New Hampshire Football Report

Dartmouth drops Ivy opener

HANOVER — The Penn Quakers avenged their lone Ivy League loss from a year ago by handing Dartmouth a 37-24 defeat on Friday night at Memorial Field in the conference opener for both teams.

Alek Torgersen completed 18 of 24 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown, plus ran for two more scores for Penn (1-2, 1-0 Ivy). Tre Solomon supplied the other two Quaker TDs among his 107 yards on the ground.

Dartmouth (2-1, 0-1 Ivy) ended up amassing more yards on offense, 411-395, as junior quarterback Jack Heneghan completed 27 of 43 passes for 289 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His two favorite targets were freshman Hunter Hagdorn (nine catches, 86 yards) and sophomore Drew Hunnicutt (8 for 108 with a TD). Penn thwarted any real chance of a Big Green comeback by intercepting consecutive passes late in the third quarter, the first of which led to the final Quaker touchdown.

The first four Penn scores came on its first four possessions, and all ended in the end zone. Torgersen quickly moved Penn down the field after the opening kick was returned to the 34, needing just six plays to reach the end zone. The last 27 yards came on a pass to Christian Pearson for a 7-0 Quaker lead 2:30 into the game.

Penn took its time on its next drive, using more than five-and-a-half minutes to score its second TD. The key play on the drive was a 6-yard completion to Pearson on a 4th-and-3 play at the Big Green 37, allowing Solomon to eventually put his first points of the night on the board with a 7-yard scurry.

Torgersen tallied the third Quaker touchdown to cap off a 12-play, 77-yard methodical march down the field, keeping the ball on a 4-yard run on 3rd-and-goal early in the second quarter. A shanked punt gave Penn a short field at the Dartmouth 36, and the Quakers took advantage with Solomon crossing the goal line on a 1-yard run.

The Big Green managed a lone field goal in the middle of the offensive explosion after a 41-yard burst through the line by sophomore Miles Smith. But Dartmouth found hope in the final minute of the half when junior Ryder Stone capped an 80-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, closing the gap to 28-10 at the intermission.

Adjustments during halftime proved effective for the Dartmouth defense as Penn was forced to punt on its first two possessions. But the Quakers were handed another short field when cornerback Jyron Walker stepped in front of a Heneghan pass at the Big Green 17 for his first interception of the season. Four plays later, Torgersen bulled his way into the end zone for a 35-10 lead.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Heneghan tried to catch the Penn defense napping by heaving a pass 40 yards downfield. But the other cornerback, Mason Williams, made a diving catch over his shoulder for another pick. Although Dartmouth held the Quakers without a first down, the ensuing punt to start the fourth quarter pinned the Green at their own five. Heneghan was then brought down in the end zone by defensive end Tayler Hendricksen — the lone sack of the game for either team — for a safety.

Heneghan completed 5 of 8 passes to guide the Big Green 71 yards on its next drive, which culminated with a 23-yard toss to Hunnicutt for his first career touchdown. Then Dartmouth needed just 2:32 to travel 88 yards, converting two third downs and a fourth down along the way, with junior Charles Mack making a circus catch over a defender to an 18-yard score to make it a 37-24 game with 3:09 to play.

Penn leading receiver Justin Watson finished the game catching half of Torgersen’s 18 completions for 67 yards. And Solomon, who carried the ball a career-high 29 times to collect his 107 yards, got help from five teammates who gobbled up 100 more for 207 total rushing yards.

Defensively, Dartmouth senior cornerback Danny McManus was busy with a career-high 14 tackles. Senior linebacker Folarin Orimolade added 10 more, also a career best. After taking the ball away seven times in the first two games, however, the Big Green failed to force a turnover.


Notes: Penn’s four rushing touchdowns are as many as the Big Green defense had allowed in its previous 10 games combined. … Dartmouth opponents had just five rushing TDs all of last season. … The last Dartmouth receivers with 100 yards in a game were Ryan McManus (135) and Victor Williams (103) last year at Harvard on Oct. 30. … Penn snapped a modest two-game Big Green win streak in the all-time series, which the Quakers now lead 48-34-4. … The last Ivy League team to score 37 points against Dartmouth was Penn three years ago in a 37-31 Quaker victory that took four overtimes to decide, the longest Ivy League game in history.

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