Bright lights, big city, Big Green: Dartmouth stays undefeated in NYC

  • Dartmouth College receiver Hunter Hagdorn (1) celebrates in the Yankee Stadium stands on Saturday after his team's 27-10 victory over Princeton. The Big Green improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Ivy League play with two games remaining. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College defensive lineman David Chalmers celebrates with defensive coordinator Don Dobes on Saturday after the Big Green's 27-10 defeat of Ivy League rival Princeton at Yankee Stadium. The result was especially sweet for Dobes, who was let go by the Tigers nearly a decade ago and has been at Dartmouth ever since. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College's DeWayne Terry, Jr., right, holds up Princeton's Michael Ruttlen, Jr., during a Tigers punt on Saturday at Yankee Stadium. The No. 13 Big Green beat No. 9 Princeton, 27-10, to remain unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Ivy League play. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College quarterback Jared Gerbino runs for a 1-yard touchdown Saturday at Yankee Stadium during the No. 13 Big Green's 27-10 defeat of Ivy League rival Princeton. Gerbino carried 16 times for 97 yards and two scores despite battling a leg injury. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Dartmouth College cornerback Isiah Swann congratulates teammates after the No. 13 Big Green forced Princeton to turn the ball over on downs Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Dartmouth's 27-10 victory improved its record to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Ivy League. (Tris Wykes - Valley News) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/9/2019 10:30:31 PM

NEW YORK — Dartmouth College quarterback Jared Gerbino was questionable coming into Saturday’s pivotal Ivy League football clash with Princeton at Yankee Stadium. By its end, there was no doubt how much he means to his team.

A senior playing on a gimpy leg, Gerbino nonetheless ran 16 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns, sparking his team to a 27-10 victory during an advertising vehicle thinly disguised as a gridiron contest.

After three hours of promotional videos, glad-handing photo opportunities and even some football, the No. 13 Big Green improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in Ivy League play. Dartmouth hosts Cornell (2-6, 1-4) and visits Brown (1-7, 0-5) during the next two weeks in hopes of posting its first unbeaten season and outright league title since 1996.

“The training staff did a phenomenal job, because it didn’t look good last Saturday,” Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens said of Gerbino, who pulled up lame just before halftime at Harvard. “We thought we’d wheel him out and see how well he could go and for how long.

“It could have been one play, and he would have been out.”

Instead, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound upstate New York native persevered and combined with junior Derek Kyler, who spelled his elder as he’s done all season. Dartmouth completed just five of 11 passes for 68 yards, but ran 52 times for 225 yards, possessing the ball for 10 more minutes than the No. 9 Tigers (7-1, 4-1).

“We tried to find some weak points, and Gerbino playing allowed us to do different things,” said Teevens, whose team held Princeton to 246 yards, roughly half its usual output. “It all came together.”

Gerbino, who spent part of the fourth quarter face down on a training table inside Dartmouth’s sideline medical tent, said he felt better as the week progressed and that he knew his team needed him to shine. He credited adrenaline and his teammates with pulling him through.

“It was such a group effort and fun being out there with the guys,” he said. “Remembering what happened last year and letting that drive us.”

The teams’ 2018 matchup also featured unbeaten teams, but Princeton prevailed, 14-9, in New Jersey and later captured the Ivy League crown. Losing its star quarterback and two standout receivers to graduation was perhaps too much for the Tigers to overcome this time around.

“It was a bitter feeling that stayed in our mouths,” Gerbino said. “I felt like, today, our guys wanted it more. You could feel the energy and emotion on the sidelines. It was a bit of a revenge tour.”

Teevens downplayed that angle and instead said he thought Dartmouth’s pressure on Princeton quarterback Kevin Davidson was key. The Big Green sacked Davidson three times, and the senior completed 26 of 43 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown but had two tosses intercepted. The Tigers also lost one of their two fumbles.

“The biggest thing is we unsettled him a little,” Teevens said. “He had to move his feet and use one side of the field.”

Dartmouth’s Connor Davis missed a 38-yard field goal attempt on his team’s first possession. Two plays later, however, defensive end Niko Lalos, a high school tight end, leaped over a cut block, intercepted a Davidson pass and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. Davis booted the first of his three extra points for a 7-0 lead during the seventh minute.

Big Green safety Ryan Roegge recovered a fumble at Dartmouth’s 6-yard line to end Princeton’s next possession. The hosts went up, 14-0, five minutes into the second quarter on a 1-yard Gerbino run that capped a seven-play, 31-yard drive. The march was set up when Isiah Swann intercepted a Davidson pass.

Davis snuck a 37-yard boot over the crossbar for a 17-0 lead five minutes before halftime. Princeton answered when Davidson threw 3 yards to Graham Adomitis for a touchdown and Tavish Rice kicked the extra point nine seconds before intermission.

Leading, 17-7, Dartmouth received the second-half kickoff and drove 50 yards in 12 plays before Davis kicked a 42-yard field goal for a 20-7 lead. Rice kicked a 28-yarder of his own to pull the Tigers within 20-10 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Gerbino’s second touchdown run, this one of 22 yards, and Davis’ last extra point closed the scoring during the fourth quarter’s first play. Princeton twice turned the ball over on downs during the remaining time, and when it expired, the Big Green’s players and coaches staged a boisterous celebration at the edge of the stands. Attendance was announced at 21,506.

“It’s really a tribute to the Dartmouth family; they care about what you do, and football’s important to them,” Teevens said. “Fifteen years of coaching Dartmouth kids, and I swear every one of them was there today, even if they look a little different.

“It was our home game, and it felt like a home game being here. Our kids and coaches will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

Notes: Dartmouth has won 10 consecutive games and 20 of its last 21 contests, while Princeton lost for the first time in 18 games. ... The Tigers host Yale (7-1, 4-1) and visit Pennsylvania (4-4, 2-3) to close their season. … Saturday’s game celebrated the 250th anniversary of Dartmouth’s founding and the 150th anniversary of the first recognized college football game, played between Princeton and Rutgers. … Teevens has won 104 games at his alma mater, tying program leader Bob Blackman. No other Dartmouth football coach has won more than 60 games. … Dartmouth extended its streak of scoring at least one touchdown in a game to 84.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.




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