Football trounces Cornell to stay alive

by Josh Schiefelbein | 11/10/13 2:21pm

by Mark Widerschein / The Dartmouth

Dartmouth routed Cornell 34-6 in a game in which the Big Green (4-4, 3-2 Ivy) overtook the Big Red (1-7, 0-5 Ivy) by nearly 300 yards, including almost 250 yards on the ground. The big victory maintains slim hopes for the Ivy League title going into the final two weeks of the season.

“It was a nice win,” head coach Buddy Teevens said. “I thought we played well on offense, defense and special teams. That was our goal.”

Kevin Price ’14 was named an honorary captain, joining Garrett Waggoner ’13, Dominick Pierre ’14 and Bronson Green ’14 on the field for the opening coin toss in honor of his six overseas deployments as part of the U.S. Army Rangers.

Saturday evening’s game was plagued by numerous penalties committed by both teams and poor execution on Cornell’s part.

“It’s been a message of inconsistency and not piecing it together,” Cornell head coach David Archer said. “I thought our defense played well the second half, stopping Dartmouth’s offense a couple times. It’s just a matter of piecing it together.”

Cornell opened up the game with the ball, but managed only one first down. A personal foul forced Cornell backwards 15 yards, derailing its drive.

Dalyn Williams '16 kept the first Dartmouth drive alive on third and long, finding Kirby Schoenthaler ’15 for 24 yards along the right sideline, giving the Big Green first and goal. On the next play, Williams drove up the middle, going down at the two, setting up Pierre’s three-yard score on the pitch-sweep from Williams two plays later.

Dartmouth’s defense continued performing strongly, holding Cornell to 42 net yards and senior quarterback Jeff Mathews top just two completions in the first quarter.

Starting at its 37 and working the run and screen passing game, Dartmouth marched down the field to the Cornell 22. On third down, senior linebacker Brett Buehler sacked Williams, forcing fourth-and-15. Teevens opted to go for it, keeping Williams on the field.

Williams took the snap from shotgun and waited in the pocket for a receiver to get open. Williams was then forced out of the pocket by the oncoming rush, rolling left and finding a wide open Kyle Bramble ’16. Pierre then put Dartmouth up 14-0 with another three-yard touchdown run up the middle.

Cornell showed some life as Mathews hit sophomore Luke Hagy for a 28-yard reception down the right sideline. A big sack by Will McNamara ’16 on third down forced a punt, which pinned Dartmouth inside the 10.

Dartmouth once again worked the run and short passing game to move down the field before Bramble broke through a massive hole in the middle, sprinting 37 yards to the Cornell 34.

“Bramble continues to get better and better,” Teevens said. “Brian Grove ’16 did some nice things as well, and helped keep Cornell out of sync.”

Williams converted a major fourth down opportunity, diving forward on the quarterback sneak. Dartmouth’s drive faltered after three straight runs and earned just three yards. Attempting a second fourth down conversion with just over a minute left backfired, Dartmouth tried to fake out Cornell. The Big Red regained the ball after the reverse pass by Bo Patterson ’15 was underthrown and hit a Cornell defender in the back.

After a quick Cornell three-and-out, Williams hit Bramble on the short screen and was tackled at the 31. On the final play of the half, Williams rolled right and heaved a desperation pass towards Patterson while being knocked down. Patterson hauled in the 25-yard pass for the score while fighting off a Cornell defender, putting Dartmouth up 21-0 at halftime.

Dartmouth led 366-83 in yards and 18-4 in first downs at the half.

Both offenses stalled in the early third quarter as the defenses stiffened. After reaching the Big Red three, the Dartmouth offense faltered and led to a field goal try. Alex Gakenheimer ’17’s 26-yard field goal sailed through the uprights for the Big Green’s first field goal since the quadruple overtime loss to the University of Pennsylvania on Oct. 5.

Cornell’s attempt to respond ended when Mathews was picked off by Stephen Dazzo ’15. With first-and-goal at the six, Cornell held, but Gakenheimer’s 22-yard kick extended Dartmouth’s lead to 27.

Mathews strung completions together and drove the Big Red into the red zone for the first time with 10 minutes left. Mathews hit senior Grant Gellatly over the middle. Sophomore Boomer Olsen’s extra point attempt missed wide left, leaving Dartmouth ahead 27-6.

Teevens pulled Williams and inserted Alex Park ’14, who soon aired it out and hit Dana Barbaro ’14 in the back of the end zone, increasing the lead to 28.

Teevens inserted Price into the game during garbage time and given a few carries, and the team awarded Price with the game ball.

“We all love Kevin to death,” Cody Fulleton ’16 said. “He came in last year, asked Coach if he could join. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team and we all rally behind him.”

Cornell’s offensive line leaked all night as Mathews was sacked four times and faced constant pressure all night long. Mathews finished 16-of-32 for 170 yards with a score and a pick.

“It was of huge importance to get to [Mathews] and shut him down because he’s an NFL-caliber quarterback that can do some amazing things,” Fulleton said.

Cornell’s offense earned just 216 yards compared to Dartmouth’s 510, with 291 coming on the ground.

Early in the second quarter, Pierre was pulled from the game due to injury. Bramble capitalized on the opportunity, running for 110 yards on 24 carries to go with six catches for 52 yards. Saturday night was Bramble’s first 100-yard game in his career.

Williams finished 16-of-24 for 156 yards and a score, with another 96 yards on the ground on 17 carries. Park went four-of-four in relief of Williams.

Saturday’s victory puts the Big Green in a three-way tie for third place with Yale University and Penn. For Dartmouth to win a share of the Ivy League title, Princeton University must lose its remaining two games, including the season finale against Dartmouth.

Harvard, currently in second place with one defeat, must also lose one of its remaining two games against Penn and Yale.

Dartmouth travels to Brown University on Saturday, kicking off the final away game at 12:30 p.m.