How It Happened Rhode Island picked up its first win of the season Saturday at Meade Stadium, defeating Harvard 17-10. The victory - which is URI's first-ever over Harvard - marked the Crimson's first loss in a season-opener since 2011.
Harvard (0-1) marched down the field and took a 3-0 lead on its first possession of the day, thanks to a 38-yard field goal by Jake McIntyre.
Rhode Island (1-2) got on the board early in the second quarter when Tyler Harris delivered a strike over the middle to Aaron Parker, who took the ball 51 yards for the score. The play was preceded by a great reception along the sideline by Marven Beauvais, which gave the Rams a key third-down conversion.
The Rams struck again when C.J. Carrick made a 21-yard field goal with 6:36 remaining in the half, taking a 10-3 lead. Harvard responded immediately as Charlie Booker's 57-yard run set up an 8-yard touchdown run from Aaron Shampklin.
With the score tied 10-10, Tyler Harris led Rhode Island 69 yards down the field, capping the drive with a 1-yard touchdown rush with 1:46 remaining in the half. It was his first rushing touchdown as a Ram. Harvard and Rhode Island traded possessions to end the half with the Rams taking a break into the locker room for the first time this season.
The third quarter went scoreless, as Harvard's Zach Schmid punted the ball three times and Rhode Island's Satchel Denton punted twice. The Crimson got into Rhody territory twice, but the Ram defense held firm.
Harvard moved down the field in the final minutes of the game, using its timeouts to preserve the clock and try to get in the endzone. With two third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion, the Crimson's final chance came at the URI 25 with seven seconds remaining. Joe Viviano's final pass went incomplete through the back of the endzone as the clock expired, giving Rhody its first win of the season.
Senior Jose Duncan recorded two sacks in the game, marking his fourth-career multi-sack game as well as his second of the season. Duncan also had five tackles - including three for loss - and one pass break up, as well as his second forced fumble in as many games. Sophomore Aaron Parker caught a touchdown pass for the fifth consecutive game, the most since Bobby Apgar caught a TD pass in six consecutive games in 1995. Parker also had his first career 100-yard receiving game, finishing with three catches for 103 yards. Freshman Satchel Denton had 5 punts on the day, pinning the Crimson inside their 20-yard line four times. Senior Harold Cooper had 175 all-purpose yards - rushing for 80 yards, catching one pass for 41 yards and returning three kicks for a combined 56 yards. It was his seventh consecutive game with over 100 all-purpose yards, and 20th overall. Junior Tyler Harris finished with 235 passing yards, marking his second game with over 200 yards passing. He passed for one touchdown and ran for another while finishing the game with zero turnovers. Junior Khayri Denny caught five passes for 53 yards. Junior Marven Beauvais added two catches for 32 yards. Junior Justin Hogan had a team-high eight tackles. Redshirt sophomore Momodou Mbye finished with six tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass break up. Sophomore L.B. Mack III recorded 1.5 sacks while the defense as a whole combined for 5.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss. Redshirt senior Mike Ezirike, sophomore Raees Johnson and junior Tez Wilson contributed 0.5 sacks each. Johnson also set a new career-high with four tackles. Stat of the Game 103 - Sophomore Aaron Parker recorded his first career 100+ yard receiving game.
What's Next Rhode Island hits the road for three consecutive away games, the first of which will be at New Hampshire on Saturday, Sept. 23. Kickoff against the Wildcats is set for 3:30 p.m.