Two plays later in the fourth quarter, Scales busted up the middle for a two-yard run to give Harvard a 30-7 lead.
All season, the Quakers had a flair for the dramatic, putting together fourth-quarter comebacks to keep the team in the title hunt for most of the year. But Penn could not do it against Harvard.
Just two plays and 20 seconds later, Quaker quarterback Billy Ragone threw an interception from his own 27-yard line, and junior linebacker Alex Norman ran it into the corner of the end zone to give Harvard a 37-7 lead.
The Crimson scored 13 points in 54 seconds, and the anticipation built in the crowd and on the sidelines as fans waited for the Dartmouth-Brown game to go final.
Midway through the final frame, the PA announced that the Big Green had defeated the Bears, a shocking loss for a team that was coming off wins against Penn and Yale. The crowd of 11,283 broke into its loudest cheer of the day, and players on the Harvard sideline shared hugs in the final home game for the class of 2012.
“I think any championship team is unique, [but] they all have one common denominator: tremendous character,” Murphy said. “Not just in terms of representing Harvard well. It’s mental toughness, the ability to deal with adversity ability to grind it out ... You need kids that have a lot of resiliency and toughness, and a lot of that is mental.”
Though there were almost 10 minutes left in the game, the team showed little reservation breaking into a preemptive celebration as it became clear that Harvard would hoist its 14th Ivy League championship banner.
“To be able to be rewarded for all that work, and to come into Week 9 and be Ivy League champions—it’s a great feeling,” Winters said.