Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
March 4, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Granite Bowl concludes with a UNH shutout of Dartmouth, handing football its fourth straight defeat

Despite the reintroduction of a dual-quarterback system, the Big Green established neither a running nor passing game against UNH.

team photo unh.jpg

In this year’s rendition of the Granite Bowl, Dartmouth fell 14-0 to the University of New Hampshire, extending its losing streak to four games and dropping its record to 1-4. The game was more lopsided than the score alone indicates, with the Wildcats possessing the ball for nearly twice as long as Dartmouth, while the Big Green was held to 198 offensive yards – the team’s lowest output in 11 years.

Dartmouth – employing a dual-quarterback system for the first time this season – could not get anything going offensively. Nick Howard ’23, whom UNH head coach Sean McDonnell described as a “fullback at quarterback” in the postgame presser, ran the ball for an underwhelming nine yards on six carries and threw for 54. Dylan Cadwallader ’24, his counterpart in the two-quarterback system, did no better, completing 8 of his 20 passes for 86 yards with one interception.

“[Howard] has been our leading ball carrier, and [UNH] seemed to focus on him pretty good,” head coach Buddy Teevens ’79 said. “Cadwallader was very consistent last week against Yale in terms of throwing the football … so we’re trying to figure out what’s the right mix, and we never really found it during the course of the day.”

Despite the struggles from both Howard and Cadwallader, wide receiver Paxton Scott ’23 praised both of them for their passing skills.

“I think both of them do a really great job throwing the ball,” Scott said. “[Cadwallader]  definitely has a lot of zip on it, has a really good arm, puts the ball where it needs to be. So does [Howard].”

The game, like last week’s, did not start in Dartmouth’s favor. On UNH’s first offensive play, the Wildcats completed a pass and found room to run after the catch before finally being brought down at the Dartmouth 10-yard line after a 56-yard gain. Three plays later, the Wildcats found the endzone.

The Big Green couldn’t respond, but a strong Dartmouth punt pinned UNH on its own five. Penalties, like last week, proved Dartmouth’s undoing — this time a holding call on Macklin Ayers ’24 after pushing UNH all the way back to its one-yard line.

So the Wildcats managed to evade a potential safety, putting together a promising drive characterized by snag routes and picking up five first downs. That drive would take 10:32 off the clock, running the first quarter to completion before the Big Green managed to get the ball back.

Dartmouth, having converted only one first down in the opening quarter, finally established a rhythm at the start of the second quarter, converting three consecutive first downs before eventually being forced to punt.

The next time Dartmouth got the ball, they started fast again. Q Jones ’25 had a 17-yard carry and Noah Roper ’23 snared a 24-yard reception, but Dartmouth came up short again. On fourth and three at the UNH five, the Big Green unsuccessfully faked a field goal.

“Bad call on my part,” Teevens said. “When the margin is small, you can’t have those mistakes … If it works, you’re a genius; when it doesn’t, you’re an idiot.”

Another penalty on that fake field goal made it worse. A personal foul advanced the Wildcats 15 yards, and from there they took advantage. A 41-yard reception and subsequent rushes brought UNH into the end zone with 0:29 remaining in the half, cementing the score at 14-0 — which would eventually prove the final score after a scoreless second half.

In the second half’s opening drive, the Big Green was bitten by a mistake yet again. Dartmouth drove all the way to the UNH 32, until Jones fumbled for the second straight week to give the Wildcats possession.

“You come out, you revitalize, you’re executing, we’re running the football, mixing it up,and all of a sudden [the football’s] on the ground — it’s a turnover,” Teevens said.

When Dartmouth did get the ball back at its own five, they did no better. The Big Green went three-and-out as Cadwallader overthrew an open Jamal Cooney ’23. The Wildcats returned the next punt nearly all the way back to where it came from, before being tackled in the red zone.

The Big Green defense responded, though, with Robert Crockett III ’22 picking up his first career interception.

“I knew they were gonna try a fade; they tried a couple of times on the 1,” Crockett said. “I knew we needed a big play, so I went out there and got one for us.”

But Crockett’s interception did little to help the Big Green offense, which went three and out for the second consecutive drive and then did that twice more the next two drives.

“We had three long open receivers, and we overshot all of them,” Teevens said of those three-and-outs. “If you hit one of those plays, those things potentially change field position …We can’t afford to go three-and-out often.”

The Wildcats got the ball from there with 8:45 remaining and ran out the clock until 2:35. On its ensuing drive, the Big Green did manage to pick up a pair of first downs, but ultimately turned the ball over on downs.

For the fourth straight week, Teevens and his players faced a defeat — but they continue to look ahead with optimism.

“It’s got to be that mindset: You didn’t get what you wanted, but it shouldn’t deter you from what you want in the next opportunity,” Teevens said. “Really there are no options … we’ll win or have a lack of success based on collective effort.”

As Dartmouth gears up for its Ivy League matchup against Columbia next week, the team will likely play without Ayers and defensive end Luca Di Leo ’22, both of whom sustained injuries during the UNH game.

Arguably the closest the Big Green got to defeating the Wildcats on Saturday was in the post-game scrum, which Teevens said was initiated by UNH.

“University of New Hampshire players decided to come over to Dartmouth’s bench,” Teevens said, dismantling UNH’s claim that they thought the Granite Bowl Trophy was on the Big Green sideline. “To me, it’s a reflection on the University of New Hampshire. Why would they come over to our side of the field?...Could have been a horror show.”