Dartmouth football: Big Green defeated in Granite Bowl by No. 11 UNH

  • Dartmouth College quarterback runs past New Hampshire's Josiah Silver during the teams' Sept. 16, 2023, nonconference game in Durham, N.H. UNH won, 24-7. —Gil Talbot

  • Dartmouth College interim football coach Sammy McCorkle congratulates players as they exit the field during a 24-7, nonconference loss at New Hampshire on Sept. 16, 2023, in Durham, N.H. —Gil Talbot

  • Dartmouth College quarterback Dylan Cadwallader throws under pressure from New Hampshire's Bryce Shaw. UNH won the teams' nonconference game, 24-7, on Sept. 16, 2023, in Durham, N.H. —Gil Talbot

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 9/17/2023 11:49:17 PM
Modified: 9/17/2023 11:49:18 PM

DURHAM, N.H. — The Dartmouth College football team began an uncertain campaign with an uneven performance Saturday, losing, 24-7, to No. 11 New Hampshire at Wildcat Stadium.

Playing without hospitalized head coach Buddy Teevens for the first time since his March bicycle accident, the Big Green looked strong defensively for long stretches but sputtered on offense. The visitors had a field goal attempt blocked, lost a fumble on a kickoff and committed eight penalties. UNH scored 10 points off turnovers.

“One game does not make a season,” said interim head coach Sammy McCorkle, whose squad surrendered 14 points during the fourth quarter. “You can correct those mistakes and you have to correct them. We have to make sure we clean that up.”

How Dartmouth would respond after an off-season during which it lost lineman Josh Balara to cancer on the same day as Teevens’ accident was a question entering the game. The Big Green looked competitive but slightly overmatched, quarterbacks Nick Howard and Dylan Cadwallader receiving little time and completing only 16 of 35 passes while having two intercepted.

“We did a good job of bringing pressure and getting hands in his face,” Wildcats defensive back Max Oxendine said of Cadwallader, Dartmouth’s designated “passing” quarterback. “He was scrambling all over the place and I knew they weren’t going to be able to throw a lot.”

Quarterback Nick Howard, used primarily when the Big Green wants to run the ball, carried 10 times for 62 yards and didn’t complete any of his five pass attempts.

Dartmouth receiver Paxton Scott snagged a career-high 10 passes for 153 yards, 123 of them after the catch. UNH’s Max Brosmer 11 of 23 passes for 67 yards and a touchdown and star running back Dylan Laube carried 33 times for 180 yards and a touchdown and caught six passes for 31 yards and a score.

Dartmouth’s defense carried the load for the first three quarters, twice stopping UNH inside the 10-yard line and holding the Wildcats to a field goal on another possession. The dam broke during the final period, when the Wildcats scored twice on rushing plays, one by Laube.

“We did a pretty good job of making him run east and west, not north and south, which is where he’s really dangerous,” McCorkle said. The defense was “in some challenging situations with their backs to the wall and dug deep and kept them out of the end zone.”

The first quarter was scoreless, UNH’s Randall Harris blowing past corner blocker Alex Geraci before blocking Owen Zalc’s 44-yard field goal attempt five minutes into the game.

The Wildcats (2-1) opened the scoring two minutes into the second quarter. Brosmer found Laube running right to left across the front of the end zone and hit him for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Nick Mazzie booted a 33-yard field goal to push UNH’s lead to 10-0 with 52 seconds remaining in the half.

Dartmouth cut into its deficit seconds into the fourth quarter during a drive that featured a 69-yard pass completion from Cadwallader to an uncovered Scott on the left sideline. Howard ran from the UNH 10-yard line to its 4, from where Jones ran up the middle for a touchdown, followed by Zalc’s extra point.

A personal foul was called on Dartmouth center Nick Marinaro during the conversion play, which pushed his team back on the ensuing kickoff and left UNH to start a drive from its own 48-yard line. The Wildcats scored in five plays, the last a 32-yard Brosmer run after a nifty fake handoff to Laube. The Wildcats moved ahed, 17-7, three minutes into the fourth quarter.

Dartmouth’s next possession ended when Oxendine intercepted a Cadwallader pass that he returned 43 yards to the Dartmouth 27-yard line. Laube carried five consecutive times, the last a 2-yard touchdown plunge. The extra point put the contest on ice, 24-7, with eight minutes to play.

The Big Green next hosts Lehigh (1-2) in a game in which it should be favored, but which it could certainly lose. The Mountain Hawks fell to Cornell by three points at home Saturday and Dartmouth opens Ivy League play the next week at Penn before returning home to host league favorite Yale.

“We’ll study the film, note our mistakes and how to correct them, then wipe it,” said Dartmouth safety Quinten Arello, whose team finished sixth in the Ivies last year and is picked to land there again. “Let’s see what this team’s got. I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

Notes: Attendance was announced at 8,330 …  After some unhappy, postgame jostling between the teams last year, the Granite Bowl trophy was left on a folding table behind one end zone for the Wildcats to claim for a second consecutive year… Dartmouth played without starting left tackle Delby Lemieux, who’s dealing with concussion symptoms, and starting outside linebacker Marques White, who has an injured arm… The Wildcats have no benches on their sidelines, only two groupings of 11 plastic, folding chairs … Scott is the 24th Dartmouth player to pass 1,000 receiving yards in a career … Jackson Stone, a UNH redshirt freshman safety and Lebanon High graduate, dressed but did not play… Former Dartmouth safety John Pupel, now a graduate student at Boston College, led the Eagles with nine tackles Saturday against Florida State… Former Dartmouth head coach and UNH defensive coordinator John Lyons visited with friends in the media room ahead of the postgame press conference. Lyons continues to battle the longterm effects of COVID-19 … UNH has a black Labrador Retriever named Jem fetch its kickoff tee and return it to the sidelines… Looming over the field at one end is a new “BEER DECK”, identified in enormous, capital letters, sponsored by a national company … UNH deployed more than 50 cheerleaders, broken into two squads at each end of the stadium.

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

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