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Green’s Day: Big Green Ends 40-Year Drought vs. UNH

  • UNH center back Casey DeAndrade chases Dartmouth wide receiver Charles Mack during the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan throws to offense in the second quarter of the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Wearing a mouth guard decorated with fangs, Dartmouth running back Rashaad Cooper sprints ahead of UNH defense during the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan throws to offense in the second quarter of the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Wearing a mouth guard decorated with fangs, Dartmouth running back Rashaad Cooper sprints ahead of UNH defense during the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • UNH center back Casey DeAndrade chases Dartmouth wide receiver Charles Mack during the UNH at Dartmouth football game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Sept. 17, 2016. (Valley News- Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Saturday, September 17, 2016

 

 

 

 

Hanover — Few Dartmouth College students remained in attendance by the time Saturday’s football game with No. 22 New Hampshire concluded at 10:30 p.m. Too bad, because they could have witnessed one of the most memorable upsets in recent Memorial Field history, a 22-21 Big Green victory that snapped a 20-game winless streak against the Wildcats.

 

 

The result wasn’t finalized until the Wildcats came up short on fourth-and-6 from midfield and with 27 seconds remaining. Junior end Brennan Cascarano sacked quarterback Adam Riese, then sprinted for the home sideline, tearing his helmet off in celebration as teammates rushed to mob him. Losing his lid cost Cascarano an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but it occurred after the whistle, so the Big Green took over on downs.

 

 

“It happened so fast and I thought the penalty would give them another first down,” said Cascarano, whose team was 0-18-2 against UNH since its last victory, in 1976. “I wondered, ‘What have I done?’ I was stoic all game and someone said you have to celebrate more, but I still have a lot to learn.”

 

 

The game’s winning points came on a 1-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback and first-time starter Jack Heneghan to wideout Charles Mack. With 1:45 showing on the scoreboard and on second-and-goal, the big Californian began to scramble left, then stopped and fired to his receiver as the junior crossed in the opposite direction.

 

 

The seven-play, 80-yard drive almost died before it began when a UNH punt bounced off returner Charlie Miller’s chest with 3:30 remaining and was recovered by teammate Lucas Bavaro. The Big Green started from its 20-yard line and moved into Wildcats territory with two quick completions. A 37-yard Heneghan strike to Emory Thompson gave the hosts a first-and-goal at UNH’s 5-yard line and the defense called timeout with 2:15 to go.

 

 

Heneghan “showed me a lot,” said Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens, who was a Big Green sophomore quarterback and a backup the last time his school beat the Wildcats. “He works as hard as any guy I’ve ever seen. He’s a perfectionist and he’s got a computer for a brain and he executes.

 

 

“He felt badly about turning the ball over earlier in the game, but he was pretty much unflappable and was a calming influence on the sideline. He’s never been there before, but he was in complete control.”

 

 

Heneghan completed 22-of-46 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. He had two passes intercepted and lost a fourth-quarter fumble, but also ran 14 times for 88 yards, keeping drives alive and showing that while he’s not as dynamic as predecessor Dalyn Williams, he’s more than agile enough to keep defenses honest.

 

 

“We all know he can be an elite quarterback in this league,” Cascaranao said.

 

 

Dartmouth forced UNH to blink first when Eric Meile dove on Casey DeAndrade’s muffed punt reception in the ninth minute and his team set up shop on the Wildcats’ 20-yard line. Five plays later, Heneghan did a beautiful job of faking a handoff to Ryder Stone to the right, then throwing back toward the left side of the end zone to Houston Brown. The result was a 7-yard touchdown and David Smith’s extra point gave the hosts a 7-0 lead.

 

 

The Big Green squandered a prime scoring opportunity early in the second quarter. New Hampshire running back Dalton Crossan swept left and, with Folarin Orimolade around his ankles, fumbled into the air and the arms of Cascarno at the UNH 14-yard line. Four snaps later, Smith was short on an attempted 37-yard field goal.

 

 

The flub stung a bit more three minutes before halftime. That’s when UNH linebacker Jared Kuehl intercepted a Heneghan pass alone in the flat and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown. The extra point made the score 7-7.

 

 

Momentum swung back and forth wildly two minutes before intermission. A 60-yard Heneghan completion to Hunter Hagdorn was wiped out by a holding penalty. On the next snap, Stone ran roughly the same distance down the right sideline, but DeAndrade caught him from behind and punched the ball loose. UNH recovered and took over at its 14-yard line.

 

 

The Wildcats capitalized on that turnover 17 seconds before intermission, Trevor Knight throwing 27 yards down the middle to a wide-open Kieran Presley, who led safety Colin Boit by three steps. The scoring drive covered 86 yards in 10 plays and just 1:43 and made the halftime score 14-7.

 

 

UNH received the second-half kickoff and the teams exchanged punts before the Wildcats embarked on a 10-play, 88-yard scoring drive. Knight, rolling left, threw off his back foot and found Justin Malone-Woods in the back of the end zone. Dartmouth had dialed up a safety blitz on the play, but the toss sailed over a linebacker and Malone-Woods had a step on a trailing defensive back.

 

 

The Big Green got three points back when Smith converted a 28-yard field goal a minute into the fourth quarter. The boot, the first of the Canadian’s three-year career and which made the score 21-10, capped a 15-play, 48-yard drive that ate up more than six minutes. Key to the march was Heneghan scrambling for nine yards and a first down on a fourth-and-2 at the UNH 13-yard line.

 

 

Heneghan also was front and center on his team’s next drive, which covered 44 yards in seven plays. It ended with the quarterback stutter-stepping up in the pocket and shot-putting a 4-yard touchdown pass to Thompson on a crossing route. Dartmouth got the ball courtesy of a Boit interception and Smith’s second extra point of the game made the score 21-16 with five minutes remaining. Dartmouth forced UNH to punt four plays later, setting up the final, scoring drive.

 

 

“We felt we had been just missing on offense all game, but we had drilled a lot on the two-minute drill,” Heneghan said. “Those are the plays I’ve run since I got here and I executed them the way they’ve been drilled into me. The line played great, and even tough we have some new guys out there, that wasn’t a surprise to me.”

 

 

Stone led Dartmouth with 90 yards rushing in seven carries. Brown was tops in receptions with eight for 99 yards and a touchdown and Thompson, Mack and Drew Hunnicutt each had three catches. Orimolade had a team-high nine tackles and helped hold Crossan to 45 yards in 12 carries.

 

 

“We watched a lot of film coming in and we knew his tendencies,” said Orimolade, the only returning defensive starter left of his team’s Ivy League co-championship team of a year ago. “We kept fighting and pounding away. This puts us one step closer to going undefeated.”

 

 

Teevens, whose team lost its last game against UNH by a 52-19 score in Durham during 2014, said Saturday’s victory was significant beyond the current campaign.

 

 

“They’ve been a top-20 team and had playoff appearances and so forth,” he said. “To win a ball game like this is a testament to how far we’ve come.”

 

 

 

Notes: Attendance was announced at 8,296. … Bruce Dixon IV, who had exited spring practice as the team’s starting quarterback, did not dress. He is out with a hamstring injury. … Wearing his UNH jersey but not playing was senior guard and Lebanon High graduate Alexander Morrill, who’s out with a hip injury. Morrill, who has started 30 times in his career, said he recently received cortisone shots in the joint and is holding out hope he can play later this season.

 

 

 

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com or 603-727-3227.