Courtesy Big Green Alert

HANOVER, N.H.Dalyn Williams threw for a school-record 435 yards and four touchdowns, plus broke the career record for total yards as Dartmouth dominated Yale, 35-3, in front of a sold-out homecoming crowd of 11,086 at Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon. The Big Green (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) racked up 592 yards of offense — their most in at least 40 years and likely 90 — and held Yale (3-1, 1-1 Ivy) to 276 — 32 on the ground — in a battle of unbeaten Ivy League teams.

Former NFL quarterback Jay Fiedler ’94 was on hand to witness Williams’ performance, smashing his single-game yardage record and his career mark for total yards of 7,249. Williams, who completed 29 tosses on a personal-high 53 attempts, finished the day with 7,525 total yards with six games left in his career, plus broke his own single-game mark for total yards with 453. In addition, Williams became the first Dartmouth quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards in three straight contests.

Two Big Green receivers topped 100 yards — senior Ryan McManus (who missed the previous two games with an ankle sprain) and junior Jon Marc Carrier with 116 and 103, respectively. Each caught six throws apiece while senior Victor Williams, who had 23 catches and 391 yards in the two games McManus missed, hauled in five for 91 yards, leaving him nine yards shy of giving Dartmouth its first game with three 100-yard receivers.

Vernon Harris
Vernon Harris picked off this Yale pass in the second quarter, one of three Big Green interceptions on the day. (photo Mark Washburn)

The defense was just as stout as senior free safety David Caldwell led the Big Green with seven tackles and terrorized Yale quarterback Morgan Roberts, picking off two passes while breaking up three others. Senior linebacker Will McNamara also had seven stops with a sack, and senior cornerback Vernon Harris added an interception. And three turnovers came within 10 yards of the end zone.

Although McManus, Carrier and Victor Williams did the heavy lifting among the receivers, none had any of the four touchdown catches. Sophomore tight end Cameron Skaff provided the first points of the day with an eight-yard grab in the back of the end zone in the final minute of the first quarter, capping an 80-yard drive that took 15 plays and 6:20 to complete.

In the second quarter, the Big Green went on scoring drives of 93 and 73 yards, neither of which took more than two minutes. Completions of 22, 23 and 42 yards set up a four-yard burst through the middle for senior Brian Grove. After Dartmouth free safety David Caldwell made a big fourth-down stop to give the ball back to the Green, Williams completed passes on all four plays with the final one a shovel pass to senior Kyle Bramble out of the backfield for a 17-yard score and a 21-0 lead with 6:28 left in the half.

Yale put its only points of the game on the board with an odd 12-play, 28-yard drive at the end of the half that ended with a 35-yard field goal off the foot of Bryan Holmes.

Over the first 30 minutes, Dartmouth racked up 333 yards while holding Yale to just 148, despite the Bulldogs running five more plays (48-43).Most of the yards for both teams came through the air as Williams had 307 on 20-of-31 passing by the intermission.

The Big Green added to their lead in the third quarter on another touchdown toss to Skaff, this time from four yards out three plays after Bramble broke free on a 54-yard run. Bramble finished with 85 of Dartmouth’s 143 rushing yards yards on just eight carries.

Twice in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs advanced deep into Dartmouth territory, only to be thwarted by Caldwell. His first interception came at the Big Green 10, and on the next Yale possession, he stepped in front of another pass at the two-yard line.

With 2:39 left in the game, Williams threw his final pass of the day, going over the top to junior Houston Brown for a 36-yard touchdown to break the single-game passing record and top 400 yards for the first time in his career.

Roberts attempted 58 passes and completed half of them for 229 yards for the Bulldogs while throwing three interceptions and getting sacked three times. Michael Sirgusa, Jr. was his favorite target as the sophomore set career highs with 12 catches and 132 yards for his first time over 100.

Hayden Carlson and Victor Egu led the Yale defense with nine tackles apiece, while the latter also had 1.5 sacks and forced Williams to fumble for the only Big Green turnover of the afternoon.

Dartmouth takes a break from Ivy play next Saturday when it travels to Central Connecticut State for its final non-conference game of the year at noon. Yale will play its third of four-straight road games by heading to Maine with kickoff slated for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Notes: Dartmouth is 4-0 for the first time since 1997 … the Big Green have started a season 4-0 12 times since the inception of the Ivy League in 1956; they went on to win the conference crown in eight of those 12 campaigns … Dartmouth has won seven straight games dating back to last season, all by at least 21 points. The last Big Green squad to win at least four games by 21 or more points in one season was the 1970 Lambert Trophy-winning team (did it in eight of the nine games) … the last recorded instance of Dartmouth topping 600 total yards came in 1925 against Cornell … Williams also broke his own school record for consecutive passes without an interception, extending his streak to 234 dating back to last season … the 435 passing yards pushed him over 6,000 in his career, passing Brian Mann ’02 for second all-time at Dartmouth (6,088). He needs 597 to pass Fiedler for the all-time mark … the last time the Big Green threw for at least 400 yards as a team in a game came against Yale as well, 14 years ago … Dartmouth entered the game leading the FCS with a turnover margin of 2.33, so it dropped to 2.25 … McManus jumped from eighth into a tie for fourth for most career receptions (135) and needs 149 more receiving yards to become the fifth Big Green player with 2,000 in a career.