New Hampshire Football Report

Dartmouth dominates Brown

HANOVER — Tied with Brown at 7-7 in the final minute of the first half, the 20th-ranked Dartmouth Big Green exploded for six touchdowns in a 16-minute span to finish the 2018 season with a 49-7 triumph on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field.

Dartmouth (9-1, 6-1 Ivy) did not get the help it needed, however, as Princeton finished off a 10-0 season with a 42-14 victory over Penn, leaving the Big Green as just the second team in Ivy League history to win nine games but not take home at least a share of the conference crown.

Dartmouth racked up 365 yards on the ground — its most in seven years — and five rushing touchdowns with senior Miles Smith scoring twice. Another senior, Rashaad Cooper, led the Big Green with 98 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown while junior wildcat quarterback Jared Gerbino piled up 91 more on  eight runs.

Sophomore quarterback Derek Kyler completed 17-of-27 passes for 160 yards and the go-ahead score to senior Drew Hunnicutt with 16 seconds left in the half, and Gerbino tossed a scoring strike of 5 yards to junior tight end Connor Rempel for the game’s first points. Junior Hunter Hagdorn led Dartmouth with five catches and 65 yards.

After Kyler allowed the Big Green to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room, Dartmouth asserted itself in the third quarter. Gerbino kept the snap on the Big Green’s first three plays, gobbling up 55 yards in the process. Cooper took care of the rest, needing just runs of 7 and 18 yards to reach the end zone for a 20-7 lead barely four minutes into the second half.

The nation’s leader in interceptions, junior cornerback Isiah Swann, struck again on a Brown third-down play, returning his ninth pick of the year and 13th of his career — tying the Dartmouth record — 18 yards to the Bear 18. Two plays later, Smith provided a 16-yard touchdown run to boost the lead to 27-7, less than two minutes after the previous score.

Senior Jackson Perry helped the Big Green quickly reacquire the ball with one of the team’s seven sacks on the day, with Hagdorn returning the punt 19 yards to the Brown 47. Smith capped the five-play drive with his second run across the goal line, this time from 12 yards out. Instead of holding the snap on the PAT, senior Jack Katzman stood up and passed to tight end J.J. Jefferies for a two-point conversion, making it a 35-7 contest with 4:31 still to play in the third quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, sophomore Niko Mermigas jarred the ball free from the returner, and junior Micah Croom was there to cover it up, giving Dartmouth possession at the Bears 19. A Brown personal foul call on a third-down run gave the Green first down at the 7, then senior Matthew Shearin fought his way to the goal line and stretched the ball into the end zone, giving Dartmouth its highest-scoring third quarter in 86 years.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, freshman Zack Bair got into the act, breaking free from the Brown defense for a 45-yard touchdown burst down the right sideline. Sophomore Kalle Wagner added the extra point to complete the scoring on the afternoon.

The Dartmouth defense was stellar on the day as Brown lost 23 yards on 16 rushes and finished the game with 248 total yards. The only Bear score came midway through the second quarter when a punt was muffed at the 12 and Charlie Dallape recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown, and the PAT knotted the score at seven.

Twice the Bears elected to go for it on fourth down in the first half, and twice the Big Green denied them, once with Brown in the red zone. Dartmouth also had a failed fourth-down try in the red zone, coming with 2:52 left in the half. The defense quickly held the Bears without a first down, calling a timeout after each play, to get the ball back with 2:18 still on the clock. Kyler went exclusively to the air on the drive that covered 51 yards, completing 7-of-10 passes along the way. His ninth throw was initially ruled a touchdown to Hagdorn, but the call was overturned on replay as an incompletion. The setback didn’t faze him, though, as he fired a strike to a well-covered Hunnicutt for the touchdown and the lead.

Brown quarterback Michael McGovern completed 34-of-55 passes for 271 yards, but was picked off twice. Jaelon Blandburg led the receiving corps with nine catches for 96 yards, and Scott Boylan hauled in eight throws but amassed just 21 yards.

Senior nickelback Kyran McKinney-Crudden led the Dartmouth defense with 10 tackles, two for a loss, while Perry had six tackles with four going for a loss, including two of the seven sacks. Junior Niko Lalos also had two sacks, while senior Justin Porter collected his first career interception to join Swann on the pick list.


Notes: Numerous reserves saw action in the final quarter, including senior quarterback Harry Kraft, the grandson of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and he picked up a rushing yard on his only attempt … Dartmouth had 15 tackles for a loss, its most in 28 years … the Big Green fumbled the ball away twice in the second quarter, matching its total for the other nine games this season … Dartmouth lost the coin toss but won the game, the first time this year the outcome of the game did not match the result of the coin toss … Kyler finished the season with a passing efficiency of 155.54, the third-best in Dartmouth history (minimum 15 attempts per team game) behind Jay Fiedler (169.35 in 1992) and Dalyn Williams (157.57 in 2014).

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