Oct. 8, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Inside a soggy and mud-filled Yale Bowl, Dartmouth's football team struggled on offense and again had several special teams miscues as the Big Green fell to the Bulldogs, 13-0. It was the first time Yale had shutout Dartmouth since 1979 when the Elis won, 3-0.
Special teams played a key role for the second straight week, as Dartmouth again had a punt blocked, missed two field goals, and fumbled on a punt return. Dartmouth's defense played strongly, forcing four turnovers, but the offense couldn't convert any of them into points, managing just 110 yards of total offense compared to 313 for the Elis.
"It was a winnable game that we let slip away," head coach Buddy Teevens said. "I thought we played hard, but the offense squandered some opportunities to put points on the board."
Yale (2-2, 2-0 Ivy) blocked a punt midway through the first period, the third time in two games Dartmouth has had a punt blocked. But after getting inside the 10-yard line on the next play, the Big Green defense held and forced Yale to turn the ball over on downs when the Elis went for it on fourth-and-goal from the one. But after Dartmouth went three-and-out again, Yale made a quick strike. On the third play of the drive, tight end Alex Faherty made a 20-yard touchdown reception to put the Bulldogs up, 6-0, with 1:52 remaining in the quarter.
Dartmouth (1-3, 0-2 Ivy) had a golden opportunity three minutes into the second quarter when senior Mike Rabil (Gaithersburg, Md.) recovered a fumble on the Yale 13-yard line, but Dartmouth failed to score when senior quarterback Charlie Rittgers was sacked twice by Yale's Brandon Dyches, and kicker Erik Hinterbichler's (Albuquerque, N.M.) 43-yard field goal attempt fell short.
Junior Joe Gibalski (Tucson, Ariz.) picked off Jeff Mroz on the following drive, but again the Big Green came up empty. The ensuing drive stalled at the 20-yard line, and Hinterbichler missed wide right from 37 yards out. Dartmouth held the Bulldogs on the ensuing drive, but the punt was misplayed and Yale recovered deep in Dartmouth territory. Fortunately for the Big Green, senior captain Josh Dooley (Tuttle, Okla.) intercepted Mroz in the endzone in the final minute of the half to keep the squad within six at the break.
After a scoreless third period, Yale put the game away with 9:50 remaining in the fourth when Mroz capped an eight-play, 77-yard drive with a 20-yard strike to flanker Todd Feiereisen to give the Bulldogs a 13-0 lead. Dartmouth never threatened in the second half, entering Yale territory just once when they got to the Yale 47-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
Rittgers completed 10-of-22 passes for 56 yards. Senior Jason Bash (Ramona, Calif.) carried the ball 20 times, racking up 80 yards on the ground.
"We've got to go back to the drawing board and keep pushing," Teevens said.
Dartmouth winds up its non-conference schedule on the road next weekend at Holy Cross. Game time is set for 1 p.m.