Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boxscore

HAMILTON, N.Y. – Junior Alex Jenny threw for a career-high 343 yards for Dartmouth (0-1) in the Big Green season opener, but the Colgate tandem of Jordan Scott and Greg Sullivan stole the show by rushing for a combined 375 yards and four touchdowns to lead the host Raiders (2-2) to a 34-20 comeback victory on Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Making just his second career start, Jenny (Wayland, Mass.) displayed poise under pressure while making good decisions, completing 29 of his 48 pass attempts without throwing an interception. One of Jenny’s completions was a three-yard score to senior wide receiver Eric Paul (The Woodlands, Texas), who caught five passes for 87 yards. The leading receiver for the Big Green was senior Philip Galligan (Moraga, Calif.) who hauled in 10 passes for 146 yards, both career highs in his first 100-yard game.

Scott, a preseason All-American tailback and the leading active career rusher, barreled for 239 yards on 29 carries and a pair of touchdowns for his 16th consecutive 100-yard game. He also broke the Patriot League rushing record and surpassed 5,000 yards for his career (5,015). Sullivan became the first Colgate quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game (136) in 10 years, also reaching the end zone twice.

“We showed an ability to move the ball today,” stated Head Coach Buddy Teevens after the game. “But we cannot afford to get the ball into the red zone five times and score on just three of those opportunities.

“Our pass coverage was better than in the past as we were able to apply pressure and got a pair of sacks. The tackling, however, was uncharacteristically poor. You have to give Scott a lot of credit for that, though, as one of the best runners in the country.”

With the score tied at 13 to start the second half, Dartmouth struck first in the middle of the third quarter on the touchdown toss from Jenny to Paul. The score came three plays after the two had connected for a 49-yard gain to put the Big Green on the three.

A chop block penalty and a 14-yard sack by junior Marlon Alebiosu (Stamford, Conn.) on Colgate’s next possession put the Raiders in a big hole late in the third quarter. But facing a third-and-34, Sullivan connected with Sam Breslin for a 35-yard gain to the Dartmouth 15. Three plays later, Scott plunged into the end zone from a yard out, and the point after knotted the score at 20 with just 43 seconds remaining in the third stanza.

Jenny had another big pass play up his sleeve on the ensuing drive, however, dropping a beautiful timing pass to Galligan down the right sideline for a 33-yard gain to start the fourth quarter. Dartmouth stalled at the four, leaving freshman Foley Schmidt (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), who had already booted two field goals, a 22-yard attempt. But Colgate broke through the line and got just enough of the ball to keep it from creeping over the crossbar, preserving the tie.

Feeding off the emotion of the block, the Raiders marched 80 yards the other way, with Sullivan finishing off the drive on a 14-yard keeper for a 27-20 lead with 7:27 to play.

Dartmouth threatened to tie the score yet again, advancing down to the Raider 17. An incomplete pass and a pair of sacks foiled the Big Green offense, however, as it turned the ball over on downs.

Colgate put the game out of reach when Scott streaked for 49 yards and Sullivan followed with a 31-yard run for the clinching touchdown.

The difference in 2008 game experience seemed to show at the outset of the contest as the Raiders needed just three plays to get on the board. Sullivan found Pat Simonds down the left sideline for a 41-yard touchdown strike, but the extra-point attempt bounded off the left upright, leaving Colgate with a quick 6-0 advantage.

The Dartmouth defense thwarted the next Raider drive when sophomore Buddy Benaderet (Palo Alto, Calif.) stripped the ball from Sullivan and senior Max Copello (Stockton, Calif.) gained control. That turnover led to a 39-yard field goal by Schmidt.

Three third-down conversions, including a 19-yard diving catch by Paul on a third-and-eight at the Colgate 25, led to a six-yard sprint to the end zone by senior Milan Williams (Mobile, Ala.). Schmidt’s extra point gave the Big Green their first lead of the game at 10-6 with 11:46 to play in the half.

The Raiders came up empty on their next drive when Jacob Stein’s 38-yard field goal attempt went well wide to the left.

Colgate was not to be denied its next possession when Scott culminated a six-play, 75-yard drive with a 12-yard burst for a touchdown and a 13-10 advantage.

The Big Green answered, driving down to the Raider nine before coming up half a yard short on third down. Schmidt provided the 26-yard field goal to tie the score at 13 just before the end of the half.

Dartmouth amassed 434 yards of offense in the contest, with Williams as its leading rusher with 65 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. On defense, junior Peter Pidermann (Hialeah, Fla.) led the Big Green with a career-high 12 tackles while senior Andrew Dete (Marietta, Ga.) had nine, including a pair for a loss.

Sullivan attempted just 10 passes, completing seven for 119 yards. Both Carlton Walker and Zach Smith had a pair of sacks, and Coree Moses led the Raiders with nine tackles.

“We won’t dwell on the negatives of this game, simply learn from them and move on. There were many positives to build upon, but this is a bottom line win or lose world.

Dartmouth plays its home opener at Memorial Field next Saturday at noon against in-state rival New Hampshire in the Granite Bowl. The game will be televised by ABC affiliate WMUR. Colgate travels to Fordham for its Patriot League opener at 6 p.m.