New Hampshire Football Report

Gerbino, Dartmouth top Harvard

HANOVER — Junior Jared Gerbino had a season-high 183 rushing yards and senior Rashaad Cooper added a career-high 117 as each ran for a touchdown to help No. 20 Dartmouth (7-0, 4-0 Ivy) defeat Harvard (3-4, 1-3 Ivy) at Memorial Field in the Big Green’s homecoming game on Saturday afternoon, 24-17. The victory was the first for the Big Green over the Crimson since 2003, and first at home in 25 years.

Dartmouth led 21-0 at halftime thanks to its running game and opportunistic defense that recovered four of the five Harvard fumbles in the half. Sophomore cornerback DeWayne Terry Jr. scooped up the first of those lost balls and scampered 62 yards to the end zone late in the first quarter.

Of Dartmouth’s 369 total yards on the day, 320 came on the ground with Gerbino and Cooper accounting for an even 300 on a combined 35 carries. The Big Green’s two quarterbacks, Gerbino and sophomore Derek Kyler, managed just 49 yards through the air on 4-of-11 throws, the team’s fewest passing yards in 23 years.

Cooper wasted little time in putting the first points of the game on the board with an 82-yard touchdown run on Dartmouth’s second play from scrimmage, matching the eighth-longest run in Big Green history. Freshman Connor Davis added the PAT for a quick 7-0 lead.

After trading punts, Harvard pushed into Dartmouth territory, only to have junior defensive end Niko Lalos punch the ball free on a third-down run, right into the arms of Terry, who outran the Crimson for the 62-yard touchown and a 14-0 lead.

The second quarter could have been a lot worse for Harvard, which fumbled on its first two possessions of the period, the first forced by senior safety Bun Stration and covered up by senior linebacker Jack Traynor in the red zone at the Big Green 8-yard line. The next giveaway was on the second Crimson play with Traynor jarring the ball loose and junior cornerback Isiah Swann — who leads the nation in interceptions — claiming the donation.

But neither led to scores. Only when Harvard failed to convert a 4th-and-6 play at the Dartmouth 26 did the hosts capitalize with Gerbino gobbling all of the yards and then some. The wildcat QB kept the ball on six of the seven plays, amassing 79 yards with the last run a 20-yard burst with 1:39 left in the half for the 21-0 lead.

The Green nearly increased that advantage when senior David Emanuels knocked the ball free on the kickoff return with sophomore Niko Mermigas cradling the loose ball at the Harvard 41. But Dartmouth tried to get one more play off with 12 seconds left and no timeouts, only to have Kyler scramble out of the pocket and come up a yard short of a first down at the 19 as the clock ran out.

Despite running only 24 plays to Harvard’s 42 in the first half, the Big Green held the edge in yardage, 228-208, with all but three of those yards coming on the ground.

Harvard washed off its butterfingers in the locker room, then got on the board on its first possession of the second half as Aaron Shampklin carried it in from seven yards out. A 28-yard field goal by freshman Connor Davis early in the fourth quarter boosted the Big Green lead to 17 at 24-7, which Harvard answered with another touchdown drive when quarterback Tom Stewart scrambled 22 yards for the score.

With 1:36 to play, Jake McIntyre closed the gap to seven with a 28-yard field goal for the Crimson, but Jonah Lipel’s onside kick went out of bounds. Gerbino then picked up a first down on a 3rd-and-4 play to allow Dartmouth to kneel down twice and finish off the victory.

Harvard outgained the Big Green with 412 yards of offense with Stewart accounting for most of it. The senior completed 24-of-42 passes for 270 yards and led the Crimson with 76 yards and a touchdown on 11 rushes. Jack Cook had five catches for 60 yards to pace the Harvard receivers while Shampklin, the sixth-leading rusher in the FCS, was held to just 46 yards and a TD on 16 carries.

Senior Kyran McKinney-Crudden led the Dartmouth defense with 11 tackles — the most by anyone on the roster this year — as the Big Green racked up nine tackles for a loss, including a sack by the Ivy League leader, senior Rocco Di Leo.

Jordan Hill paced the Crimson defense with nine stops while Richie Ryan added eight, and Harvard totaled five tackles for a loss but did not force a turnover.

Next week Dartmouth travels to No. 17 Princeton (7-0, 4-0 Ivy) in a battle of the Ancient Eight unbeatens with the victor gaining the inside track on the conference crown.


Notes: The four fumble recoveries were the most for Dartmouth since a 49-7 win over Sacred Heart three years ago. … Both Gerbino and Cooper had their second 100-yard games of the season — Gerbino had 169 three weeks ago at Yale, Cooper had 112 in the season opener against Georgetown. … Gerbino’s career high came in the final game last year with 202 against Princeton. … The Big Green did not throw a touchdown pass, ending a school-record streak of 17 games with at least one. … Dartmouth had not thrown as little as 49 passing yards in 23 years (45 vs. Princeton on Nov. 18, 1995).

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