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Kicking off its 139th season, Harvard charged back with three fourth-quarter touchdowns, including a go-ahead 7-yard toss from Colton Chapple to Kyle Juszcyzk with 13:30 and rolled to its 10th straight victory, a 28-13 win over San Diego before 5,272 at The Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Trailing 13-7, the Crimson capitalized on a pair of personal foul calls on the Monteros, with Chapple, a 6-foot-2 senior, hooking up with Juszcyzk on a short scoring toss down the right sideline for 14-13. An electrifying 99-yard kickoff return by sophomore Seitu Smith had been whistled back because of a block in the back from junior tight end Cameron Brate.
All-Ivy tailback Treavor Scales closed out the win with a pair of touchdowns, a 2-yard scamper with 5:37 left, along with a 66-yard burst up the middle on a first-and-10 from the 34.
The Crimson (1-0) kick off their Ivy League slate at Brown on Saturday (4:30 p.m.).
Harvard (1-0) led 7-3 at the break, but the Toreros (1-2), in their first visit to The Stadium, pulled within a point, 7-6, on a 48-yard field goal from Ernie Collins and then took the lead, 14-13, on a slick 25-yard snare by freshman Logan Smith along the right side of the end zone.
The Crimson surged ahead early in the second quarter, cashing in on a interception by junior tackle Jack Dittmer off a tipped ball at the Harvard 49. Five plays later, on a play-action, senior QB Colton Chapple floated a 29-year pass down the left sideline to a wide-open Cameron Brate, and the 6-5, 235-pound junior trotted into the end zone for the score as the Crimson surged ahead, 7-3.
On the game’s first series, Mills directed the Toreros on a 19-play, 81-yard drive, but the march stalled on the Harvard 3, when Jaron Wilson batted down a pass near the right pylon. San Diego settled for a 20-yard field goal from 6-2, 240-pound Ernie Collins, the capper to a nine-minute, 17-second series.
The matchup was the first of a two-game series, with the Crimson taking flight for the first time since 1993 (William & Mary) for the 2013 opener at San Diego. California is a fertile recruiting area for Harvard (16 players reside in Cali) and home to many alums.
Craig Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.