HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth junior Michael Runger and sophomore Riley Lyons today were selected as the Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Week and Special Teams Player of the Week, respectively. Runger spearheaded a Big Green defense that yielded just 199 yards of offense in the 13-10 triumph at Holy Cross, while Lyons provided the game-winning field goal with one second remaining on the clock.
Runger was also named as the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, while Lyons was chosen as the FCS Special Teams Player of the Week by the College Sports Journal.
A 6-2, 225-pound linebacker from Lisle, Ill., and product of Benet Academy, Runger was all over the field as he recorded a career-high 15 tackles — his first collegiate game in double digits — nine of which were solo stops. The 15 tackles are the most by a Big Green player since Tony Pastoors ’11 brought down 16 Raiders in the 2009 season opener against Colgate. His presence in the middle of the field helped Dartmouth contain the usually potent Holy Cross offense, which mustered just one play from the line of scrimmage that went at least 10 yards. The 199 total yards are the fewest by a Big Green opponent since Columbia managed just 148 yards in a 37-0 blanking of the Lions last season.
Lyons, a 5-11, 170-pound kicker from Roswell, Ga., had several big plays for the Big Green on the afternoon, not only his game-winning kick. After Dartmouth fell behind in the first quarter, 10-0, it tied the score in the second quarter on a touchdown (with Lyons converting the PAT) and Lyons’ first career field goal, a 34-yarder. On his ensuing kickoff, the Crusader returner broke free down the left sideline and had one man to beat. The product of Blessed Trinity was up to the challenge, making the tackle at the Big Green 31 to thwart the touchdown. The defense forced a turnover on downs, and the score remained tied until Lyons drilled the 31-yard field goal to win the game. On top of all that, Lyons punted seven times for a 36.4-yard average, including a booming 57-yarder on the fly. Two of his punts ended up inside the Holy Cross 20.
Dartmouth (2-0) begins Ivy play this Saturday when it hosts Penn (0-2) in a game televised nationally by NBC Sports Network. The Quakers are coming off a 24-8 defeat against Villanova, but have won 13 of the past 14 meetings with the Big Green, including a last-minute 22-20 triumph in Hanover last year. The Big Green will be attempting to extend their five-game winning streak that dates back to last year, the fourth-longest streak in the FCS.