Football fights for a 17-14 win over Dartmouth

Cooper Mead

Senior Writer

The football team defeated the Dartmouth Big Green 17-14 on Oct. 19 in Hanover, N.H. to bring its record to 2-4. Matt DelMauro ’16 and CJ Williams ’17 posted key touchdowns for the Bison, while Will Carter ’17 continued to be a factor as he tallied eight catches for 69 yards.

The Bison defensive front remained strong against the Big Green, as it held the potent Dartmouth offense (averaging about 500 yards per game) to just 252 yards. The Bison tallied a season-high seven sacks led by Tracey Smith ’14, who had eight tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

On offense, quarterback Brandon Wesley ’14 returned to the field for the first time since his game against Cornell and connected on 11 of 21 passes for 127 yards. Most notably, his deep 42-yard throw to Josh Brake ’15 put him in first place for the Bison program’s career passing yard mark with 5,347 yards. On the ground, the Bison were led by DelMauro with 75 yards, and Williams with 68 yards.

The contest began as a defensive battle with neither team scoring during the first quarter, but Dartmouth capitalized on a costly Bison personal foul and took the lead at the beginning of the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown run to finish a 12-play, 73-yard drive. On the following drive, Wesley orchestrated a 13-play, 74-yard drive. The Bison were unable to capitalize on the following drive, as Williams was stopped just short of the end zone on fourth-and-goal.

The Bison went into the second half trailing 7-0, but would score on two consecutive drives to begin the half. The first was a 14-play, 51-yard drive that concluded with a 32-yard field goal booted by Derek Maurer ’15. On their next possession, the Bison, aided by a holding call deep in Big Green territory, put together an 84-yard, 10-play drive that was capped by a 15-yard touchdown by DelMauro to bring the score to 10-7. The Bison defense remained resilient as Smith jolted the ball out of Dartmouth’s grasp, which gave the Bison great field position and allowed Williams to power the ball into the end zone with 10:17 left in the game.

“Our team put together a full game in all three phases … This win on the road provides confidence for a young team that has worked hard in each game,” head coach Joe Susan said.

After a strong defensive stand, the Bison’s next possession stalled and Kyle Sullivan’s ’14 punt was blocked. Dartmouth then registered a 21-yard touchdown pass to bring the Big Green within three points at 17-14 with 44 seconds left on the clock. In a desperate attempt, the Big Green lined up for an onside kick, but it was recovered by Lee Marvel ’15 to seal the Bison victory.

“Overall we played a solid game in all aspects for 60 minutes and when you can do that, more often than not you’re going to be happy with the results. We faced adversity in the game, and that’s going to happen in football. It’s how you respond to that adversity that determines the outcome of the game. Moving forward we will do our best to learn from this success and use it against our future opponents. It’s a long season and we still have a lot of goals we’d like to get accomplished,” Sullivan said.

The Bison win marks the first victory over an Ivy League team since 2011, and a significant improvement on turnovers (one fumble) that were plaguing the Bison offense. In addition, the Bison dominated on third down as they converted eight of 19 third downs compared to three of 16 converted by the Big Green.

The Bison will return to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium tomorrow at 1 p.m. as they hope to carry momentum from the win into the game against Lehigh on Homecoming Weekend.

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