New Hampshire Football Report

Yale 24, Dartmouth 21

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Dartmouth scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it could not come all the way back as host Yale (3-1, 2-0 Ivy) held off the Big Green (1-3, 0-2 Ivy) at the Yale Bowl on Saturday afternoon, 24-21. The game was not decided until 36 seconds remained, when Bulldog linebacker Hamilton Moore intercepted a pass at the Yale 13.


Playing without quarterback and leading rusher Nick Howard, a Dartmouth team that entered the game second in the FCS in rushing was held to 20 yards on the ground, its fewest in a decade. But junior Dylan Cadwallader answered the call in his first start behind center, completing 28-of-45 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for another score on a fourth-down, a 7-yard scramble on the first play of the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs outgained the Big Green by more than 170 yards, 440-268, led by Tre Peterson’s 173 rushing yards and Nolan Grooms’ 170 yards through the air as he connected on 19 of his 22 throws.

Trailing 24-7 late in the third quarter, Dartmouth forced Yale to punt, and Leonard St. Gourdin provided pressure that caused the punter to shank the kick 11 yards out of bounds at the Bulldog 45. A 24-yard Cadwallader pass to junior Paxton Scott pushed the Green into the red zone, but after a third-down rush was stuffed for no gain at the Yale 7, the third quarter ended with Dartmouth facing 4th-and-2. Cadwallader faked a handoff and surprised the defense with the keeper, diving into the end zone to cut the deficit to 24-14.

Freshman safety Sean Williams then intercepted a pass inside the Dartmouth 10 and broke several tackles during the return. After crossing midfield, he seemed to have a clear path to the end zone, but his heel was clipped causing him to fall to the turf at the Bulldog 37, settling for a 56-yard return. The Big Green failed to capitalize, however, and ended up punting the ball inside the 10-yard line.

Grooms and Peterson teamed up to take the Elis into Dartmouth territory, chewing up nearly six minutes off the clock before another short punt gave the Green the ball at their own 40. Cadwallader then completed seven passes for no more than 7 yards apiece as the Bulldogs were determined to not yield a big play, only to surrender a 23-yard touchdown pass to junior Paxton Scott — his seventh catch of the day — with 1:44 to play, making it a three-point difference.

Although the onside kick failed to produce the desired outcome, the defense completely stymied Yale while Dartmouth was forced to use its final two timeouts to preserve some time. After getting the ball back at its own 13 with 41 seconds showing, Cadwallader tried to hit Scott on a quick out near the Big Green sideline, only to have Moore step in front of the pass before stepping out of bounds with the ball for the game-clinching pick.

Cadwallader certainly didn’t appear to have butterflies at the outset of the game, completing all three of his throws on the Big Green’s opening drive before guiding the offense into the end zone on the next one, covering 66 yards in eight plays, seven of which were passes. The native of Frisco, Texas, completed five of them, starting with a 36-yard gain to Barrett and ending with his favorite target on the day scoring from 12 yards out for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Yale answered in the second stanza on its fourth possession of the game, driving 62 yards in nine plays. Grooms came up with the key effort on 3rd-and-8 from the 16, scrambling away from pressure to pick up 11 yards and move the chains. On the very next play, he ran a designed keeper and crossed the goal line for a touchdown, and the PAT knotted the game at seven apiece.

It looked as if Dartmouth would reclaim the lead on its ensuing possession. Cadwallader connected once again with Barrett, this time on a 30-yard bomb with a defender all over the receiver, and three more first downs pushed the Big Green down to the Yale 15. Sophomore Q Jones then took the handoff and churned toward the goal line, but he was stripped of the ball at the 1 as he was going to the turf by linebacker Brandon Benn. The Bulldog defender was able to pounce on the ball just outside the end zone to deny Dartmouth a golden scoring opportunity.

Backed up against its own end zone, Yale quickly advanced the ball 40 yards on three plays. A conversion on 4th-and-1 from midfield kept the drive alive, but the Bulldogs eventually settled for a 41-yard field goal by Jack Bosman with just seconds remaining to conclude the half with a 10-7 advantage.

The third quarter belonged to Yale as it scored a touchdown on its first two possessions, the first a 25-yard toss in the end zone to Mason Tipton, the second a 2-yard burst up the middle by Peterson, before Dartmouth started the close the gap.

Three Big Green defenders hit double-digits in tackles, led by junior linebacker Macklin Ayers with 16, followed by fifth-year senior linebacker Joe Heffernan (13) and senior safety Quinten Arello (10), all career highs. Moore led Yale with nine stops and his interception at the end of the game.

Dartmouth returns home to Memorial Field next week for the Granite Bowl, which pits the only two Division I teams in the state against each other as the University of New Hampshire comes to town. The series is deadlocked at 18-18-1 with the Big Green winning the last two meetings, including last year’s 38-21 triumph in Durham.


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