Senior running back Dominick Pierre ran for 160 yards on 26 carries, including a 37-yard touchdown jaunt, before sitting down in the middle of the third quarter with a 35-0 lead. He accounted for nearly half of the Green’s 325 yards on the ground, while three other Dartmouth players ran for a score. Sophomore quarterback Dalyn Williams exited with Pierre after having thrown for 149 yards on 11-of-18 passing. He was replaced by junior Alex Park who went 5-of-6 for 101 yards. Both signal callers threw for a touchdown as well.
Freshman wide receiver Jon Marc Carrier, the son of former NFL wide receiver Mark Carrier, recorded the first two scores of the game with a two-yard reverse and a 17-yard reception in the end zone.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Will McNamara stole the show as he picked off a pair of passes and returned each one for a touchdown. The first interception was a 24-yard return while the second went for 51 yards. The Lions managed to record only five first downs on the afternoon — the fewest by a Big Green opponent in at least 40 years — and ran just 49 plays, compared to 93 for Dartmouth.
After beginning the game by stopping Columbia on the first of eight three-and-outs, Dartmouth marched 61 yards in 10 plays with Carrier waltzing into the end zone on the two-yard reverse. The Lions then advanced to the Big Green 40 before stalling out and punting. It would be the farthest down the field Columbia would go all afternoon.
Early in the second quarter, Williams found Carrier wide open at the goal line for a 17-yard scoring strike and a 14-0 lead. A few minutes later, Pierre carried the load by picking up 72 of the 90 yards on a drive, both on the ground and through the air, culminating with a 37-yard touchdown run. That put him over 100 yards for the day with more than six minutes left in the half. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season and eighth of his career as he moved into second all-time at Dartmouth in rushing yards (2,344).
Less than two minutes later, McNamara jumped in front of a Kelly Hilinski pass and rumbled into the end zone for a 28-0 lead that the Big Green took into the locker room at the break.
The intermission was merely a short pause in the Dartmouth domination on the day. Sophomore defensive end Cody Fulleton sacked Hilinski on the Lions’ first drive of the second half and knocked the ball loose, allowing sophomore A.J. Zuttah to recover it for the Big Green. Nine plays later, Williams pushed his way forward the final three yards on a 3rd-and-goal keeper, extending the Dartmouth advantage to 35-0.
The offense didn’t break stride with Williams and Pierre on the sideline. Park came on and completed a 27-yard toss to senior tight end Cole Marcoux, and then tossed a screen pass to sophomore running back Kyle Bramble, who scampered 44 yards up the far sideline for a touchdown.
On the next Dartmouth drive, sophomore Brian Grove took the handoff nine times, eventually scoring on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Little more than two minutes later, a Hilinski pass to Connor Spears was jarred loose by sophomore David Caldwell, sending the ball skyward. McNamara was there to reel in the pigskin, then weaved his way 51 yards for the final score of the day.
The Big Green reserves ran off the final 9:41 of the game, running the ball 17 straight times while covering 76 yards down to the Columbia nine-yard line. Among those players touching the ball were senior John Higgins, who picked up 29 yards on five carries, and senior Kevin Price, a 31-year-old military veteran who served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Price took the handoff five times as well and gained 21 yards, though his first run went 53 yards, only to be called back due to a penalty.
No Dartmouth defender had more than four tackles with the Lions running a mere 49 plays. Both McNamara and sophomore Zach Slafsky had four stops, and nine different players had a hand in a tackle for a loss.
Columbia’s leading rusher, Marcorus Garrett, had just eight yards on six carries before leaving with an injury during the first quarter. Alan Watson led the Lions with 26 yards on the ground. Hilinski completed 9-of-23 passes for 53 yards.
Lion linebacker Vinny Pugliese had a game-high 10 tackles, including a 10-yard sack, while defensive end Nick Melka posted nine stops with a five-yard sack.
Dartmouth will play on the road next Saturday for the first time in four weeks when it plays at Harvard (5-1, 2-1 Ivy), which lost to Princeton this afternoon in three overtimes, 51-48. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. Columbia travels to Yale (3-3, 1-2 Ivy) on Saturday to play the Bulldogs at noon.