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Crimson Alumni Dominate Ivy-Samurai Bowl

Sports brief

By Timothy J. Mcginn, Crimson Staff Writer

It’s been more than a year since Neil Rose ’02-’03 and Nick Palazzo ’03 led Harvard to glory on the gridiron.

But if they were rusty—or jetlagged—they sure didn’t show it on June 20, leading a Tim Murphy-coached Japanese all-star squad to victory over four Yale alums and their affiliates at Tokyo National Stadium, 35-21.

Rose scrambled for 91 yards on 19 attempts, four times hitting paydirt to propel the Harvard-led offense, while Palazzo carried 18 times for a game-high 136 yards with one touchdown.

The two combined to stake the Crimson to a 28-7 lead midway through the quarter before Andy Fried ’02 and Erik LaHaie ’02 combined for nine tackles and a fumble recovery to ensure the lead held up.

Murphy and his Yale counterpart, Jack Siedlecki, spent a week abroad prior to the event running training camps geared towards exporting a higher quality of play to Japan.

“There are over 200 Japanese colleges that play American football,” Murphy said. “That number playing was surprising to me. The level of play is sub-Division I football for sure, but there were some good players that with some experience could play in the Ivy League.”

Language barriers proved no obstacle as each coach was assigned a translator and the style of play was little different from that in the American collegiate ranks.

“They make trips to the States,” Murphy said. “They’ve made trips to our spring practice to pick our brains. They do an outstanding job of coaching and developing these kids.”

—Staff writer Timothy J. McGinn can be reached at mcginn@fas.harvard.edu.

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