Football falls short to Princeton

| 11/22/09 11:00pm
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11.23.09.sports.football
by Nicholas Root and Nicholas Root / The Dartmouth

In the 23-11 loss, no touchdowns were scored until the third quarter.

Princeton's (4-6, 3-4 Ivy) Kenny Gunter finally accelerated the scoring in the third quarter when he sped past defenders on a 46-yard touchdown run. This drive lasted only three plays and 46 seconds, but brought the score to 13-5, giving Princeton its first significant lead of the game.

The Tigers increased their lead even further in the fourth quarter, as Gunter rushed six yards into the end zone for another touchdown with 10:24 to go in the game.

Gunter was an offensive force for Princeton, providing a total of 173 rushing yards over 26 carries. He also had two receptions for nine yards on the day.

Dartmouth's (2-8, 2-5 Ivy) running game was negated by a tough Princeton defense. Rushing quarterback Greg Patton '13 was held to just 39 yards on the day.

"[Patton] is so good at making quick moves and making people miss that we had to make sure he saw our color jerseys at every gap," Tigers head coach Roger Hughes said.

Hughes was fired from the head coaching job on Sunday.

Up 20-5, the Tigers stayed relentless and soon capitalized on a Dartmouth error to further secure their advantage. Shawn Abuhoff '12 returned the kickoff for 16 yards but then fumbled, allowing Princeton's Andrew Starks to recover the ball.

Starting on the Dartmouth 18-yard line, the Tigers had trouble making plays, but soon cut their losses and tried for a field goal on fourth down.

Ben Bologna's 35-yard kick was good, putting Princeton up 23-5.

The Tiger offense was strong and outsized the Big Green's defense, senior co-captain Pete Pidermann '10 said.

"I saw some tough runners, some bigger backs, and it hurt us," he said. "It's one of the other things for the defense to remember in the offseason, but the only thing I can tell the rest of the Ivy League is Good luck,' because there's a difference here and you'll definitely see it in the next couple of years."

The Tigers had the momentum for most of the game and were also the first to pounce, as Princeton drove 73 yards down the field and kicked a field goal at the end of the first quarter to take a 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, J.B. Andreassi '12 spun around defenders to return the ball to the Dartmouth 46-yard line. Mitch Aprahamian '13 caught a 19-yard pass from Patton on the drive to bring the ball to the Princeton 32-yard line, but a series of unsuccessful plays including a sack on Patton forced the Big Green to punt away.

After a quick Princeton drive of just 18 yards, Bologna delivered again with a 42-yard field goal late in the second quarter to put the Tigers up 6-0 before the half.

A 38-yard kickoff return by Matthew Dornak '10 gave Dartmouth a chance to retaliate. Kempe struggled on the drive, however, with four passes going incomplete, forcing Dartmouth to punt yet again.

The Big Green found a stroke of luck as the second half opened. With two penalties forcing Princeton a total of 20 yards backwards, the Tigers had to punt. The snap went over punter Joe Cloud's head, and he chose to run the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

Foley Schmidt '12 brought Dartmouth within one point in the third quarter, as his 40-yard field goal attempt was good, but within 46 seconds, Gunter had returned with a touchdown of his own, putting the Tigers up 13-5.

In the fourth quarter, the Big Green finally found the end zone when a series of passes from Kempe ended with a two-yard touchdown toss to Tanner Scott '11. Schmidt missed the extra point wide right. It was his first missed PAT of the season.

Needing more than a touchdown and a field goal to tie the game, the Big Green could not come back.

John Gallagher '12 had a strong game at tight end, notching six receptions at crucial moments for a career-high 92 yards.

"We knew coming into this game, no matter what, that it was going to be a dogfight," he said. "This was a reminder that in this league, there are athletes on every team."

Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens said that the team has hope for the future, although it was not satisfied with this season's record.

"The quality of people we're recruiting right now is far better than what we've had in the past," he said. "The College deserves better 2-8 is not enough."