ITHACA, N.Y. — Dartmouth's second half comeback wasn't enough as the Big Green fell to Cornell, 28-25, in Ivy League football action on Saturday.
Dartmouth scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns along with a two-point conversion to get within three with 4:46 to play. But Cornell (4-4 overall, 2-3 Ivy) recovered an onside kick to thwart the Big Green's comeback, pushing its record at Schoellkopf Field this season to 4-1.
"We didn't open up and play well in the first half," said head coach Buddy Teevens. "We did not tackle well defensively and we were three-and-out too often offensively. The guys gathered themselves at the half and competed. We didn't play an entire game, but we played the last 30 minutes."
Sophomore Milan Williams (Mobile, Ala.) was a bright spot, gaining 55 yards on 11 carries. The tailback scored two touchdowns on the afternoon, including Dartmouth's final points from one yard out.
With Cornell leading, 21-10, at the start of the fourth quarter, the Big Red improved the lead to 28-10 when quarterback Nathan Ford picked up his second TD of the game with 14:25 to go.
On the next series, Dartmouth quarterback Mike Fritz (Houston, Texas) completed an 11-yard scoring pass to tight end Brett Lowe (San Luis Obisbo, Calif.) to get the Big Green within 28-17.
After Cornell was forced to punt, the Big Green began a six-play, 66-yard drive that culminated with Williams blasting in from the one. The two-point conversion attempt was successful with Fritz completed a pass to senior wide receiver Ryan Fuselier (Escondido, Calif.).
Cornell was able to take the remaining minutes off the clock with the key play a four-yard run by Ford on fourth-and-one midway through the series.
"Cornell's a good football team," said Teevens. "We knew we were going to have to play four quarters. We played a half. And unfortunately that's the difference in the ball game. We spotted a good team 21 points and that's tough to make up."
Dartmouth trailed, 14-0, with less than five minutes to go in the opening period, before getting on the scoreboard with a 39-yard field goal by junior Andrew Kempler (Westport, Conn.). That made it 14-3 as time ran out in the first.
But Cornell answered with a big play just 50 seconds into the second period. On the keeper, quarterback Stephen Liuzza burst 81 yards up the middle for a 21-3 Cornell advantage.
On the ncxt series, the Big Green answered with a 10 play, 67 yard drive, capped off by Williams' six-yard run as Cornell took a 21-10 lead to the locker room.
Fritz had a strong day for Dartmouth with 298 yards passing, completing 21 of 35 attempts, but the senior was sacked six times by the Big Red defense. The Big Green's defense was led by junior John Pircon (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) with 11 tackles, including seven solo.
With a 1-7 overall record and a 1-4 mark in the Ivy League, Dartmouth closes out the home portion of the schedule next Saturday, hosting Brown at 12:30 pm.