Think Odell Beckham, Jr. had the catch of the year this weekend? That catch was nice, but Lake Highlands High School grad Ricky Zorn made a pretty snazzy catch at “The Game” Saturday, the 132st matchup of Harvard versus Yale. (Sister Jenna’s screen grab above is from the game’s broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.)
Ricky, Harvard’s only fifth year senior and elder statesman of the team, is ranked the 11th most accomplished receiver in the school’s history with more than 1,200 receiving yards.
In the final game of the season, family and friends from LH traveled to Boston to cheer Ricky on. This account is from LH resident Paul Watler:
Ricky Zorn, who thrilled fans as the MVP quarterback of the Lake Highland Wildcats in 2008-09, helped the Harvard Crimson defeat Yale 31-24 Saturday. The win on a chilly, windy afternoon closed out an undefeated season for the Crimson and an Ivy League championship, the third of Zorn’s collegiate career.
Until Saturday, Zorn had missed game action during his fifth-year senior season because of a nagging hamstring injury. His return as one of Harvard’s all-time leading wide receiver’s saw him pull-in a spectacular side-line reception for an important third-quarter first-down.
On the last play of his collegiate career, Zorn lined-up wide left and ran a route to the end zone. Quarterback Conner Hempel, who was also returning from injury, feinted Zorn’s way then went to the opposite side to hit wide receiver Andrew Fisher with a 35-yard game winning touchdown with less than a minute to play.
Harvard coach Tim Murphy’s decision to keep Ricky in the game for the decisive play is a testament to the leadership and athletic skill of Zorn, who had only been able to practice a half-dozen times all year.
Another Texan and Zorn’s roommate, linebacker Connor Sheehan of Austin, helped the Crimson to victory by ripping the ball from the arms of a Yale wide receiver which he returned for a 90-yard pick-six interception in the third quarter to put Harvard ahead 24-7.
Zorn had a loud-and-proud 22-person cheering section in attendance, including parents Sandra and Jody Zorn, sister Ashley Zorn and grandmother Gayle Huffman. His older sister Jenna Zorn, who was unable to attend because of prior commitments, cheered Ricky while watching the national broadcast in Dallas on NBC. LHHS classmates Nena Rubin, Reid Watler, Jordan Brooks and Madison Barnes also were among Ricky’s vocal supporters in Cambridge.
ESPN College GameDay broadcast live from the north end of Harvard Stadium. It was only the second time for the fabled college pre-game show, which sets up shop at different key national game each week, to appear at an Ivy League game.
Harvard finished the season 10-0, the second time it has gone undefeated with Zorn on the team. Yale finished at 8-2. If the Bulldogs had won, they would have claimed a share of the Ivy League crown. It was the 132nd meeting of Harvard and Yale in football, one of the oldest and most-storied rivalries in college football.
Zorn has been invited to play in two post-season college all-star games.