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Hatch will quarterback Harvard

Posted by Craig Larson, Globe Staff  September 15, 2010 05:43 PM

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Andrew Hatch first stepped on the Harvard campus in the fall of 2005. On Saturday night, under the bright lights at Harvard Stadium, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior will make his first start under center for the Crimson in the season opener against Holy Cross.

It's been quite a journey.

hatch2.jpgFourth-string quarterback as a freshman. A Mormon mission to Chile as a sophomore. A transfer to LSU, where he started the first three games of the 2008 season before breaking a bone in his lower leg. A return to Harvard, where he took every snap as the scout-team QB last fall.

He entered the preseason in an open competition with junior Collier Winters, a second team all-Ivy pick last fall known for his athleticism and grit. But Winters tore the labrum, and adductor muscle in his right hip in the team's first intrasquad night scrimmage, a non-contact injury that is likely season-ending, according to coach Tim Murphy.

"We're very fortunate to have a kid that is 24 years old and has been around a bit," said Murphy at Wednesday's weekly New England Football Writers lunchen at Dillon Fieldhouse.

"People ask me what type of quarterback is he? He's a bigger version of Collier Winters. We're excited to see how it all fits together."

With four starters graduating, the Crimson have rebuilt their offensive line. But senior Gino Gordon and sophomore Treavor Scales are productive backs and there is plenty of depth at wide receiver and tight end. Defense, specifically the front seven, is the strength of the squad. "Really athletic, and a deep group," said Murphy.

Jespersen, Bennett earn Helmets
Central Connecticut junior quarterback Gunnar Jespersen and Coast Guard senior corner Pat Bennett received this week's Gridiron Club of Greater Boston Gold Helmet awards from the New England Football Writers on Wednesday.

A 5-foot-11, 190-pound transfer from Allan Hancock JC, Jesperson was 18 of 24 for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-14 win over visiting Bentley. In a 10-8 win over Merchant Marine, the 5-10, 180-pound Bennett took the opening kickoff 82 yards for a TD, blocked a field goal, registered a team-high seven tackles, had two pass breakups and forced a fumble.

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