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Courtesy: Mark Washburn

Runger, Gakenheimer Earn Ivy Weekly Awards

Courtesy: Dartmouth
Release: 11/20/2013
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HANOVER, N.H. — The Ivy League announced its weekly football award winners today, and three of the four went to Dartmouth players. Senior linebacker Michael Runger was chosen as the co-Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman placekicker Alex Gakenheimer took home both the Special Teams Player of the Week and the Rookie of the Week honors. This is the third honor for Runger in his career, and first two for Gakenheimer.

Runger, who was also named the Ivy Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness, spearheaded the defensive effort that helped Dartmouth defeat Brown in Providence, R.I., on Saturday, 24-20. The native of Lisle, Ill., collected a game-high 14 tackles, matching his best total of the season and giving him 70 on the year. Of those 14 tackles, none was more important than his final one in the middle of the fourth quarter with the Big Green clinging to a one-point lead. The Bears had a 3rd-and-1 play at their own 29 and handed off to the Ivy League’s leading rusher, John Spooney, who finished the day with 166 yards on the ground. Runger was able to penetrate into the backfield and bring Spooney down at the line of scrimmage, forcing Brown to punt. After a Dartmouth field goal chewed up some clock, the Big Green made one last defensive stand to fend off the Bears.

Gakenheimer, out of Charlotte, N.C., took over placekicking duties the week before and has handled them with aplomb since. The rookie converted all three of his PATs, but his 21-yard field goal with 3:23 left in the game was the biggest kick he made as he gave Dartmouth a four-point cushion and forced Brown to go for the end zone on its final possession.

Earning a spot on the honor roll was senior running back Dominick Pierre, who fought off a nagging injury and picked up 94 yards on 18 carries, one of which gave Dartmouth the lead for good in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Dartmouth players have received eight weekly honors this season spread out among seven players. Only Yale has more with 10 honors among eight players.

The Big Green (5-4, 4-2 Ivy) finish their season at home this weekend when league-leading Princeton (8-1, 6-0 Ivy) comes to Hanover. The Tigers are shooting for their first undefeated Ivy campaign since 1964 and the outright league crown, while a Dartmouth victory could force them to share the title if Harvard can beat Yale.

Fans can watch the game live in high-definition on Big Green Insider, a part of the Ivy League Digital Network. For information on how to subscribe to view the showdown that kicks off at 1:30 p.m., visit DartmouthSports.com, the official website of Dartmouth College athletics.
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