PRINCETON, N.J. – The Dartmouth football team hung tough with Princeton, setting up a decisive fourth quarter, but the Tigers prevailed, 27-17, to win a share of the 2006 Ivy title.
Tied 17-17 after three quarters of play, the game was ultimately decided on Matt Lichtenstein's 25 yard field goal with 12:58 left in regulation. The Tigers (9-1 overall, 6-1 Ivy) added an insurance touchdown with 1:03 to go when Rob Toresco scored his second of the afternoon.
Combined with Yale's 34-13 victory over Harvard, the Tigers and the Bulldogs share the 2006 crown. Coached by Roger Hughes, who was Dartmouth's offensive coordinator from 1992-99, the Tigers won nine games for the first time since 1964. The Ivy title was the first for the Princeton program since 1995.
"I'm proud of the way the guys competed," said Dartmouth coach Buddy Teevens. "We had some opportunities and we just didn't capitalize. Give credit to Princeton -- they did a wonderful job."
Teevens added, "To their credit, when they had to make a big drive, they did."
Big Green senior quarterback Mike Fritz (Houston, Texas) completed 21 of 36 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown. For the Tigers, senior QB Jeff Terrell had 257 yards passing, completing 29 of 46.
"We gave them a run for their money," said junior linebacker Justin Cottrell (Somers Point, N.J.), who had 14 tackles (including four solos). "We just came up a little short."
The Tigers used a first quarter touchdown by Jordan Munde and another in the second period by Toresco for a 14-0 lead with 10:46 remaining until the break. Both scoring runs were from one-yard out.
But Dartmouth (2-8 overall, 2-5 Ivy) answered about six minutes later with a 21-yard field goal by Andrew Kempler (Westport, Conn.), making it 14-3.
With 1:48 left until the half, Princeton's Conner Louden pushed the Tiger lead to 17-3.
On the next possession, the Big Green cut into the lead once again, going 81 yards in 1:04. Fritz threaded a pass to senior wide receiver Ryan Fuselier (Escondido, Calif.) from 14 yards out for a 17-10 score at halftime.
Dartmouth continued the comeback in the third quarter. The Big Green drove to the Princeton one and finally broke through when Fritz blasted in on fourth down. Kempler's PAT tied the game at 17-17 with 1:24 left.
The 2006 season will officially end for the Big Green on Sunday, when Dartmouth has its annual awards dinner.