Football falls to Brown in overtime

| 11/15/09 11:00pm
by Zach Ingbretsen and Zachary Ingbretsen / The Dartmouth

On fourth-and-one in overtime and needing a touchdown to tie the Bears (6-3, 4-2 Ivy), quarterback Greg Patton '13 was tackled by senior defensive end James Develin for a loss of two yards to end the game.

"We were trying to run this play that had been working well all day, but [Brown] put the pressure right where we were trying to run," Michael Reilly '12 said. "We just got stuffed up right away."

Patton led the team in rushing on the day with 35 yards on 19 carries, but the offense struggled on the ground throughout the game and put together only 60 total rushing yards.

Dartmouth (2-7, 2-4 Ivy) scored late in the first quarter and held that lead through halftime. The Big Green found the end zone on a well-executed screen pass from Patton to Reilly.

The play, which went for 77 yards, was the ninth-longest passing play in Dartmouth history.

"I just broke one tackle and from there I didn't get touched," Reilly said. "I had a clear shot to the end zone, so I just started running."

The Bears found their equalizer in the third quarter with a systematic drive that compiled 17 plays for 71 yards, draining over seven minutes off of the clock. Brown running back Spiro Theodhosi finished off the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

Theodhosi ended the game with 138 rushing yards.

Brown nearly broke the tie in regulation, beginning its drive with just 31 seconds on the clock.

After driving down the field, junior quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero found Trevan Samp with a nine-yard toss to bring the Bears to the Dartmouth 16-yard line.

Brown kicker Drew Plichta attempted a 33-yard field goal, but the kick was blocked.

Plichta also missed on a 27-yard field goal attempt early in the first quarter.

A strong defensive effort by the Dartmouth team proved crucial to keeping the game close throughout regulation.

Diego Fernandez-Soto '12 led the Big Green with 10 tackles, while Pat Scorah '11 and Garrett Waggoner '13 each contributed nine tackles. Eddie Smith '12 also sacked Newhall-Caballero for a three-yard loss in the first quarter.

Fernandez-Soto said that while the Bears offense normally utilizes its speed to beat its opponents, the rainy weather hindered that strategy.

"The mud and the slipperiness affected the offense on both sides more than the defense," he said. "It actually worked in favor of the defense, but inhibited our offense from doing the things they normally do."

In addition, the coaching staff prepared the team well for Brown's offense, preventing the Bears from surprising Dartmouth's defense or forcing it to adjust, Fernandez-Soto said.

"We were able to stop the run, which is something we haven't been able to do that well this year," he said.

Although Brown averages over 400 yards of total offense per game, it put together just 322 yards on Saturday.

Similarly, Dartmouth notched only 221 yards in the game, as compared to the Big Green's average of 288.1 yards.

While Dartmouth's Memorial Field has an artificial turf surface, Reilly said that the team prepared to play on Brown's grass by practicing on the Blackman fields during the week.

The Big Green stuck with its two-quarterback system on Saturday, as Patton completed seven of his 10 passes for 147 yards, while Conner Kempe '12 was four for nine for 16 yards. In the team's double-overtime victory over Cornell last weekend, Patton attempted only one pass.

The Big Green will finish off its regular season this weekend with a home matchup against Princeton.

The Tigers are currently tied for fourth in the Ivy League along with Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth, and have scored just 66 points against their Ivy competitors this season.

Earlier this year, Princeton was shut out 38-0 by Columbia. The Big Green defeated the Lions 28-6 on Oct. 24.

Princeton has shown some signs of improvement since that game, however. The Tigers defeated Yale 24-17 on Saturday.

The game is set to kick off at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Field.

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