The Howard University football team traveled to Harvard on Saturday for a game, but they did not travel without backup. Over 30 students were able to take a spirit bus presented by the Howard University Student Association’s 63rd administration to attend the game on Harvard’s campus.
Students headed to the game roaring spirited Howard chants all the way until they were seated. These chants would soon subside, however, with the Bison opening up the game with two quick turnovers contributing to a 21-point deficit by the 2nd quarter.
The team would continue its uphill battle all game, and despite running back Tony Beddell rushing for the Bison’s lone touchdown in the fourth quarter, the final score was 7-48 in favor of the Crimson.
Wayne Dennis II, wide receiver for the Howard football team, believes that in order to bounce back for their next game, the team must focus on improving both sides of the ball and being able to sustain momentum from week to week.
“I’d say defensively, we have to work on stopping the run. Harvard got way too many yards on the ground, and offensively we have to sustain and finish drives… too many three-and-outs and when we drove down the field we didn’t come up with points,” Dennis II said. “Overall, we have to be consistent as a team, that’s been our biggest issue. We play great one week, then commit too many mental errors the next.”
The day before the blow-out match-up, students departed from Howard’s Cramton Auditorium at 6:00 a.m. en route to Cambridge. However, a trip that was projected to last only seven hours, saw students not arriving until around 8:00 p.m. due to a gas leak sidelining the bus for almost two hours.
Due to these unforeseen circumstances, the students were unable to attend the Howard and Harvard career panel that was scheduled for the group.
Bryce Parker, a senior broadcast journalism major, maintained a positive outlook on what was to come. “The trip had some bumps in the road so far, but it just adds to the experience. I’m excited to meet the Black Harvard community and Harvard for the first time,” Parker said. The mixer was followed by a tailgate in collaboration with the Rho Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
It was a special opportunity for Black people from two of the top schools in the nation to be able to network with one another and just have a good time.
Nia Naylor, president of the Howard University Student Association’s 63rd Administration, reflected on her time at Harvard, comparing it to experiences of her own.
“I think it was fun to be able to explore Harvard and meet the Black students there. It was interesting to see the environment in contrast to Howard, especially in regards to their NPHC,” Naylor said. “We have a lot of culture at Howard, especially in terms of NPHC orgs, since the majority of them were founded on our campus and we’re used to different things than others. While their version of a tailgate isn’t necessarily what I expected, we were all still able to have a good time through the various food and line dances everyone did together.”
The team will return home to recollect and prepare to face Norfolk State University at Greene stadium on Oct. 21.
Copy edited by Whitney Meritus