Stephanie Han / The Dartmouth Senior Staff
A quick recap of our game this weekend: We played host to Holy Cross, whom we had not beaten in a long time. We got out to a slow start (once again), trailing 16-14 at halftime and 19-14 at the end of the 3rd quarter. After a field goal closed the gap to 19-17, kicker Don Kephart ’11 (who is also a shot-putter on the track team) ran down the field on the ensuing kickoff and crushed the return man, forcing a big fumble. On an unrelated note, Kephart can also recite the hometown and high school of every single player on our team, which means he is either way too smart or has way too much time on his hands (or maybe both?). After the fumble we didn’t look back, adding a field goal and touchdown to seal a 27-19 win.
We are now 3-2, which means we have played five games, which means we are at the midway point of our season, which brings me to my next point. I’ve decided to offer a mid-season review and will be taking a look at some of the highlights and lowlights from the first half of the season. So which do you want first — the good news, or the bad news? Great, I was thinking the same thing.
1) RB Nick Schwieger ’12 ranks third in the nation with 146.3 rushing yards per game. He has now scored five touchdowns on the season and has been about as easy to tackle as a bear with sharks for arms.
2) Mike Reilly ’12 leads the Ivy League (I think) with 22.94 yards per catch. This one has me particularly stumped because I’ve always found that short passes are easier to catch than long ones, but apparently Reilly has things a little backwards. Interestingly, he also hates smartphones (“they have too many useful features in one place”) and prefers to turn off the anti-lock braking system when driving on wet roads, so at least he’s consistent.
3) We have only allowed one sack this season, which is the best of any team in the country. I recently saw a quote from Coach Buddy Teevens talking about how a lot of different people deserve credit for the feat: the offensive line for blocking well, QB Conner Kempe ’12 for getting the ball out quickly, our running backs for picking up blitzers and our receivers for getting open. I agree, and think we should also give credit to our trainers for keeping the aforementioned players healthy, those players’ high school coaches for teaching them proper fundamentals and a concussed walk-on for keeping those players’ morale at an all-time high. I apologize if I forgot anybody.
4) Our defense leads the Ivy League with eight interceptions. While that’s a great number, we intercepted two long fourth down passes against Holy Cross that probably should have just been knocked down (would have resulted in better field position). It is widely accepted that defensive backs are the best-looking players in football (and our team is no exception), but apparently we still have some proving to do with regards to our football awareness.
5) We have blocked six kicks through five games — not quite on pace to break the single-season FCS record of 13, but dangerously close. Our secret? I can’t tell you. Loose lips sink ships. And snitches habitually end up with stitches.
1) Our two losses have both been painfully close. We lost to defending champion Penn in overtime, and the very next week we lost to Yale on a field goal as time expired. By my calculations, we are about three or four plays away from being 5-0. Remember that I’m recovering from a concussion, and take my calculations with a grain of salt.
2) Last game, Ryan O’Neill ’12 took a shot to the family jewels and went down like a fainting goat. A lot of people get hurt in football, and it is always troubling to see a player on the ground in pain. That being said, it’s equally hilarious when you realize he isn’t actually hurt and just got hit in the family jewels. So this was actually a little bit of a highlight for me. Still, though, it was an intentional and totally dirty move by #94 on Holy Cross. If you are reading this because you Googled “Ryan McGinn,” you should know that guy has my stamp of disapproval.
3) I have been growing a mustache since the beginning of preseason. Unfortunately while I read and write at a college level, I continue to grow facial hair at a 10th grade level and the mustache is disgusting. I don’t really have a reason for growing it out, but since I’ve made it this far I might as well keep it going until Halloween so I can dress up as a NASCAR driver or a porn star. And at the end of the day I can take solace in the fact that it isn’t as gross as either of the Wodka brothers’ haircuts (Alex ’11 and Zach ’12).
As you can tell, the first half of the season has gone pretty well. We are hoping to build on that success in the second half. This week marks our return to Ivy League action, and we are traveling down to New York City to take on Columbia. Almost as importantly, this week marks my triumphant return to football action. I expect that my first practice will be slightly reminiscent of Kenny Powers’ return to professional baseball, minus the fireworks and perhaps the obscene gestures. Hopefully it goes well, and hopefully we come back from Columbia this weekend with our second straight win. Thanks for reading, see you next week!