Football dominates Brown
There were no prayers of thanks, no slack-jawed spectators, no title-hopes-on-the-line miracles -- finally, a nice, blissful blowout.
And for the first time since there were green leaves on the trees of Hanover, Dartmouth controlled an entire football game.
The Big Green scored touchdowns on their first four possessions as they built up a 26-3 lead in the game's first 20 minutes and went on to quash Brown, 39-16, in the most thoroughly dominating performance Dartmouth has had all season.
At long last, Dartmouth figured out that you can win games without giving the coaching staff a coronary.
But, as breathless as Jay Fiedler '94 left Cornell, Harvard and Columbia by obliterating double-digit deficits in Dartmouth's previous three wins, he was truly exasperating against Brown. The senior quarterback threw for a season-high four touchdowns and ran for another two on a day that saw him complete 17 of 30 passes for 299 yards with a lone interception thrown in to remind him that he was mortal.
"If you don't see Fiedler on TV next year, it's because your TV doesn't work," Brown coach Mickey Kwiatkowski gushed after the game. "He's an NFL quarterback and we didn't have a Lawrence Taylor on our defense to stop him."
Three of Fiedler's touchdown passes, including a 59-yard heave early in the fourth quarter for the benefit of any scouts that still needed convincing, went to John Hyland '94, who caught six passes for 132 yards to break the school record for receptions in a season.
And, as if that combination wasn't already taming the Bears like Gunthar Williams, Pete Oberle '96 also added 102 yards, including 80 in the first half, on 19 carries for his second consecutive hundred yard game and third on the season.
Probably the only poor number on the day for the Big Green came from stadium announcer Roger Carroll, who had to inform about 6,000 Dartmouth faithful that were, for probably the first time in their lives, actually cheering for Harvard that the Crimson had blown a 20-10 lead to lose to Penn, which clinched at least a share of the Ivy League Title with a 27-20 win.
"You can't help hearing it," Fiedler said of the regular updates, which were alternately greeted with cheers and moans. "But there's nothing we can do about what happened in Cambridge. All we could affect was what happened on Memorial Field today."
Penn now only needs to beat Cornell, which captitulated to Columbia 28-19 for the Lions' first league win of the year, to become the Ancient Eight's first 7-0 champion since 1986.
Dartmouth, meanwhile, did its part to see that it stayed in the Title Chase to become the first Ivy League team to win four consecutive championships since 1986.
The Big Green went to the ground, and the combination of Oberle and Chris Umsheid '94, for five of its first six plays, but then quickly got air born. Fiedler found Andre Grant '94 on an 11-yard pass for a third down conversion, then on a 26 yard for a touchdown pass that Grant caught at the 20-yard line, then burned a blitzing Brown defense with some nice moves to scamper in for the score.
Brown's first drive of the game ended abruptly when Jason Fell '94 picked off a Trevor Yankoff pass and ran it 41 yards to the Brown seven. That set up a one-yard touchdown dive from Fiedler two plays later.
The Bears then began to methodically pick apart the collection of strained muscles and injured knees that made up Dartmouth's defensive line behind the 1, 300 pounds of beef that made up Brown's offensive line. Brown marched 68 yards on 13 plays, but could manage only a field goal as linebacker Hunter Buckner '94 read a play action roll out perfectly to sack Yankoff on third down with Brown just inches away from Dartmouth's goal line.
As if that key defensive hold wasn't enough to punch holes in the Bear's already empty sails, the next three sequences all but sank their boat.
Oberle rumbled through, around and over Brown's line four times for 46 of the 64 yards Dartmouth needed to score its third touchdown of the day, which came on a three-yard bootleg from Fiedler.
On Brown's next play from scrimmage, Fell bobbled what would have been his second pick of the game, but memories of that missed opportunity became faint two plays later when J. W. Beard '95 dove in front of Brown flanker Charlie Buckley to snare his first interception of the season.
Dartmouth followed that with a 46-yard, seven-play scoring surge that ended with a 17-yard gun from Fiedler to Hyland in the endzone to make the score 26-3.
Brown answered with an impressive 74-yard scoring drive of its own that featured only one pass, a 28-yard completion from Yankoff to Ed Mikolay that perched the Bears on Dartmouth's four yard line. Marquis Jessie punched the ball four plays later on fourth and one for Brown's only touchdown of the half.
But as well as Brown moved the ball up until that point, it was ineffective after that. Yankoff's numbers -- 16 for 27 with 208 yard and one touchdown -- were respectable only because of Brown's final scoring drive, a virtually meaningless 77-yard scoring strike in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, during which Yankoff threw five completions for 70 yards.
More importantly, Dartmouth contained Jessie, who came in tied with Oberle for fourth in league rushing, to 50 yards on 20 carries.
The Big Green, on the other hand, continued to score practically at will, as evidenced by the fact that Geoffrey Willison '95 was called on to punt only once all day.
And although Dartmouth's running attack was not nearly as potent in the second half -- it managed just 24 net yards on 20 carries -- Fiedler's passing and a Dartmouth defense that bottled up Brown at every turn was enough to keep Brown well out of the game.