Dartmouth College had more to celebrate than just its 250th anniversary Saturday, as the Big Green stayed undefeated against recent rival Princeton University at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and snapped the Tigers 17-game win streak.
Both Ivy League schools had put up similar top notch, undefeated seasons in the FCS prior to a week 8 head-to-head battle at Yankee Stadium.
These contenders have been thorns in each other’s side over the past two seasons: currently ranked FCS no. 13 Dartmouth’s last and only loss of 2018 was to the now no. 9 ranked Tigers in a defensive, 14-9 deadlock; a season where Princeton would wear the Ivy League crown at a perfect 10-0.
Meanwhile, Princeton’s last program loss came to the Big Green in an offensive shootout back in 2017, since then the Tigers have put together an unprecedented 17 game win streak.
Dartmouth came into the day after a last second Hail Mary left the Harvard Crimson seeing green last week, while the Tigers had a more comfortable victory over Cornell—putting both schools at an even 7-0 (4-0 conference) record.
The Big Green, technically home at the Bronx neutral site, had absolutely caged the Tigers in the first half.
Dartmouth struck quick with a pick six by defensive end Niko Lalos on QB Kevin Davidson at the 8:47 mark of the first quarter—just after Dartmouth kicker Connor Davis missed wide right from 38 yards out. Princeton then marched downfield towards Monument Park on its next drive, only to fumble on the Dartmouth six yard line after a jarring hit on Princeton receiver Carson Bobo by Big Green d-back, Ryan Roegge.
Princeton would again turn the ball over when Davidson surrendered another interception—this one to cornerback and captain Isiah Swann on the Tigers’ 31 yard line.
Dartmouth punched in another TD off the turnover, putting the Big Green up 14-0 on a keeper from split-starting QB Jared Gerbino midway through the second quarter. Soon after, Davis kicked the game’s first three pointer on a 33 yard boot towards the Yankee Stadium bleachers, putting Dartmouth up 17-0 with just over four minutes to go in the quarter.
Princeton did manage a touchdown with nine seconds left in the half on a bullet, three-yard pass from Davidson to receiver Graham Adomitis, cutting the Big Green lead to 17-7 going into halftime.
Dartmouth kept rolling though as Davis hit a 42-yard field goal to open up scoring in the second half, which was supplemented by a 21-yard line on a sweep from Gerbino, which put his squad up 27-10 at the start of the final 15 minutes of regulation.
The Big Green offense continued marching down the field on a series of those kind of outside sweeps, which it had seen improved success with as the game progressed.
Princeton’s offense didn’t do much towards a comeback for the ages as it was shutout in the fourth quarter, sealing the 27-10 victory for its Ivy League competitor.
“It was a gritty win and you love to see it,” Gerbino said following the Big Green win, adding “I could feel our guys wanted it more,” also noting that last year’s harrowing loss to the Tigers hasn’t left the minds of Dartmouth’s entire football personnel to date.
Although the victory happened well south of Hanover, NH, that didn’t matter for Dartmouth Head Coach Buddy Teevens.
“It was our home game and it felt like a home game being there,” he said coming off the Yankee Stadium victory, specifically noting how many of the Big Green faithful took over nearby Billy’s Sports Bar on River Avenue.
Meanwhile, a 2-6 Cornell and 1-6 Brown is all that stands in the way of Dartmouth and Teevens’ chase for the Ivy League title in this 2019 season.