Senior tailback Treavor Scales is averaging a whopping 7.5 yards per carry. Senior Kyle Juszczyk and junior Cameron Brate form the best tight end combo in the Ivy League. Senior center Jack Holuba anchors a veteran offensive front.
The catalyst for a Harvard attack operating at full throttle, averaging 41.7 points per game through the first three weeks, is senior quarterback Colton Chapple.
"We've had a lot of good quarterbacks at Harvard," said Harvard coach Tim Murphy Wednesday afternoon, before listing off names like Collier Winters, Chris Pizzotti, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Neil Rose.
"In a very quiet, under the radar kind of way, Colton has been just as efficient."
That's an understatement.
In one half of play against Holy Cross Friday night, throwing into a chilling rain, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Chapple was a sizzling 13 of 18 for 260 yards and four touchdown passes as the unbeaten Crimson cruised to a 49-3 cushion. He also punched in a 3-yard run.
His focus this week is on Saturday's showdown at the Stadium against Cornell (2-1) and junior QB Jeff Mathew, the Ivy's reigning Player of Year.
On Wednesday, however, he took a 60-minute break to accept the Gridiron Club of Boston's weekly Gold Helmet Award from the New England Football Writers at Dillon Fieldhouse. Southern Connecticut junior tailback Vaughn Magee was the Division 2-3 recipient.
"This signifies 11 other guys on offense, I might get the credit because I'm the quarterback, but without everybody doing their job at the same time at the same level that we have been coached to do, none of this would be possible," said Chapple, after earning the second Helmet of his career.
"I look forward to playing a big game at the Stadium on Saturday." A year ago, he rallied Harvard for a 41-31 win at Cornell, firing three touchdown passes in a seven-minute span in the third quarter while registering the Crimson's first 400-yard passing performance since 2003.
Firmly entrenched as the starter as a senior, after sharing time with Winters a year ago, Chapple is completing 68-percent of his passes, for 830 yards and seven touchdowns. His efficiency rating (171.24) is off the charts.
And as Murphy pointed out, he is one play (Lehigh, sophomore year) from being 10-0 as the starting QB.
"No one on our team works harder to prepare for an opponent," said Murphy. "Very poised, extremely humble, and a very tough kid."
In his first season as the starter at Southern Connecticut, the 5-11, 200-pound Magee is quickly earning praise for his toughness, commitment, and stellar play.
The Owls entered last week's matchup against visiting Saint Anselm in unfamiliar territory, an 0-3 start, and trailed 35-21 in the fourth quarter.
But Magee delivered a record-breaking performance in the game's final 15 minutes -- an NCAA Division 2 record 187 yards rushing -- spearheading a 45-34 comeback win. He finished the day with 297 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 30 carrries.
"We're very fortunate to have a player like Vaughn Magee," said 28-year coach Rich Cavanaugh.
"Week in, week out, he shows up and gives his best effort."
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell