The Lions lose 49-21 despite a second-half rally.

Columbia (5-3) put up a good fight in the second half of last Saturday’s loss to offensive powerhouse Harvard (6-2), especially given the Crimson have a deceiving record this season. Every Harvard win has been by 14 points or more—their biggest win boasted a 35-point gap, while both losses have been by a margin of three or fewer points. In fact, Harvard’s 16-18 loss to Princeton involved five overtime periods. Harvard ranks first in the Ivy League in points per game. Although Columbia arguably had the means to defeat the Crimson, a weak opening half depleted all hopes of victory. 

The Lions clearly missed their injured veteran defensive back Fara’ad McCombs this past week, as they miserably failed in their secondary coverage. Harvard’s receivers put up 210 receiving yards in the first half alone, almost even with Columbia’s total passing and rushing yardage (265). Harvard’s quarterback, Luke Emge, had an excellent game and was 17 for 25 with 227 passing yards and three touchdowns. Emge’s passes, combined with two rushing touchdowns from Crimson running back Aaron Shampklin, put 35 points on the board by the start of halftime. Clearly, the Lions were not prepared to face the Crimson defense and were held scoreless in the first half.

Halftime Score: 35-0 Harvard

It was not until the Lions were down by 42 points with about five minutes left in the third quarter that they rallied for a comeback. A six-yard run from Columbia quarterback Joe Green finally put the Lions on the scoreboard. Columbia scored back-to-back touchdowns in the fourth quarter in the span of only 69 seconds (nice). Unfortunately, Harvard’s next drive was six minutes long and ended in another Crimson touchdown run. A defensive stop was essential to keeping the Lions in the game, but they were unable to come up with a big play. Harvard’s long drive ran down the clock and extinguished any lasting hopes of a win. 

Final Score: 49-21 Harvard

Evidently, this game was not an accurate representation of the team’s true ability, but a slip up along the road instead. Columbia will host Brown University (2-6) on Saturday, November 13. 

Columbia Lions via Bwarchives