Football Rallies Past Merrimack in Season Opener in Overtime, 28-21

Dylan Goodman









Score By Quarters
Team 1 pc 2nd 3rd 4th OT F
0 7 6 8 0 21
0 7 0 14 7 28

Game Recap: Football |

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Senior running back Aidan Borguet ran for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter and caught the go-ahead touchdown in overtime to help Harvard University football rally past Merrimack, 28-21, in overtime on Friday night at Harvard Stadium in its season and home opener.

The Crimson (1-0) trailed 21-7 with under five minutes to play before Borguet ran for a pair of scores less than two minutes apart and added the decisive touchdown on the first play of overtime as Harvard took its first-ever meeting with the Warriors (1-2) and played an overtime game at home for the first time since 2013.

Harvard Highlights

  • Senior running back Aidan Borguet ran for 127 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while adding 39 receiving yards and a touchdown on two catches. He went over 100 rushing yards in a game for the third time in his career. His two rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter closed the gap from 21-7 to 21-21.
  • Senior quarterback Charlie Dean completed 18-of-35 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown alongside 43 rushing yards on 11 carries and his first career rushing score.
  • Senior wide receiver Kym Wimberly caught seven passes for 78 yards, including a 36-yard grab on the Crimson’s drive that tied the game at 21-21.
  • Senior defensive end Nate Leskovec totaled seven tackles and 4.5 sacks for a total loss of 23 yards.
  • Junior defensive tackle Thor Griffith led the Crimson with nine tackles and posted 4.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks.
  • Junior defensive tackle Tyler Huenemann notched 1.5 sacks on the night.
  • As a team, Harvard totaled nine sacks for a loss of 57 yards.

How It Happened

  • The two teams played to a scoreless first quarter. The Crimson made a fourth-down stop with 5:18 left in the frame to highlight the period.
  • Merrimack scored the game’s opening touchdown as Jack Zergiotis completed a five-yard pass to Jacari Carter with 12:51 to go in the second quarter. The play capped an 11-play, 79-yard drive.
  • The Crimson responded with a two-yard rushing touchdown from the senior quarterback Charlie Dean to tie the score at 7-7 with 3:25 to go in the second quarter. An 18-yard end-around from the sophomore wide receiver Scott Woods II brought the Crimson into the red zone to set up the scoring play. Harvard went 58 yards on seven plays in 2:41 on the drive.
  • The Warriors re-took the lead late in the third quarter as Zergiotis re-connected with Carter on a 76-yard touchdown at the 2:43 mark following an interception from Garry Rosemond, Jr. Merrimack moved ahead 13-7 after missing the PAT attempt.
  • Merrimack went ahead 21-7 with 11:50 to go in the fourth quarter. Zergiotis threw a 19-yard touchdown to Hayden Fisher before the visitors added a two-point conversion.
  • Harvard then began its rally as Borguet broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run, bringing the Crimson within 21-14 with 4:31 to play. The run capped a six-play, 85-yard drive in 2:31. The drive included a key conversion on fourth-and-eight as Dean found the senior tight end Garden Montefalco to keep the drive alive.
  • The Crimson’s defense quickly returned the ball to Harvard’s offense, forcing a three-and-out and giving Harvard a short field at the Merrimack 41-yard line.
  • Harvard took advantage as Dean found senior wide receiver Kym Wimberly for a 36-yard connection before Borguet ran around the outside to score his second touchdown of the night and knot the score at 21-21 with 2:56 to play.
  • On the first play of overtime, Dean found Borguet coming out of the backfield, and Borguet scampered into the end zone to put the Crimson on top.
  • During Merrimack’s possession in overtime, Merrimack advanced to the Harvard five-yard line before the Crimson came up with two sacks from a combination of junior defensive tackle Thor Griffithjunior defensive tackle Tyler Huenemannand senior defensive end Nate Leskovec to push the visitors back to the 25.

Gallery: (9-16-2022) Football vs Merrimack

Game Notes

  • Harvard extended its winning streak to four games after capturing the final three games of 2021.
  • The Crimson won the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
  • The Crimson won its 21stSt straight home opener. Harvard has won 11 straight times in season openers at home.
  • Harvard improved its mark to 121-25-2 all-time in season openers.
  • The Crimson improved to 47-16 in the month of September during Tim MurphyThe Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football.
  • Harvard has now scored in 229 consecutive games.

Next Up

Harvard plays at Brown on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 12:30 pm (ESPN+) at Brown Stadium in Providence, RI, in its Ivy League opener.

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