Saturday, October 18, 2008

Boxscore

HANOVER, N.H. — Although Dartmouth forced four Holy Cross turnovers and scored a season-high 26 points, the visiting Crusaders were able to spoil the Big Green homecoming game as quarterback Dominic Randolph threw for 391 yards in a 44-26 Holy Cross victory on Saturday afternoon in front of 7,518 fans at Memorial Field. The Crusaders evened their record at 3-3 on the season, while Dartmouth remained in search of its first win at 0-5.

Randolph completed 33-of-45 passes to amass his 391 yards, plus tossed two touchdowns, but he also had a pair of passes picked off. Wide receiver Jon Brock was his top target with six catches for 105 yards and one of the scores, while running back Mike Kielt caught five balls for 75 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown. Kielt also reached the end zone three times on the ground, gaining 120 yards on 18 carries (6.7 yards per rush).

Dartmouth junior quarterback Alex Jenny (Wayland, Mass.) had 232 passing yards and two scoring strikes, completing 21 passes in 36 attempts. But like Randolph, he had two errant passes intercepted. Sophomore receiver Tim McManus (St. Paul, Minn.) caught both touchdowns and a game-high eight passes for 110 yards, his second career 100-yard game and first by a Big Green player this year.

“It’s hard to go week after week without a win,” Dartmouth head coach Buddy Teevens stated after the game, “but we continue to show progress on the field. We are getting better as a team, and we certainly competed for the full 60 minutes. The offensive line did a better job blocking and giving our quarterback time, especially considering their youth and inexperience. Not only are they young up front, but some were playing out of their normal positions (to fill in for injured players).”

The defense of Dartmouth came through early in the first quarter when senior Ian Wilson (Burbank, Calif.) picked off a pass at the Holy Cross 37. That turnover helped the Big Green dent the scoreboard first for the first time this year when freshman Foley Schmidt (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) converted a 37-yard field goal.

The Crusaders came right back with an eight-play, 76-yard touchdown drive, capped by Kielt’s 39-yard run down the right sideline. Matt Partain provided the point after to give Holy Cross a 7-3 lead.

A 21-yard run by senior Milan Williams (Mobile, Ala.) helped the Big Green get into field goal range on their next drive, and Schmidt came through with a season-long 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first quarter.

Once again, Holy Cross answered the field goal with a touchdown. Randolph needed just five plays to direct the Crusaders 63 yards, the last 16 coming on a toss to Brock for the six points. Partain’s extra-point attempt was blocked, however, as sophomore Charles Bay (Marietta, Ga.) broke through the line for his second PAT block in as many games.

On their next possession, the Crusaders methodically marched 65 yards in 11 plays, culminating with a five-yard bolt by Kielt. The point after split the uprights this time for a 20-6 Holy Cross advantage.

Although senior punter Brian Scullin (Alexandria, Va.) drilled a 58-yard punt that was downed at the eight with 2:42 left in the half, Holy Cross was able to orchestrate a 79-yard drive to the Dartmouth 13 before running out of steam. Partain kicked a 29-yard field goal with just six ticks on the clock to give the Crusaders a 23-6 lead at the intermission.


Sophomore Tim McManus stretching to score
his first of two touchdowns against Holy Cross.

Dartmouth turned the ball over on downs to start the second half, but got the ball back when Wilson nabbed his second interception of the game on a tipped pass. Three plays later, McManus (St. Paul, Minn.) slipped past the defense on the right sideline where Jenny (Wayland, Mass.) found him for a 25-yard touchdown toss. Schmidt’s extra point got the Big Green back within 10 at 23-13.

Holy Cross put itself into position to add more points on its next drive, but Partain’s 42-yard field goal attempt was swatted down by senior Casey Frost (Lawndale, Calif.). The Crusaders were not denied on their next offensive set as Kielt caught a screen pass and weaved his way 41 yards down the left sideline for the score and a 30-13 advantage.

An interception by Crusader cornerback Anthony DiMichele gave Holy Cross the ball at the Big Green 41, which Kielt converted into his fourth touchdown of the day on an eight-yard run with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter.

But Dartmouth would not give up. A 34-yard completion to freshman Michael Reilly (Denver, Colo.) to the Holy Cross 10 to start the fourth quarter led to a touchdown reception by McManus on the next play. The Big Green went for two, but Jenny’s pass sailed high, leaving the score at 37-19.

Sophomore cornerback Robbie Krattiger (Norman, Okla.) forced a fumble which was recovered by junior Jeffrey Smith (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) at the Big Green 25, giving Dartmouth another chance to creep back into the game. But another DiMichele interception thwarted Dartmouth’s drive, and Holy Cross converted the turnover into a touchdown on a one-yard keeper by Randolph.

The final score of the game came when a snap went over the head of the Holy Cross backup quarterback, and senior Taylor Babcock fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown with just 4:34 to play.

Dartmouth gets back into Ivy League play next Saturday with a game at Columbia at 4 p.m., to be televised nationally by VERSUS. Holy Cross opens a three-game homestand next week when it hosts Lehigh in Patriot League action at 12:30 p.m.