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Lawrence Taylor was the first linebacker to dominate the major football games who only needed his initials to identify him. "L.T." was known as one of the best to play the position.
L.T. was one of the first players who could win a game from the defensive side of the ball, and now Harvard football has its own set of memorable initials following in those footsteps these days.
"I.K."--junior linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski--dominated play in Harvard's 19-12 victory over Cornell. The win finally righted the wrongs that had plagued the Crimson and was the first win of the season for the defending Ivy League champs.
In the game, Kacyvenski was credited with 12 tackles, including 11 primary stops, along with an interception and three deflected passes.
I.K. showed all of his skills in crunch time Saturday as the Big Red drove late in the fourth quarter looking for a tying touchdown.
On first down at the Harvard 30, I.K. stuffed Cornell tailback Deon Harris for a short gain and then repeated the process on second down. On fourth down Cornell tested I.K.'s versatility as a pass defender. Kacyvenski came up big and knocked away a pass just beyond the first-down marker, effectively sealing the game.
I.K. has been the centerpiece of Harvard's linebacking core since he joined the team in 1996, a season in which he was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Along the way he has started every game of his career and was First Team All-Ivy and All-New England in 1997. Kacyvenski is on pace to break Harvard's all-time tackle record by his graduation.
For his play this week, I.K. earned multiple honors. The junior was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week and also earned the Coca-Cola Golden Helmet Award as New England's Division I Player of the Week.
He can add to these The Crimson's Athlete of the Week.
--KEITH S. GREENAWALT
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