Saturday, November 3, 2007
HANOVER, N.H. - In a wild game that lasted nearly four hours, Dartmouth and Cornell combined for a record-setting afternoon as the Big Green defeated the Big Red, 59-31, on Saturday.
Dartmouth (3-5 overall, 3-2 Ivy) matched its most points ever since a 59-0 shutout of Bates in 1935 and scored the most against Cornell since the Big Green's national championship team of 1925 downed the Big Red, 62-13.
The combined 90 points were the most in the series that dates back to 1900.
"The guys came out and played," said Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens. "We talked all week long about coming out and playing hard to the finish. [It was a] collective effort - offense, defense and special teams, and for the most part, we played together the way we needed to."
After a routine first quarter in which Dartmouth took a 7-0 lead on senior quarterback Tom Bennewitz's (Weston, Conn.) keeper, the fireworks started in the second period when 38 total points were scored.
The Big Green ran the lead to 17-0 on a dramatic 60-yard pass to senior wide receiver Brian Evans (Fairfield, Texas) and a 20-yard field goal by senior Andrew Kempler (Westport, Conn.) who also kicked eight-of-eight PAT on the afternoon.
Dartmouth and Cornell traded four touchdowns in the final 6:23 of the half, including a pair 19 seconds apart.
After Cornell's Zac Canty had a 24-yard TD catch at 6:23 to make it 17-7, Dartmouth freshman Tim McManus (St. Paul, Minn.) answered with a 75-yard catch-and-run up the right side. It tied for the ninth longest pass scoring play in school history.
Evans closed the half with another long-distance play, getting behind the Cornell secondary for a 62-yard touchdown and a 31-14 Big Green lead. That was Dartmouth's highest offensive production since a 38-0 halftime advantage at Holy Cross on October 10, 1992.
In the third quarter for Dartmouth, junior tailback Milan Williams (Mobile, Ala.) added a nine-yard TD score, and McManus grabbed another pass from Bennewitz as the lead went to 45-24.
There was more drama in the final period. Sophomore cornerback Pete Pidermann (Hialeah, Fla.) picked off a Cornell pass and went 70 yards for a touchdown, becoming the first Dartmouth player to score on an interception return since Brad Eissler '01 vs. Brown in 1998.
Less than two minutes later, senior Mike Whitticom (Montrose, Colo.) sacked Cornell quarterback Stephen Liuzza, jarring the ball loose, and junior Rehan Muttalib (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) rambled 11 yards for a 59-24 lead.
The final touchdown came at 4:02 when Cornell's Chris Costello blocked a Big Green punt, and Nick Zerante recovered it for a Big Red score.
Dartmouth was opportunistic on the day, taking advantage of two interceptions while forcing the Big Red into five fumbles lost. Cornell had 29 first downs and 542 yards of total offense, compared to the Big Green with 12 first downs and 410 yards of total offense.
Bennewitz had an outstanding afternoon, completing 16 of 21 attempts for 339 yards - 12th best in school history - and four touchdowns. McManus finished with six catches for 124 yards and two TD, while Evans grabbed five passes for 191 yards and two scores.
Defensively, senior corner Jason Blydell (Nahant, Mass.) had seven solo tackles, three assists and three pass breakups, while senior linebacker Justin Cottrell (Somers Point, N.J.) had nine tackles (six solo) and an interception return for 32 yards that set up the Big Green's first touchdown of the third quarter.
Dartmouth is on the road next weekend, traveling to Brown on Saturday, November 10 for a 12:30 kickoff.