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Notebook: Dartmouth football finally gets national ranking

  • Dartmouth's Shane Cokes (0) and the Big Green defense stop a New Hampshire drive at the one-yard line in on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Durham, N.H. Dartmouth won, 38-21, in their first meeting in five years. (UNH Athletics - Rick Wilson) UNH athletics — Rick Wilson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/19/2021 9:14:43 PM
Modified: 10/19/2021 9:14:48 PM

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College football team was named national FCS team of the week on Monday by Stats Perform for its 38-21 victory over New Hampshire on Saturday.

The Big Green also entered the Stats Perform FCS rankings at No. 25. They remain unranked in the FCS coaches poll, but received the second-most votes of all unranked teams. Dartmouth had 67 points in the poll; No. 25 Delaware has 71.

Princeton is ranked in both polls, at No. 17 with the coaches and No. 22 in the Stats Perform top 25. Harvard is No. 16 in the coaches poll. New Hampshire, No. 23 before the Dartmouth game, dropped out of the Stats poll with the loss.

On the latest episode of the Inside The Woods podcast, Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens said that he reminded his team ahead of the UNH game that it presented an opportunity in the polls.

“If you want to be a ranked team, you have to beat a ranked team,” he told his squad.

“It’s somewhat of a reward. You play hard and you play well against good people, and people take note,” Teevens said on Monday. “It’s a nice pat on the back from the people that notice things like that. The key is (the rankings) change every week, and you want to make sure that they change for the better.”

Kyler, Mackie earn recognition: In addition to the team honors, some individual Dartmouth players were acknowledged for strong performances against UNH.

The New England Football Writers Association recognized fifth-year quarterback Derek Kyler with its Gold Helmet Award, presented each week to the region’s top Division I player. Kyler completed 18 of 23 pass attempts for a career-high 325 yards and two touchdowns.

After the game, Kyler said the entire offense was locked in.

“It was just a great day all around,” Kyler said. “We had a great plan coming in, and we executed. It’s a lot of fun out there when that happens.”

Other the other side of the ball, senior linebacker Jalen Mackie picked up his second Ivy League defensive player of the week honor of this season. He led Dartmouth against UNH with 10 tackles, including nine solo.

Mackie has been an important player in the middle of Dartmouth’s defense this season. His 41 tackles on the season lead the Ivy League, and he also leads the Big Green with three quarterback hurries — all three of which came against Yale. Mackie is also top 10 in the Ivy League with 4½ tackles for loss.

Scott’s biggest play yet: Sophomore wide receiver Paxton Scott has burst onto the scene for Dartmouth this season. He leads the team in receptions (26), receiving yards (283) and receiving touchdowns (3). The UNH game proved to be his most prolific of the season, as he caught six passes for 92 yards and a touchdown. Most of the yardage came on a single play in the third quarter.

Dartmouth faced a third-and-5 near midfield, leading the game, 24-7. Scott was lined up on the right side of the field with two other receivers to his right. With his teammates running downfield routes to create space, Scott ran a short out route toward the sideline. Kyler completed a quick pass to Scott just two yards beyond the line of scrimmage, and the shifty receiver did the rest. Scott eluded four tackles as he ran 52 yards for a game-sealing touchdown.

“I had some really good downfield blocking from Jamal (Cooney) and Noah Roper,” Scott said. “And I just tried to make a couple guys miss and get into the end zone.”

The play required a replay review to see if Scott stepped out of bounds during the run up the sideline. But the officials confirmed the call, and the highlight-reel play stood.

Scott was annoyed with himself for an earlier play where he had been slightly out of bounds and was determined to make it right.

“I had a catch that I got dragged out (on), but barely dragged out. I was frustrated about that,” Scott said. “I was like ‘I’m going to break one.’ And I got my chance to, so I tried to make the most of it.”

Davis sets career long: Many Dartmouth players set new career highs for yards against UNH as the Big Green racked up 604 yards of total offense, their most since 2016.

Meanwhile, senior kicker also Connor Davis established a career best. His 51-yard field goal in the second quarter was his first collegiate kick of 50 yards or longer. And it was Dartmouth’s first field goal of 50 yards or more in 18 years.

There was a breeze at Wildcat Stadium on Saturday, and Davis was kicking with the wind. That factored into Teevens’ decision to attempt the field goal on fourth-and-26 from the UNH 34-yard line rather than punt.

“We knew that was where the wind was going. So we knew that we could stretch it a little farther going that way,” Davis said. “I was behind Coach Teevens and told him I wanted a chance, and he gave it to me. It was going through and straight, so I knew it was gonna get there. I was pretty fired up.”

Seth Tow can be reached at

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