No. 24 Dartmouth Defeats Football 28-12
NEW YORK—No. 24 ranked Dartmouth opened up a closely contested game with three second half touchdowns in handing Columbia a 28-12 Homecoming loss Saturday at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The loss drops Columbia to 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the Ivy League, while Dartmouth improves to 6-0 on the year and maintains first place in the Ivy League with a 3-0 record. Columbia's crowd of 12,506 marked its fourth largest crowd since Lawrence A. Wien Stadium opened in 1984. It was also Columbia's fourth-largest Homecoming crowd since 1984. After a close first half in which Dartmouth built a slim 7-6 lead, the Big Green took the second half kickoff and drove 75 yards in nine plays ending in an eight-yard touchdown run by Drew Estrada. The score gave Dartmouth a 14-6 third quarter lead. Dartmouth made it 21-6 on the first play of the fourth quarter when it scored on a reverse in which wide receiver Drew Hunnicutt completed a 21-yard pass to quarterback Derek Kyler for a touchdown. The score with 14:52 left in the game was set up by Hunter Hagdorn's 35-yard punt return. On its next drive, Dartmouth went 92 yards in eight plays and took a 28-6 lead after Kyler completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Connor Rempel. It was a contest that saw Columbia outgain Dartmouth 20-18 in first downs and best national leader Dartmouth in time of possession (34:16-25:44). Columbia sustained long drives, totaled 314 yards of offense and completed 72 percent of its passes (31-43) for 228 yards, but the Lions could not convert enough of their long drives into touchdowns. The Lions ventured three times into Dartmouth's red zone and came away with only one touchdown. In addition, nine Columbia players were helped off the field with injuries. On the year, Columbia has more than 20 players sidelined with injuries, including five players who earned All-Ivy League honors in 2017. Columbia also went through three quarterbacks on the day as sophomore starter Josh Bean and first-year Ty Lenhart—both were sidelined with injuries. Senior Ryan Suitt came on at the end and completed eight of 10 passes for 46 yards and the Lions' lone touchdown. "I couldn't be more proud of the way our players responded to all the things that were happening," Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli. "Their effort right now is unbelievable. Ryan (Suitt) was unbelievable at the end—he hasn't had a snap all week—to come in there and run the offense the way he did was unbelievable. It was a whole litany of things that happened to us." "It has been one thing after another that has happened to us this entire year," Bagnoli said. "Today was just an extension of what has been happening to us, but through it all, our players have done an unbelievable job. They're staying focused and resilient and playing hard. We were playing against a really good, stout, mature, athletic and balanced football team in Dartmouth. We knew we were going to have our hands full. I never thought our kids stopped playing or didn't compete or didn't do all the things that as a coach, all the things you want your players to do. Obviously, the medical situation is becoming somewhat daunting of where we are. You just have to admire the way our kids competed against a really good team." Columbia took an early 3-0 lead as senior placekicker Chris Alleyne converted a 33-yarder in the first quarter. The Lions used a 12-play, 60-yard drive, which was keyed by an 18-yard run by Bean, a pass from senior wide receiver Kyle Castner to Ty Lenhart and 14 rushing yards from junior Lynnard Rose. The Lions seemingly scored a touchdown when junior tight end Rory Schlageter caught a pass from Bean, but it was called back due to a penalty. On the ensuing possession, Dartmouth answered with an 11-play 75-yard scoring drive that ended in a five-yard run around the left end by Rashaad Cooper. The score gave Dartmouth a 7-3 lead. On the drive, the Big Green ran the ball 11 straight times down the field while Cooper rushed for 43 yards in the drive. After Columbia's defense registered a stop and the Lions drove 38 yards in 10 plays, Alleyne kicked his second field goal of the day and 11th of the season, a 42-yarder, to pull Columbia within one point at 7-6. The Lions had one more opportunity to score before halftime when they drove down to the Dartmouth 19-yard line, but Lenhart's pass was intercepted by Dartmouth's Ryan Roegge with a minute to go before halftime. Senior linebacker Sean White was named the 10th annual John Toner Homecoming Player of the Game after he led the Lions with a game and career-high 12 tackles. Senior Ryan Gilbert also finished with 10 tackles, sophomore safety Ben Mathiasmeier recovered his first career fumble and senior Mike Hinton forced his second fumble of the year. On offense, Bean completed 10 of 17 passes for 73 yards, Lenhart completed a career-high 12 of 15 passes for 97 yards and Suitt finished 8-10 with 46 yards and his first career touchdown pass. First-year Ryan Young scored his first career touchdown on a 10-yard reception from Suitt. Sophomore Emerson Kabus led the Lions in receiving with a career-high eight catches for 31 yards, Castner caught six passes for 30 yards and junior Kaleb Pitts finished with three catches for 83 yards. "It's been one injury after another and it started from the summer," Bagnoli said. "I'd love to tell you that it's been recent, but it's been an accumulation. They haven't been your normal ankle sprains or typical injuries, it's ACL, out for the season types. We are in one of those cycles, I have no idea what causes it, but there are not many programs that have had this type of volume of injuries." Columbia (3-3, 0-3 Ivy League) hosts Yale next Saturday at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Kickoff for that game is 1 p.m. ET.