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Dartmouth football rumbles over Penn, 31-7

  • Dartmouth College quarterback Nick Howard finds a hole on a carry during the Big Green's 31-7 Ivy League football win over Penn at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Howard rushed 19 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns for Dartmouth. Mike Nance photograph—

  • Dartmouth College quarterback Derek Kyler follows through on a throw during the Big Green's 31-7 Ivy League football win over Penn at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Kyler completed 15 of 22 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in the victory. Mike Nance photograph—

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/1/2021 11:26:59 PM
Modified: 10/1/2021 11:44:44 PM

PHILADELPHIA — Once Dartmouth College football seized control of its Ivy League opener with the University of Pennsylvania on Friday night at Franklin Field, the Big Green’s dominance only increased.

Dartmouth cruised to a 31-7 victory over the Quakers in a strong performance in all facets of the game.

Big Green head coach Buddy Teevens knew a big key to this matchup was offensive and defensive line play, and he said his team held up well in the trenches.

“We did a good job on both sides,” Teevens said. “(We ran) the ball for many yards, we protected the passer well and pressured their passer and limited their rushes. I thought it was a good effort by the offensive and defensive fronts.”

Dartmouth (3-0) opened the scoring midway through the first quarter thanks to a big play on special teams. Senior cornerback Robert Crockett III blocked a Penn punt from its own 29-yard-line. The ball sailed more than 20 yards into the end zone, then bounced back over the goal line into the field of play. Crockett, after locating the ball, scooped it and scored.

Penn (1-2) answered quickly, gaining 73 yards on a short pass and then punching it in a seven-yard Isaiah Malcome run.

But the Quakers would only cross the 50-yard-line once more the rest of the night. Dartmouth’s defense locked in and held Penn to just 61 yards the rest of the game after the hosts’ scoring drive.

Fifth-year Big Green linebacker Tanner Cross tied for the team lead in tackles with four, and he came up with one of two Dartmouth interceptions (fifth-year safety Niko Mermigas had the other). Cross credited the coaches and scout team for the defense’s preparation and said it was clicking as a full unit throughout the game.

“We were all on the same page,” Cross said. “That’s something that we preach throughout the week is ‘11 is one.’ I think we were all on the same page every play tonight. We only gave up one explosive play. Other than that, we were able to stay with each other.”

Offensively, Dartmouth found success on the ground once again. The Big Green regained the lead early in the second quarter on a 35-yard field goal by senior Connor Davis. They extended the lead to 17-7 on their next possession on a seven-yard rushing touchdown by junior quarterback Nick Howard. One possession later, Dartmouth made it 24-7 late in the first half when fifth-year quarterback Derek Kyler hit senior running back Zack Bair for an eight-yard touchdown pass.

Howard rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns, and Bair posted 91 yards on 13 carries.

Bair credited the offensive line for consistently opening up holes.

“We always try to reiterate in the running back room and as an offense that everything starts with the offensive line,” Bair said. “We knew the defensive line was one of the strong parts of their defense, and I think the offensive line did an amazing job today.”

The Big Green will return to Memorial Field next week to take on Yale for Dartmouth’s homecoming game.

Seth Tow can be reached at stow@vnews.com.




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