Howard, Dartmouth run all over Cornell

  • Quarterback Nick Howard scores the first of his four touchdowns in Dartmouth's 41-7 Ivy League football victory over Cornell at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Dartmouth Athletics photographs — Doug Austin

  • Noah Roper hits the end zone on a 13-yard TD run during Dartmouth's 41-7 Ivy League football win over Cornell at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Dartmouth Athletics — Doug Austin

  • Nick Howard

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2021 4:47:18 PM
Modified: 11/13/2021 9:39:09 PM

HANOVER — In a game when the Dartmouth College football team ran away with a victory, junior quarterback Nick Howard ran the fastest.

Howard rushed for a career-high 172 yards on 13 carries and scored four touchdowns as the 22nd-ranked Big Green cruised to a 41-7 win over Cornell Saturday at Memorial Field.

Dartmouth (8-1, 5-1 Ivy) is now one win away from clinching at least a share of the Ivy League title.

Howard has ties to Cornell (2-7, 1-5). He initially committed to the Big Red coming out of high school as a linebacker before flipping to Dartmouth to play quarterback. And his first game action with Dartmouth came in Cornell’s upset win in 2019.

So given the opponent, this performance felt fitting for the junior.

“It’s not something I think about a lot, but it does feel good looking back, and I think I made the right decision,” Howard said. “(And) two years, that’s a long time ago. This is a new season, a new team. We came out and took care of business, and it feels great to win.”

The Big Green controlled every facet of the game against Cornell (2-7, 1-5). Dartmouth’s offense moved the ball at will throughout the game. Junior wideout Dale Chesson featured in the passing attack, hauling in seven receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. Fifth-year quarterback Derek Kyler was his usual efficient self, completing 14 of 18 pass attempts for 182 yards and a touchdown.

Howard’s performance was his biggest of a season that’s had many big ones. This was his third 100-yard rushing game, his fifth multi-touchdown game and his second with three or more touchdowns. He became the first Big Green player since Jared Gerbino in 2018 to rush for four touchdowns in a single game and raised his season total to 13. He’s two scores shy of tying Dartmouth’s single-season record, set in 1929.

Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens said Howard bought into eventually filling Gerbino’s role as the team’s “running quarterback.” He’s taken off in that role this season.

“He’s just a football player. He’s tough, physical; he’s a vicious runner. He doesn’t want to get tackled, and he’s throwing people off the pile and everything else,” Teevens said. “It’s a great mindset to have in a quarterback.”

Defensively, Dartmouth continued to shut down its opponent.

This was the second straight game the Big Green defense gave up just seven points, and they only allowed 10 the week before. They’ve generated effective pressure without blitzing — Cornell head coach David Archer said Dartmouth’s defensive line controlled the game and makes it hard to run any deep plays against them. Though Dartmouth recorded only two sacks and one other tackle for loss, the Big Green were constantly plugging up the trenches and giving Cornell’s offense little time or space to operate.

Junior linebacker Marques White, who recorded one of the sacks, said he and his teammates are having a lot of fun playing with the defense performing so well.

“You kind of forget that you’re out there playing D-I football,” White said. “The guys flying around, it just feels like some guys just playing football.”

The strong all-around play led to sheer domination, essentially from the opening kickoff. Dartmouth outgained Cornell, 157-6, in the opening period. That yardage difference finished at 499-181. The Big Red picked up just two first downs in the first half while Dartmouth built a 28-0 lead going into halftime.

Howard provided the biggest highlight of the game in the second quarter. He burst through Cornell’s defensive line untouched and ran from the Dartmouth 10-yard line to the Cornell 15 — a 75-yard gain. He scored his second touchdown of the game two plays later.

Howard credited his offensive line for setting up the big play. As he saw it unfold, however, his eyes didn’t exactly light up.

“I saw (the hole) open up and I was like, ‘Oh man, this is a long way to go,’” Howard said. “That was one of those plays. Our guys upfront executed perfectly. They gave us the look we wanted. It’s an awesome feeling and you see that opening and you just hit it.”

Dartmouth travels to Providence, R.I., on Saturday for a date against Brown, with a chance to capture its 20th Ivy League championship.

Seth Tow can be contacted at

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