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The Dartmouth
June 13, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Back-to-back! Dartmouth beats Brown, wins second-consecutive share of Ivy title

The Big Green will share the championship with the Princeton University Tigers. Both teams went 6-1 in conference play.

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Quarterback Derek Kyler '21 threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another in Dartmouth's title-clinching victory.

With the Ivy League championship on the line, Dartmouth football traveled down to Providence on Saturday to face off against the Brown University Bears. The Big Green took over in a dominant second half, cruising to a 52-31 victory and claiming a share of the 2021 Ivy League title. 

Princeton University likewise defeated the University of Pennsylvania Saturday afternoon 34-14, giving the Tigers and the Big Green identical 6-1 conference records on the season and making them Ivy League co-champions. Both teams went 9-1 overall. Princeton’s lone loss came at the hands of the Big Green on Nov. 5, when Dartmouth trounced them in a 31-7 rout. Dartmouth’s only blemish came against Columbia University on Oct. 22 in a 19-0 clunker, the Big Green’s first time putting no points on the board in a decade. 

This win marks Dartmouth football’s 20th Ivy League championship, the most of any program. It is also their second-consecutive Ivy title — before the COVID-19 pandemic caused the suspension of the 2020 season, the Big Green were coming off a 2019 campaign that saw them finish with a 6-1 conference record and split the crown with Yale University

In his last game for the Big Green, longtime quarterback Derek Kyler ’21 put on a masterclass throwing the ball: 18-for-24 passing for 215 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers. He also added 73 yards and a score on the ground on just six carries.

Dartmouth’s varied rushing attack also made its impact felt throughout this matchup. Nick Howard ’23, the Ivy League’s third-leading rusher by yardage and first by touchdowns entering play, added 80 yards and two scores to his tally, while three other rushers, including Kyler, crossed the 60-yard mark.

Howard scored the first touchdown of the game in the first quarter, but early on it looked as if Brown would give Dartmouth a competitive game. The Bears answered quickly, tying the game with a one-yard touchdown run of their own. Brown scored the next touchdown as well, taking a 14-7 lead, its first and only of the contest.

Following that score, Dartmouth needed to answer to avoid a potential spoiler. Noah Roper ’23 provided the spark, taking a short pass from Kyler 60 yards to the house to tie the game. The Big Green defense forced a turnover on downs on the next possession and capitalized on its advantageous field position with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jonny Barrett ’23.

Still, Brown kept it close, nailing a field goal late in the half to cut Dartmouth’s lead to 21-17. Connor Davis ’22 added a field goal of his own as the half wound down, giving the Big Green a 7-point advantage at halftime, 24-17.

The Big Green came out in the second half looking determined to extend the lead. With two more touchdowns in the third — a Kyler strike to J.J. Jones III ’21 Th’22 for 24 yards put the Big Green up 31-17, and a seven-yard run from the quarterback made it 38-17 — Dartmouth started to put the game away. A third straight touchdown, this time a one-yard score from Howard, gave the Big Green a four-score lead and put a Bears victory well out of reach.

Brown’s offense then showed some signs of life — the 31 points Dartmouth gave up to Brown was the highest-scoring performance against the Big Green defense this season — but it was far too little, too late. The deficit proved too much to surmount, and Dartmouth claimed its share of the 2021 title in comfortable fashion. 

A full story with more information will be published in the near future.