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It was circled as one of the top Ivy games of the year, and boy did it deliver.

In the conference opener, last year’s co-champs Harvard and Brown battled to take an early lead in the standings, with the host Crimson winning, 24-21, Friday night.

Harvard quarterback Collier Winters passed for 223 yards, threw two touchdowns and rushed for another as the Crimson (1-1, 1-0 Ivy) avenged their only loss of last season.

Brown led 14-7 with 12:12 left in the second quarter after wide receiver Bobby Sewall scored on a one-yard run. But Harvard responded with 17 unanswered points, including Winters’ three-yard touchdown run and his 15-yard passing touchdown to Matt Luft.

Cornell 14 Yale 12

It might have been a low-scoring affair, but the Yale-Cornell showdown at the Yale Bowl had plenty of exciting plays.

But it was the very last play of the game, a failed two-point conversion with no time remaining, that doomed Yale as the visiting Big Red escaped with a 14-12 win.

The first highlight of the game came on Cornell’s first offensive possession. Former quarterback Stephen Liuzza received a lateral pass and then fired downfield to Bryan Walters for an 81-yard touchdown.

Yale responded with Tom Mante’s 54-yard field goal just before halftime, which tied an Ivy record.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” Yale coach Tom Williams told Yale Athletics. “We had been picking away and picking away, and that was the shot we needed. Tom is a weapon and we’re going to use him as such.”

Yet the deciding score occurred when Anthony Ambrosi returned an interception 20 yards all the way to the house late in the third quarter, giving the Big Red a 14-6 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

D’mouth 14 UNH 44

Another day, another game and another Dartmouth loss.

For the 14th-straight time the Big Green lost a football game, this time falling to in-state rival No. 6 New Hampshire, 44-14 in the Granite Bowl. It also marked the 19th consecutive time the Big Green (0-2) failed to beat the Wildcats (3-0).

Despite the final score, the game was only a 20-14 New Hampshire lead at the half, but backup quarterback Kevin Decker scored on a 33-yard rush and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to J.T. Wright as his Wildcats scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.

There was some positive news for the Big Green, who had their first 100-yard rusher since Oct. 20, 2007. Sophomore Nick Schwieger ran for 119 yards, averaging 4.6 yards on 26 carries.

Princeton 17 Lehigh 14

Princeton had trouble sustaining long drives and finished with 169 fewer yards than Lehigh did.

Yet, the Tigers were able to utilize two long plays and prevailed by a field goal, 17-14, at Lehigh’s Goodman stadium.

Half-way through the first quarter the Mountain Hawks (0-3) had possession, but turned the ball over when Steven Cody intercepted Chris Lum’s pass and then returned it for a 77-yard touchdown.

The second deciding play was a 68-yard scamper by quarterback Tommy Wornham with 6:22 left in the second, giving the Tigers a 14-0 lead. Ironically, Wornham’s eight other carries — including two sacks — netted negative one yard, so he finished with 67 yards on the ground.

CCSU 22 Columbia 13

The game-changing play in Columbia’s 22-13 loss to Central Connecticut State Saturday was pretty obvious.

The Lions (0-2) had cruised during the first 19 minutes of the game, taking a 13-0 lead. On the extra point following the second touchdown, Dominique Rose blocked the PAT and returned it all the way, cutting the lead to 13-2.

From there, the Blue Devils (2-1) rattled off 20-straight points to win by nine.

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