Football ends on a high note, stifling Brown’s offense to win 30-7

A “complete game” culminated in the Big Green’s biggest victory of the season, large enough to grant the uninjured seniors playtime.

by Will Dehmel | 11/24/22 12:00am

by Sophia Scull / The Dartmouth Staff

“Winning is nice,” head coach Buddy Teevens ’79 said after Dartmouth football defeated Brown University 30-7 in Saturday’s season finale. For a team that split the Ivy League championship the last two seasons, winning was a surprisingly rare commodity for the Big Green this year — the team finished 3-7 overall and 2-5 in Ivy play, just barely evading a last-place conference finish.

But on Saturday the Big Green looked recognizable, nearly doubling Brown’s time of possession, holding the Bears to under 200 total yards of offense and rushing for nearly 300. 

Dartmouth made its intentions clear early on. With Brown receiving the opening kickoff, the Big Green defense gave Brown little room for hope. On the fourth play of the game, Charles Looes ’23 and Macklin Ayers ’24 put pressure on Brown’s quarterback, forcing him to throw the ball  off balance. Robert Crockett III ’22 jumped in front of the intended receiver and waited for the ball before snatching the early interception. 

“Complete,” Teevens said simply to summarize the defensive effort. “The front guys put pressure on the passer…the second level — our linebackers — that’s as clean a coverage scheme as we’ve had…they were blanketing people, breaking up passes.”

The Big Green would start its opening drive on the Brown 38-yard line, but couldn’t convert from there. Dartmouth converted two first downs and advanced to the Brown 15-yard line before Howard, pressured by two Brown defenders, threw an interception in the end zone.

When the Big Green got the ball back, Jackson Proctor ’25 got his moment. On a quarterback option, Proctor dashed right and then, in acrobatic fashion, weaved all the way back to the left side before being taken down. That 64-yard rush — the Big Green’s second-longest of the year — placed the Big Green on the Brown 16. From there, Q Jones ’25 rushed for 14 yards before Nick Howard ’23, on a two-yard rush, found the endzone to go up 7-0.

Howard, who missed both the Yale and Princeton game due to injury, opened up about the injuries that had been bothering him all season.

“I had a fractured rib, a high ankle sprain, I pulled my groin and then just your typical bumps and bruises,” Howard said. “So it’s been a rough season, but I can’t say thank you enough to Alyssa Brewster and Ben Schuler, our athletic training staff, along with Delaney [Schafer] and Pete [Dawry], just keeping me alive with tape.”

Teevens did, however, wish the Big Green played a cleaner game, noting that penalties cost the team several points.

A good example was the Big Green’s third drive. Dartmouth started at the Brown 50 and advanced 41 yards before the first quarter came to completion. Then, Noah Roper ’23 found the end zone on a nine-yard rush, but the play was called back due to a holding call. Dartmouth could not find the end zone again, settling for a 25-yard kick from Ryan Bloch ’23 that put the Big Green up 10-0.

Dartmouh then held Brown to its second consecutive three-and-out, and the Big Green made the best of it. A rushing trio of Howard, Roper and Zack Bair ’22 executed the initial first-down, and then Howard found Jonny Barrett ’23 for a 24-yard completion. Dartmouth then converted three more first downs over eight carries to reach a first-and-goal situation. The Big Green did not require four plays, though, because two plays later Howard found the end zone on another two-yard carry, this time to put Dartmouth up 17-0 with 3:55 remaining in the half.

“There’s been ups and downs with our running game throughout the year,” Howard said. “But those guys all play hard…what a crew, what a position group — love those guys.”

On the ensuing kickoff, Dartmouth pulled out a trick they had long practiced. Bloch chipped the ball with backspin, and it landed on the Brown 33 before bouncing back to the 36. Upon breaking up the fumble pile, the officials found that Tyler Green ’24, Dartmouth’s running back, possessed the ball.

“Team football is pretty much what we played today,” Teevens said. “Our special teams did a good job, defensively and offensively, looking for a complete game.”

Proctor would lead the Big Green offense this time, and it stuck with the rush-heavy attack. On the second pass of the drive, Proctor found Jarmone Sutherland ’24 in the end zone, but yet another penalty forced the Big Green to settle for a field goal.

Brown could do nothing with the 12 seconds they had, so Dartmouth entered the locker room up 20-0.

Inside, Teevens maintained the same message he’s had all year.

“The competitive mindset,” Teevens said. “We didn’t let the foot off the gas…If you’re up, we should be up by more — hold yourself accountable, can’t make the mistakes, let’s go play.” 

Dartmouth started the second half with a three-and-out, and Brown advanced all the way to the Dartmouth 13 over the course of seven plays. Needing a touchdown to put a dent in the Dartmouth score, the Bears failed to execute on a fourth and two, giving the ball back to the Big Green.

No points were scored in the third quarter, but an interception by defensive back Sean Williams ’26 put the Big Green in scoring range. Bloch would convert his third field goal of the game, and then Dartmouth scored a touchdown five and a half minutes later, driving the score to 30-0.

Brown would score the following drive, but that was the most productive they were all day, picking up nearly half their offensive yards on that drive alone.

Speaking of his quarterback, Teevens called Howard “one of the toughest football players I’ve ever coached.”

“He was beat up — we ran him too much early on in the season,” Teevens said. “He never would turn it down, but he wouldn’t protect himself either…He’s the type of guy that people believe in and rally around, and if something’s going to happen he’s the guy that’s going to trigger it.”

But Howard’s injuries did give the Big Green ample time to experiment with younger personnel, Teevens noted.

“ Proctor I thought really showed his capabilities and skills,” Teevens said. “He's an accurate passer, he's got some athleticism, he's a really calm presence out there…Proctor, in a critical deal — we kind of alternated series a little bit — and he executed very, very well for us.”

Howard agreed.

“We had a lot of new faces, and there were definitely some growing pains,” Howard said. “But I think just the effort that we put together all year just showed the character of our team — and that’s we’re going to fight, and we’re going to come out and play.”