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Nothing doing for Big Green in 19-0 loss to Columbia

  • Dartmouth quarterback Derek Kyler holds onto the ball as he looks at Columbia linebacker Cam Dillon, who knocked off defensive lineman Ben Corniello's helmet during a game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news / Report for america — Alex Driehaus

  • Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens watches his team during a game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News / report for america photographs — Alex Driehaus

  • Columbia players celebrate as quarterback Gabriel Hollingsworth scores a touchdown during a game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

  • Dartmouth wide receiver Paxton Scott catches the ball while Columbia linebacker CJ Brown attempts to block the pass during a game at Memorial Field in Hanover, N.H., on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/22/2021 9:16:32 PM
Modified: 10/23/2021 1:19:55 PM

HANOVER — The Dartmouth College football team is no longer undefeated.

The Big Green won games in numerous different ways in the first half of the season. But everything that could have gone wrong against Columbia on Friday at Memorial Stadium did. The Lions dominated the contest, blanked Dartmouth and came away with a 19-0 victory.

The Lions (5-1) drove inside the Dartmouth 20-yard-line on their third possession of the first quarter. On third-and-10, the Big Green (5-1) nearly made a huge play, but senior cornerback Robert Crockett III dropped an interception. That led to a 34-yard field goal by Columbia kicker Alex Felkins.

The drop was emblematic of Dartmouth’s game. The Big Green came very close to a game-changing play on several occasions, whether a defensive near-turnover, a long offensive pass that was just short or coming inches shy of a punt block.

“That was the story of the night. They capitalized on opportunities, and we didn’t,” Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens said. “We had a couple of deep throw opportunities; we overthrew a couple. We dropped some and misplaced some. I don’t know. But there were opportunities. They made theirs; we didn’t make ours.”

After a Dartmouth punt to open the second quarter, the Lions once again drove down into the red zone. The Big Green appeared to get a turnover on downs on a fourth-and-1 at the 12, but junior Shane Cokes was called offsides. That gave Columbia a first down, and two plays later, sophomore quarterback Gabriel Hollingsworth dragged Dartmouth senior linebacker Jalen Mackie across the goal line.

Dartmouth was undone by penalties throughout the game. The Big Green finished with eight penalties for 60 yards, and most of them were in key situations that either extended Columbia drives or put Dartmouth’s offense in a tough spot.

“We just weren’t disciplined today,” said fifth-year safety Niko Mermigas. “That’s like the key to it all. If you’re disciplined and you give really good effort and you’re tough, you can beat anybody. Can’t have somebody jump offsides on a fourth down. Stuff like that, it just wasn’t disciplined today.”

Kyler followed up with his first interception of the season, on a ball off sophomore wideout Paxton Scott’s hands. It set up Columbia at the Dartmouth 30, but the Big Green defense held the Lions to a field goal.

Dartmouth crossed midfield for the first time with less than two minutes until halftime. The Big Green opted to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the Lions’ 33 with 55 seconds left, and they attempted a handoff to Scott that did not work.

Outside of that drive, when Columbia dialed back its pressure due to the clock situation, Dartmouth was unable to get anything going offensively for most of the game. The Lions stuffed the Big Green’s run game, and their pass rush caused a lot of problems for Kyler.

Fifth-year guard Jake Guidone said all of Dartmouth’s offensive linemen made errors.

“(When) one guy doesn’t do their job, stuff like that happens,” Guidone said. “It’s on us. We shot ourselves in the foot. I think we can’t take away from their game.

“They played fantastic. I think we could have performed a lot better had we not made a couple of mistakes here and there.”

The Big Green needed a big drive to open the second half, but they didn’t get it. And after punting back to Columbia, the Lions drove and scored a touchdown on a 25-yard pass from sophomore Joe Green to senior Mike Roussos.

With about 10 minutes remaining, Dartmouth got possession at the Lions’ 40 after a punt with some penalty yardage. Dartmouth advanced into the red zone for the first time all night on a 23-yard pass from Kyler to Scott and had first-and-goal from the 5. But after a couple runs that went nowhere, the pair was unable to connect on two straight plays. Kyler’s throw to Scott on fourth-and-goal was there, but Scott dropped it.

The Big Green had a chance to avoid a shutout late in the fourth quarter, when Columbia went into the prevent defense to avoid any big plays.

But Dartmouth once again came up short on fourth and goal.

Dartmouth will look to rebound next week at Harvard.

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




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