NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — There might be only one Tom Brady in New England, but for Harvard, Scott Hosch is the next best thing.
The senior quarterback threw four touchdown passes in directing the Crimson to a share of the Ivy League crown for a third straight year with a 38-19 victory over Yale in front of 52,126 fans on Saturday at Yale Bowl.
"He's like Tom Brady in this regard — he's not a great athlete, he doesn't have one of the three or four strongest arms in our league, and yet game after game he gets better," Harvard coach Tim Murphy said, comparing his quarterback to the Patriots' signal-caller. "He produces. It's just a remarkable story.
The Crimson (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) wrote their own remarkable tale this season as they three-peated — something never done before in school history. Harvard split the title with Dartmouth and Penn, who were victorious earlier in the day. The same schools were also part of the league's last three-way tie, which came in 1982.
In addition to league bragging rights, Harvard also won a record ninth straight time in "The Game," the most by either school. Yale (6-4, 3-4) had shared the mark, winning eight straight from 1880-89.
"I would say the thing that's the most special is it's our first three-peat in Harvard history," senior captain Matt Koran said. "We made history . it was an awesome ride."
Harvard was minus its leading rusher, senior Paul Stanton (knee), but that didn't matter with Hosch onboard. He finished 23-of-37 passing for 320 yards and one interception, while also leading the team with 60 rushing yards on 11 carries.
For the game, Harvard outrushed Yale 188-34.
Freshman Justice Shelton-Mosley finished with five catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He added a fourth-quarter rushing score on an 8-yard run.
The game started in Yale's favor. Morgan Roberts threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Chris William-Lopez, on a fourth-and-12 play, to give the Bulldogs an early lead. Bryan Holmes kicked the extra point to make it 7-0 with 11:24 left in the first quarter.
Harvard answered with 21 straight points to lead 21-7 at the half.
"I thought we had plenty of opportunities in this game to have a different outcome, but I don't think we capitalized on them," said Yale coach Tony Reno, whose team picked up just one first down on its next five offensive possessions following their touchdown. "We didn't convert well enough on third down in the first half and we didn't get off the field well enough which led to the deficit we had at halftime."
The Crimson needed less than a minute to tie the game, with Hosch's 53-yard touchdown strike to Shelton-Mosley, who outran the coverage, and Kenny Smart kicked the first of his five extra points. Smart also added a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter.
"We had third-and-long, the line held up and Justice ran a great route," Hosch said. "We were able to score and bounce back, but the defense has bailed us out many times this year. We just thought we had to have their backs, too."
Hosch and Shelton-Mosley teamed up again in the second quarter on a 35-yard touchdown. Shelton-Mosley caught a pass from Hosch in the middle of the field, broke to the sideline and raced down the line for the end zone.
Hosch's third touchdown pass came right before the half when he hit tight end Ben Braunecker in the end zone for an 18-yard toss to make it 21-7 with 2:27 left.
Holmes missed a 31-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half.
The Crimson opened the second half with a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive to lead 28-7. Hosch teamed up with Braunecker again, this time on a 2-yard toss.
Smart's 39-yard field goal extended the lead to 31-7 with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
Roberts, who threw for a career-high 410 yards on 38-of-65 passing, led the Bulldogs to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but failed on 2-point conversion attempts.
"What it really came down to was they executed when they needed to and we didn't," Roberts said. "We certainly felt like 19 points didn't represent how we played offensively."
The Yale senior quarterback scored on a 1-yard keeper and also threw an 8-yard touchdown to Stephen Buric. Williams-Lopez finished with 13 catches for 169 yards.