HARVARD – The Harvard football team lost its star early, but showed off its depth in a 35-0 Big Northern Conference crossover win over Byron.
The area’s leading rusher, Christian Kramer, left the game with a shoulder injury in the first quarter, letting quarterback Peyton Schneider, wide receiver Justin Nolen and running back Ben Platt take over for the Hornets’ offense.
Harvard coach Tim Haak said Kramer’s shoulder had bothered him earlier in the season.
Schneider finished 8-for-13 for 156 yards, hooking up with Nolen for two touchdowns for Harvard (3-0). Nolen pulled down seven passes for 150 yards, with touchdowns of 61 and 23 yards. Schneider faked to the running back before finding Nolen wide open for the touchdown on their second drive in the game.
“It’s something we practice all the time,” Schneider said. “We knew the corner would be up and the safety would bite on the play-action. I just left it fly to Justin and he ran under it.”
Platt took over for Kramer, finishing with 71 yards on 14 carries.
Platt added a touchdown on a 4-yard run that capped off a 13-play, 91-yard drive. Platt said the offensive line of tackles Adam Freimund and Anthony Milanko, guards Dakota Trebes and Juan Carbajal, and center Kyle Peterson opened holes all day, as the Hornets finished with 206 total rushing yards.
“Our O-line is really discipline and really good,” Platt said. “That makes [the backs] good.”
Kramer only had two carries, but made them count, taking Harvard’s first play off left tackle for a 31-yard touchdown, and finished with 46 yards.
Byron found offensive success through the air, with 65 of its 120 total yards coming on passes. But the Hornets defense clamped down in their own territory to preserve the shutout. The Tigers (0-3) got inside Harvard’s 30-yard line two times but came up empty.
Nolen had one of his two interceptions with Byron on the Harvard 13-yard line in their first possession of the third quarter. Linebackers Matt Wheeler and Sergio Ramirez, defensive end Trebes all had sacks for the Hornets.
“We’ve been growing closer and closer every game,” Wheeler said. “The shutout just keeps adding on to it.”