson with two first-half interceptions off Cornell quarterback Ben Ganter, which made the Big Red try out wide receiver Stephen Luizza under center.

Along with solid play from junior safety Collin Zych, who finished the game with eight tackles, Cornell was held to just 114 all-purpose yards at the half.

But despite Harvard’s early lead, the Big Red did not give up without a fight. Down 14-3 in the waning minutes of the third quarter, Cornell stood with the ball at the Harvard 47. After being held to four yards on a rush and two pass attempts from Ganter, it looked as if the Big Red would have to return the ball to the Crimson.

But a Harvard mental error would give Cornell another chance. After the Big Red’s Drew Anston punted the ball into the Crimson endzone, the sideline official flagged Harvard for fielding 12 players, returning the ball to Cornell at the Crimson 29-yard line.

The Big Red would capitalize on this newfound opportunity.

Ganter connected with wide receiver Bryan Walters on three straight throws to the sideline, each for four yards. This set up a 17-yard pass to wide receiver Shane Savage up the middle of the field for a touchdown.

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