Home Opener a Heartbreaker in 31-28 Loss to Holy Cross
John Macomber drilled the kick to cap a wild night in Hanover and give the visitors the three-point victory, erasing the memory of the Big Green’s last-second field goal a year ago in Worcester.
Leading the way for Dartmouth (1-1) was sophomore quarterback Dalyn Williams, who was 21-of-35 passing for 273 yards and three touchdowns. The 273 yards marked the fourth straight time that Williams went over 200 yards passing.
Williams’ favorite target was junior wide receiver Bo Patterson who pulled down two touchdowns for the first time in his career, while also leading the team with 78 yards receiving on five receptions.
On the ground, senior Dominick Pierre ran for 124 yards and a touchdown on 18 rushes, while Williams carried the ball 19 times for 87 yards. For Pierre, the performance was his fifth career 100-yard game.
The Crusaders were guided by freshman quarterback Peter Pujals who threw for 290 yards through the air on 25-of-37 attempts and ran for a team-high 142 yards on the ground (17 carries).
Holy Cross racked up 525 total yards of offense (290 pass/235 rush), including a time-consuming drive of 14 plays for 67 yards to set up the Macomber field goal in the final minute.
Dartmouth’s offense was just shy of the 500-yard mark, putting up 496 (273 pass/223 rush) on the night. But two lost fumbles, including one on the kickoff return after the go-ahead field goal, proved to be too much for the Big Green to overcome as it fell at home for the fifth straight game dating back to the 2012 campaign.
Sophomore Kyle Bramble got the home team on the board with his first career touchdown, a seven-yard reception from Williams, giving Dartmouth a 7-0 lead with 3:14 remaining in the first quarter. The TD reception culminated a five-play, 76-yard scoring drive for the Big Green that featured a 38-yard pass to sophomore Victor Williams to set up the touchdown.
Dartmouth built its lead to 14 when Pierre punched in a one-yard score in the second quarter, one of his four runs during the 65-yard drive.
However, with just seven seconds remaining before halftime, the Crusaders finally broke through on the Dartmouth defense. A 20-yard pass from Pujals to Kalif Raymond cut the deficit in half heading into the intermission.
The third quarter saw an outburst of scoring from both sides with each team finding the end zone twice.
Pujals ran one in from a yard out 3:39 into the quarter, capping a drive of 10 plays spanning 76 yards.
Dartmouth turned to the air as Williams and Patterson hooked up on the first of two touchdown passes four minutes later. Patterson made a scintillating catch on a fade route to the back right corner of the end zone to put the Big Green back on top, 21-14.
After Holy Cross’ Jake Weiczorek tied the game on a 33-yard pass play up the middle of the field, Williams and Patterson connected again, this time from 31 yards out, to put the home team back on top with its third lead of the game.
The first-year Holy Cross quarterback wasted little time at the start of the fourth quarter tying the game for the third time. Pujals broke through the line on the simple keeper to the right side and scampered for a 58-yard score, putting him over 100 yards rushing on the evening.
Dartmouth missed its lone field goal attempt, a 44-yard attempt in the second quarter that sailed just left of the uprights.
For the game, Holy Cross was 9-of-17 on third-down conversion tries, while Dartmouth was 6-of-13. Only twice did the Big Green get the ball inside the red zone, converting both chances into touchdowns.Dartmouth is back in action next Saturday, Oct. 5 at Penn. The Big Green and Quakers will kick-off from Franklin Field at 1 p.m.