HARVARD – Oregon quarterback Tyler Blume struck gold looking up the seam once, then came up empty in a 20-14 road loss Friday to Harvard.
With 1:17 left in the game, the Hawks forced a Harvard punt and got the ball on its own 20-yard line down by six.
Blume hit running back Chris Jordan for a 64-yard touchdown pass one possession earlier, just out of reach of Hornets defensive back Justin Nolen. But the next time Blume dropped back, Nolen brought the ball down for an interception, allowing Harvard to pull out a crossover win.
The Hornets’ offense ground down the Hawks (1-1) with long drives. Two of their three drives in the first half were made up by more than 15 plays and took more than 6 minutes.
“It’s hard to play defense 6 minutes at a time,” Hawks coach John Bothe said. “It’s a lot of energy. Even when some of their drives didn’t get a point, it just keeps our offense off the field and our defense on the field.”
Oregon came up with big defensive stops to stay in the game. The Hawks stopped Harvard on their 19-yard line on fourth-and-1, and picked off a Peyton Schneider pass from their own 27 in the end zone.
Oregon also forced two Harvard field goals, the first after Harvard had first-and-goal from the 10, and the second with Harvard having the ball at Oregon’s 12.
“The two times we held them to field goals, those were stops for the defense,” Bothe said. “If those are touchdowns, we’re getting close to getting blown out.”
The Hawks struggled to maintain drives, with none going more than 10 plays. Oregon scored on quick strikes. On the second play in the third quarter, Sawyer Reynolds took a counter 39 yards to the end zone.
Reynolds finished with 55 yards on five carries, with Ashton Rutherford adding 28 yards on five carries.