Big Green fall to Colgate

by Scott Anthony | 9/20/94 5:00am

If the Dartmouth football team was trailing by four points with less than five minutes to go and Jay Fiedler '94 was leading the team down the field, it was almost assumed that Dartmouth would end up on the right side of a fourth-quarter comeback.

But Fiedler has made the big step up to the National Football League, and two late drives led by new quarterback Ren Riley '96 came up short, as Dartmouth (0-1 overall, 0-0 Ivy League) fell 20-16 to Colgate University in soggy Hamilton, N.Y.

The game looked like it was over when, with eight minutes left, Brian White '95 fumbled a punt, giving Colgate the ball on the Dartmouth 12-yard line.

But with Colgate driving for a clinching touchdown, Tim Cross '96 came up with a fumble, giving the Big Green the ball on their own seven.

Riley then led the team on an efficient 90-plus-yard drive -- a 27-yard completion to David Shearer '95 left the Big Green just two yards away from the go-ahead touchdown.

On fourth and goal from the three, Riley started running the option, but slipped on the wet field, giving Colgate the ball back. The Dartmouth defense again hung tough, giving the Big Green the ball on the Colgate 40 with a little less than two minutes left in the game.

Again, the comeback was not meant to be. Riley got the Big Green down to the Colgate 25 before having a pass picked off by Tom Morelli with 27 seconds left in the game.

Riley ended up having a strong game, despite having big problems with his footing once rain slickened the field in the second and third quarters. He was a workmanlike 16 for 26 for 191 yards and an interception. He also ran the option fairly well.

The final stat sheet reads like a Dartmouth blowout: Dartmouth had 25 first downs, Colgate 11. The Big Green had 401 total yards, the Red Raiders only 256. Dartmouth had the ball for seven more minutes than Colgate.

But Riley and the rest of the Big Green could not punch the ball in from short yardage. The Big Green got inside the Colgate 10 five times, finding the end zone only once.

Led by the hard-nosed running of Pete Oberle '96, the Big Green came out of the gates fast, hitting on all cylinders and surging out to a 16-0 lead in the first half.

Kicker Geoff Willison '95 booted three field goals, and Oberle, who ran for 142 yards on 30 carries for the game, plunged into the end zone from one yard out early in the second quarter, to give the Big Green a 13-0 lead.

On its next possession, Dartmouth drove to the Colgate three yard-line before settling for Willison's third field goal.

Missed opportunities like that one and big plays would haunt the Big Green for the rest of the day, as they watched the Red Raiders plugged away at their lead.

After Willison's field goal, Colgate started its next drive at the Dartmouth 37. Two running plays netted one yard -- up to this point in the game the Colgate offense had 43 total yards, 15 of them coming on a face-mask penalty.

But then came the turning point of the game. Colgate freshman quarterback Mark Lindell completed a medium-length pass to J.J. Hope. The wide split between two Dartmouth defenders and racing 62 yards for a touchdown.

Colgate made the two-point conversion, cutting the Dartmouth lead to 16-8.

Another big play hurt Dartmouth on Colgate's first possession of the second half -- Lindell led the Red Raiders on an 80 yard rive, capped by a 36-yard touchdown pass to Tom Nash, cutting the Big Green's lead to 16-14.

Colgate's next possession was even better -- 13 plays, 78 yards capped off by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Jamal Patterson.

This weekend, Dartmouth plays the University of Pennsylvania in Hanover. Last Sept. Penn beat Dartmouth in Philadelphia, Penn. 10-6 and never looked back -- finishing undefeated and winning the Ivy League Championship.

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