Big Green Suffer 17-14 Defeat at the Hands of Bucknell
HANOVER, N.H. — Junior Bo Patterson caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from senior Alex Park in the final minute of regulation two plays following a blocked punt, but visiting Bucknell was able to hold off the Dartmouth football team Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field, 17-14. The loss drops the Big Green to 2-3 on the season while the Bison improve to 2-4, snapping a four-game skid overall and against Dartmouth dating back to 1989.
“This was a very disappointing outcome for us,” Dartmouth’s Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens ’79 said after the game. “They (Bucknell) are a better team than their record indicates.”
A pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns helped Bucknell overcome what was a 7-3 Big Green lead heading into the final frame. Matt DelMauro ran 15 yards into the end zone on a 3rd-and-goal draw play less than a minute into the period, and following a Tracey Smith sack that knocked the ball loose from Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams at the Big Green 11, C.J. Williams took the handoff on the next play and scampered for the score and a 17-7 lead.
Park came on to replace Williams, but was sacked twice to force another punt by freshmen Ben Kepley. But on the return, rookie long snapper Graydon Peterson hustled downfield and forced a fumble on the return, which sophomore Will McNamara eagerly gobbled up near midfield. It appeared the momentum had shifted as Park completed a 10-yard pass, only to see the yards negated and then some on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of the play. Two incomplete passes later and Kepley was called upon to punt again.
The Bison were able to kill more than four minutes before punting away, and when a Dartmouth drive stalled at the Bucknell 23, they ran the clock down to under a minute before facing fourth down again. With hope draining away for the Big Green, junior Troy Donahue breathed life into the Dartmouth faithful by blocking the punt. Again McNamara was there to corral the loose ball, giving the Green a first down at the 21. Two plays later, Park connected with Patterson in the back left corner of the end zone, cutting the deficit to three.
With 44 seconds showing on the scoreboard, Dartmouth lined up for an onside kick try, looking to get the ball back for a shot at tying or winning the game. The miraculous ending did not materialize, however, as Lee Marvel fell on the ball to allow the Bison to run out the clock with the Big Green out of timeouts.
The lone score of the opening half came in the second quarter as Williams marched the Green 73 yards in 12 plays with a little help from a personal foul penalty after a third-down sack. After the penalty, senior Dominick Pierre scored his seventh touchdown of the season on a three-yard run and junior Riley Lyons provided the extra point for a 7-0 advantage.
Bucknell, which had not scored against the Big Green defense in almost five quarters dating back to the 2010 meeting, finally got on the board when Derek Maurer knocked one through the uprights from 32 yards out.
started at quarterback, completing 10-of-21 passes for 104 yards, while Park was 7-for-13 for 74 yards and the 21-yard touchdown to Patterson, which was the longest play of the day for the Big Green. Pierre led Dartmouth on the ground with 75 yards on 19 rushes including his touchdown.
The key to the game was how the Bison offense was able to move the ball methodically in the second half, eating up more than 20 minutes of game clock. When Dartmouth did have the ball, the Bison defense was swarming, forcing two fumbles and holding the Big Green to just a season-low 252 yards of offense and 15 first downs. Dartmouth had posted at least 400 yards in each of its last seven games dating back to the 2012 campaign.
The Dartmouth defense was nearly the equal of Saturday’s opponent, holding Bucknell to 295 yards of total offense and forcing two fumbles.
Both teams recorded eight tackles for a loss, but seven of those were sacks for Bucknell while the Big Green managed just four. Seniors Chase Womack and Michael Runger paced Dartmouth with nine tackles apiece, while juniors Evan Chrustic, Eric Wickham and Corbin Stall, as well as freshman Folarin Orimolade, recorded the sacks.
Bison linebacker Evan Byers led all players with 13 tackles, and Smith was a force up front on the defensive line with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks.
The Big Green (1-1 Ivy) will wrap-up the current three game homestand at Memorial Field with Ivy League foe Columbia (0-5, 0-2 Ivy) next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Bucknell returns to Lewisburg, Pa., for a Patriot League game against Lehigh at 1 p.m.