NOTEBOOK: Second Half Keeps Title Dreams Alive

NEW YORK, N.Y.—For a team without a win this season, Columbia has still kept up with the best in the Ivy League.

Against reigning Ancient Eight champion Penn, the Lions lost on a last-minute touchdown. Facing Yale last week, Columbia mounted a 13-point fourth-quarter rally but once again fell just short.

And on Saturday against Harvard, the Lions gave Harvard its first scare in weeks—during the first half, at least.

The Lions opened the game with a methodical, 12-play drive that gave Columbia its first lead since Oct. 15 against the Quakers.

No play in the series went for more than 14 yards, but the Crimson defensive line struggled early against Columbia’s run game.


Harvard tied things up in the first quarter and threatened early in the second. A 43-yard completion to senior wide receiver Chris Lorditch put the Crimson deep in Columbia territory.

With about 9:30 on the clock, senior quarterback Collier Winters threw a red-zone pick along the right sideline, and Ross Morand took it back 87 yards for a touchdown.

It was a play highly reminiscent of a pick-six in Harvard’s season opener against Holy Cross, the team’s only loss of the year.

The Crimson went into halftime tied after another touchdown late in the frame, and the team took a lead in the third and never trailed again in the game.

“Offensively, there were not real adjustments [at the half],” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “We just said, ‘Hey, what’s our mantra? What’s our thing?’ Our whole thing is just take care of the football.”

The Lions could very easily have had the lead at halftime.

On the second-to-last play of the first quarter, freshman running back Zach Boden fumbled near midfield, and Columbia recovered but failed to score on the drive.

In the final minutes of the second quarter, the Lions failed to get into field goal range, and it could not convert on fourth-and-four.


One of the strengths—and biggest surprises—for Harvard this season has been its offensive line. But after one of its best performances of the year last week against Dartmouth, it had one of its worst in Manhattan.


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