Oct. 26, 2002
Princeton, N.J. - Harvard tailback Nick Palazzo scored three touchdowns and the Crimson defense recorded four takeaways to earn a 24-17 win over Princeton Saturday at Princeton Stadium. The win keeps Harvard, the 2001 Ivy champs, perfect in the league, while Princeton falls to 4-2, 2-1.
The Tigers trailed early after Palazzo's first score, but a 13-yard run down the right sideline by Cameron Atkinson evened the score at 7-7 with 11:17 remaining in the first half. Princeton attempted to grab its first lead later in the quarter, but Juano Queen intercepted a Dave Splithoff pass at the Princeton 44-yard line. The Crimson marched down for the go-ahead touchdown on a nine-play drive, which was capped by a one-yard score by Palazzo.
Harvard converted on another interception later in the quarter, and Jim Morocco kicked a 29-yard field goal to put the Crimson up 17-7 with three seconds remaining in the half. Harvard took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards for another touchdown. A 37-yard third-down conversion to Carl Morris helped keep the drive alive, and a pass interference call in the end zone gave Harvard the ball at the one-yard line. Once again, it was Palazzo who pushed it in for the score.
Princeton would get to within a touchdown with a pair of important scoring drives. Derek Javarone kicked a 30-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter on a drive that saw a big hit knock out Splithoff. Backup quarterback Matt Verbit came in and scored on his second drive, an eight-play drive that ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Chisom Opara.
Following an unsuccessful onsides kick, Princeton forced Harvard to punt with 1:05 remaining on the clock. After an incompletion, Verbit was intercepted by lineman Brian Garcia to end the contest.
Splithoff ended the day as Princeton's leading passer (8 for 16, 107 yards) and rusher (45 yards). Senior tailback Cameron Atkinson ended the day with 34 yards, and needs one more to become the sixth player ever at Princeton to rush for 2,000 yards in a career.
Princeton will travel to Cornell next weekend.