For Harvard junior quarterback Colton Chapple, stepping into the spotlight has become second nature.
“I’m just helping out the team,” Chapple said. “[Senior quarterback] Collier [Winters] went down in Week 1, and I wanted to pick up right where he left off. It’s great to be able to go out there and play.”
In his first three starts of the season, Chapple has done more than just fill the role of his injured teammate, leading Harvard to three consecutive victories.
But it was Chapple’s most recent outing that permanently etched his name into the record books.
“Cornell is a defense that you have to throw over to beat,” Chapple said.
And throw he did.
Chapple completed 28 of 38 passes for 414 yards and four touchdowns in the Crimson’s 41-31 victory at Cornell on Saturday.
The performance ranks as the second-highest single-game yardage total in Harvard football history.
Chapple’s offensive onslaught shattered his previous career high of 207 yards, which he set in a home game against Brown earlier this season.
In a performance blemished only by a single interception, Chapple torched the Big Red defense, passing for more than 20 yards nine times and averaging just under 11 yards per completion.
The quarterback commanded an offensive attack that accounted for 14 of its 24 first downs through the air.
But it took about two quarters for the quarterback to get comfortable in the pocket.
“Personally, I feel like I struggled in the first half,” Chapple said. “[After that] I really just settled down, took what the defense gave me, and got the ball to our playmakers out on the edge. They made me look good.”
The signal-caller rose to the occasion after halftime, mixing several electrifying plays into his successful orchestration of the Crimson offense.
Chapple kept the entire offense involved, completing at least one pass of more than 25 yards to five different receivers and throwing all three of his second-half touchdown passes from outside the red zone.