New Hampshire Football Report

Gerbino, Dartmouth remain unbeaten

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Playing on an ESPN network for the first time in 28 years, the Dartmouth Big Green stayed grounded by rushing for 347 yards, its most in seven years, in a 41-18 victory at Yale on Friday night. Junior wildcat quarterback Jared Gerbino contributed 169 of those yards and a pair of touchdowns to help Dartmouth (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) remain as one of the four teams in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) with a perfect record.

The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 Ivy) managed to amass 429 yards of offense against a Big Green defense that had surrendered less than 200 on average over the first three games. But three turnovers — the last a pick-six by junior cornerback Isiah Swann — and two touchdowns called back due to penalties proved to be Yale’s undoing.

Dartmouth finished the game with 448 yards of offense and averaged 7.7 yards on its 45 rush attempts. Sophomore Caylin Parker rolled for 79 yards on five carries, one a 66-yard burst to the end zone, and freshman Zack Bair added the fourth rushing touchdown of the night. With the consistent rushing game, the Big Green attempted 10 passes — their fewest in 23 years — completing six for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Gerbino provided the first points of the night by gobbling up 66 yards on Dartmouth’s opening drive, the last of his three runs going for 31 to the house. The PAT sailed wide right, however, keeping the Big Green lead at 6-0.

Yale responded, however, by marching 75 yards in just eight plays, culminating with a 23-yard pass from Kurt Rawlings to Reed Klubnik. The PAT gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead, the first time this season Dartmouth found itself trailing.

That one-point deficit lasted all of four minutes as the Big Green matched the 75-yard drive, taking just nine plays with the last being Bair’s 13-yard scoring scamper as Dartmouth ran a quick set to beat an unprepared Yale defense late in the first quarter.

The game got a little sloppy early in the second quarter with three turnovers in the span of five plays. Junior safety Ryan Roegge tipped a Rawlings pass that senior Kyran McKinney-Crudden plucked out of the air for an interception in the red zone. On the Green’s first play, Gerbino was stripped of the ball and Yale fell on it. The Bulldogs returned the favor on a 3rd-and-2 run as senior Rocco Di Leo poked the ball loose, allowing McKinney-Crudden to cover it up.

Dartmouth did not waste this takeaway, utilizing a 47-yard pass from sophomore Derek Kyler to senior Drew Hunnicutt that set up Gerbino’s second touchdown, this time from six yards out for a 20-7 lead.

Yale whittled the Big Green advantage to 10 with a 30-yard field goal off the foot of Alex Galland with 3:33 left in the half. But that left the Big Green plenty of time to cover 84 yards. The Bulldogs helped keep the drive alive with a pass interference call on a third-down play, after which Kyler completed three consecutive passes, the last to junior Hunter Hagdorn for a 16-yard touchdown and a 27-7 lead just before halftime.

It took less than 90 seconds for Dartmouth to extend its lead in the second half. Three plays after receiving the kickoff, Parker squeezed through the line on a 3rd-and-2 run and never stopped until he reached the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown, the longest run by a Big Green player in five years.

The Dartmouth defense put the clamps down for the remainder of the third quarter, limiting Yale to a mere 28 yards of offense. Rawlings did throw a 70-yard touchdown pass shortly after Parker’s long run, but the receiver had gone out of bounds prior to catching the ball, negating the score.

Yale was not ready to concede, however, closing the gap to 16 points with a 74-yard touchdown drive that lasted over five minutes at the start of the fourth quarter. Zane Dudek finished off the possession with a one-yard dive into the end zone, and Rawlings completed the two-point conversion to Dudek to get the Bulldogs within two scores with 9:40 to play.

After holding Dartmouth to single first down, Yale got the ball back at its 18 and traveled down to the Big Green 20 before Rawlings was sacked on fourth down by Di Leo, his second of the night and third for the Dartmouth defense. On the next Bulldog possession, Swann — the FCS leader in interceptions — stepped in front of a Rawlings pass and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown to put the stamp on the victory.

Senior Jack Traynor led Dartmouth with nine tackles with Roegge and Swann adding eight apiece. Di Leo provided some of the biggest plays with his two sacks and forced fumble.

Rawlings finished the game completing 29-of-46 passes for 299 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice. Reed Klubnik was on the receiving end of 13 of those throws for 124 yards and a score. Alan Lamar led the Bulldog ground game with 68 yards on 12 carries.

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