Columbia (1-5, 0-3 Ivy) had a golden opportunity to win the game in the final minute, thanks to an excessive celebration penalty that forced the Big Green to kick off from their own 20. To make matters worse for Dartmouth, the kick went out of bounds, giving the Lions the ball at midfield. But after a 10-yard pass on the first play, Columbia was whistled for holding, then sacked by senior John Golio for a 10-yard loss. On 4th-and-30, Lion quarterback Sean Brackett was picked off by sophomore Stephen Dazzo, the first interception for Dartmouth this season, to end the threat of a comeback.
After stifling the Columbia offense in the third quarter, yielding just 27 yards, Dartmouth enjoyed a 14-10 lead entering the final period of play. The Lions drove into enemy territory, reaching as far as the 21, before attempting a 42-yard field goal to close the gap to a point, But the kick went well wide and low to the left, leaving the Big Green lead at four.
Dartmouth failed to advance the ball after taking over, and a 24-yard punt into the wind left Columbia with a short field at the Big Green 45. The Lions had been unable to get anything going on the ground all afternoon, but following a juggling catch by tight end Hamilton Garner for a first down, Marcorus Garrett took the ball three straight times for 33 yards, the last a 14-yard gallop into the end zone to give Columbia the lead with 2:46 on the clock. The point after, however, went wide left, leaving the door open for the Green to win the game with a field goal.
The Big Green had hurt themselves with penalties all game, and the ensuing kickoff was no exception as an illegal block put Dartmouth back on its own nine. After an incompletion, Park hooked up with sophomore Ryan McManus on three straight strikes, the last a 31-yarder over the defense down the right sideline to move into Lion territory at the 43.
Park was flushed out of the pocket on the next play, but was able to scramble for 13 yards before stepping out of bounds. Again he went to McManus, this time for a 15-yard gain, before hitting freshman Victor Williams underneath. The gain, combined with a roughing-the-passer penalty, put Dartmouth on the four-yard line. An illegal formation penalty pushed the Green back five yards, leading to Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach Buddy Teevens to call a timeout. The play called on the sideline worked to perfection as Bakes was all alone on the right side of the field for not only his first career touchdown, but first career catch as well.
Dartmouth came out of the intermission trailing, 10-7, and on its first possession looked to tie the game with a 25-yard field goal, only to have it blocked by Shad Sommers.
Late in the third quarter, the Big Green managed to take the 14-10 lead when sophomore receiver Bo Patterson beat the defense and hauled in a 67-yard scoring strike from freshman Dalyn Williams on the first play of the drive.
The game began as a defensive struggle with neither side denting the scoreboard in the opening quarter. Columbia could only muster eight yards of offense on 14 plays into the wind in the first 15 minutes.
When the second quarter began, Dartmouth found itself heading into that stiff breeze, so it kept the ball on the ground with Dalyn Williams behind center.. Williams and junior Dominick Pierre shared the load with Williams getting the honor of crossing the threshold from a yard out for his first career touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Lions responded with a 25-yard field goal, then took their first lead of the game with 45 seconds left before the break on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brackett to Chris Connors.
Dartmouth overcame 12 penalties for a total of 123, its most penalty yardage since in 11 years. Park finished the day completing 20-of-28 for 197 yards with an interception and the winning touchdown, and Williams added 87 yards on 3-of-4 passing with his 67-yard touchdown toss. McManus led the receiving corps with seven receptions for 96 yards, while freshman Brian Grove paced the running game with 56 yards on 16 carries.
The Dartmouth defense had three players collect 10 tackles apiece — senior safety Garrett Waggoner, and junior linebackers Bronson Green and Michael Runger. Golio, junior Martin Pomykala and senior Mick Davis each registered a sack for the defensive unit that allowed 220 yards, a total the Big Green offense nearly doubled with 411 yards.
Brackett threw for 140 yards by completing 16-of-31 passes with a touchdown and an interception. Garner and Garrett each caught five passes for the Lions, while the latter had a game-high 72 yards on the ground on 20 carries.
Dartmouth returns to Hanover next Saturday for its homecoming game against Harvard (5-1, 2-1 Ivy), which had its 14-game winning streak snapped today by Princeton, to be televised by Comcast SportsNet New England (CSNNE) at 5 p.m. Columbia will host Yale on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.