New Dartmouth Quarterback Sparks Big Green

  • Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams scampers for a first down yesterday against Cornell. The freshman made his first collegiate start during the Ivy League game in Ithaca, N.Y.<br/>(Valley News - Tris Wykes)

    Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams scampers for a first down yesterday against Cornell. The freshman made his first collegiate start during the Ivy League game in Ithaca, N.Y.
    (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Dartmouth running back Dominick Pierre runs over Cornell cornerback Jarrod Watson-Lewis yesterday after the two collided along a sideline.<br/>(Valley News - Tris Wykes)

    Dartmouth running back Dominick Pierre runs over Cornell cornerback Jarrod Watson-Lewis yesterday after the two collided along a sideline.
    (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Dartmouth freshman quarterback Dayln Williams (10) took the Ivy League by storm, winning the Ancient Eight’s rookie of the year award, one of several highlight performances for various Big Green teams. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

    Dartmouth freshman quarterback Dayln Williams (10) took the Ivy League by storm, winning the Ancient Eight’s rookie of the year award, one of several highlight performances for various Big Green teams. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams scampers for a first down yesterday against Cornell. The freshman made his first collegiate start during the Ivy League game in Ithaca, N.Y.<br/>(Valley News - Tris Wykes)
  • Dartmouth running back Dominick Pierre runs over Cornell cornerback Jarrod Watson-Lewis yesterday after the two collided along a sideline.<br/>(Valley News - Tris Wykes)
  • Dartmouth freshman quarterback Dayln Williams (10) took the Ivy League by storm, winning the Ancient Eight’s rookie of the year award, one of several highlight performances for various Big Green teams. (Valley News - Tris Wykes)

— The Dalyn Williams Era may have truly begun here yesterday for the Dartmouth College football team, as the freshman quarterback carved up Cornell with his feet and arm en route to a 44-28 victory at Schoellkopf Field.

Now, to work on the Texan’s loquaciousness.

“I was just trying my best to help the team win,” Williams said in response to the first question at the postgame news conference.

Was he nervous to make his first college start?

“I was anxious, but everything fell into place.” Were his parents watching the Ivy League game’s streaming video online, back home in suburban Dallas?

“Yes, sir.” The moment it appeared the inquisition was over, there was a clattering of cleats on the floor and Williams exited. Gone in a flash and eluding the opposition, much as he’d done all afternoon.

“We couldn’t tackle him,” said Cornell coach Kent Austin, whose frustrated troops allowed No. 10 to run for 96 yards and a touchdown and complete 14-of-20 passes for 160 yards and two more scores. “We couldn’t get him on the ground and he made plays.” Williams’ best effort was pure ad lib and the type of performance a Dartmouth quarterback hasn’t regularly produced in years. Facing third-and-3 from the Big Green’s 42-yard line, the rookie danced out of a collapsing pocket and sprinted left. Just as it appeared he was going to slow up and drift out of bounds, Williams instead cut inside and a split second later, flipped the ball forward to receiver Ryan McManus, who gained 28 yards.

“It just happened,” said Williams, whose team improved to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Ivy play. “I just threw it at (McManus) and he did a hell of a job.” Williams ran for four first downs. He scampered 21 yards on a first-and-20, 14 yards on a third-and-11, 35 yards for a touchdown on a first-and-28 and 11 yards on a third-and-10. First-year starter Alex Park, a sophomore out with a sprain to his non-throwing shoulder, is more nimble than Dartmouth quarterbacks of the recent past, but he’s not a patch onWilliams and he might not be the starter anymore, if the youngster keeps playing like he did yesterday.

“He played very, very well and it was fun to watch,” said Big Green coach Buddy Teevens, whose team closes its season by hosting Brown and visiting Princeton. “There weren’t a lot of blocks out there; he made (defenders) miss. It’s nice to have a guy back there who can make plays.” Williams was outstanding, but Cornell (4-4, 2-3) helped him significantly. The Big Red fumbled and had two passes intercepted to kill its first three drives, each of the turnovers leading to Dartmouth touchdowns and a 21-0 lead two minutes into the second quarter.

Cornerback Chai Reece came up with the fumble recovery and free safety Garrett Waggoner and strong safety Steve Dazzo had the picks.

Big Green running back Dominick Pierre ran for the first two scores, traveling one and nine yards respectively. Williams hit tight end Justin Foley on a 2-yard scoring pass for the third tally and Riley Lyons added conversion kicks after each of them.

“You’re not going to win many games when you have four turnovers and they have none,” said Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, the Ivies’ 2011 Offensive Player of the Year, who completed 27-of-41 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns, but also had three tosses intercepted. “We got down 21 points mainly because of our offensive miscues.” There were defensive ones as well. After Cornell pulled within 21-7 with a minute remaining in the first half, Williams drove Dartmouth 75 yards in seven plays. The march was aided by two early Cornell timeouts, as the hosts wanted to have time for another score if they could come up with a stop. Instead, Williams chucked a 22-yard touchdown pass to Michael Reilly in a corner of the end zone with 1 second remaining. The receiver boxed out his defender as the pigskin came down, making him resemble a basketball player rebounding in the paint.

“We had three stops all day long on defense and credit to Dartmouth for converting those turnovers,” said Cornell coach Kent Austin, whose team trailed 28-7 at intermission. “They flat-out whipped us. Period.” Echoed Big Red linebacker Taylor Betros: “They kicked the crap out of us.” The dagger in Cornell’s heart may have been the 35-yard touchdown run by Williams, which came four minutes into the second half. That and another Lyons conversion kick pushed Dartmouth’s lead to 35-7. Cornell pulled within 35-21 but the Big Green answered with a 34-yard Lyons field goal and a 51-yard touchdown run up the middle by Greg Patton, who took the snap out of the Wildcat formation on the first play of the drive.

The Big Red closed the scoring with a minute left and on another Mathews touchdown pass, this one establishing the junior as Cornell’s career passing leader at 7,746 yards.

∎ Notes: Pierre carried 26 times for 154 yards and two touchdowns and McManus and Reilly each caught four passes for a combined 122 yards and a touchdown. Michael Runger led the visitors with 10 tackles. … Dartmouth freshman running back Brian Grove finished the game with his left arm in a sling after running eight times for 37 yards. … Cornell entered the game with the Ivies’ top-ranked passing offense and Dartmouth with its best pass defense. … Big Green linebacker Garrett Wymore, who had applied for a postgraduate Rhodes scholarship, was not selected for a round of in-person interviews on Nov. 17. While disappointed, Wymore said he’s at least relieved he won’t have to choose between the interview or the Big Green’s season finale at Princeton. … Starting center Rob Bathe did not dress for the game because of a sprained ankle and starting linebacker Bronson Green was out with a neck injury. … Park said he expects to be available for action next week. … Dartmouth senior cornerback Chase Womack, out with a broken finger, said he plans to apply to the Ivy League for a fifth year of eligibility. … Dartmouth leads the teams’ series 55-40-1. … Attendance, announced at 4,106, was at least 1,000 less than that number in actuality. Fewer than 300 people were in the stands when the national anthem was played seven

minutes before kickoff.