With the Big Green having just one substitute offensive lineman, and so few available bodies that some played out of position, the usual 15-minute periods were reduced to 10 in the second half. Dartmouth still made a run at the Panthers before the clock ran out.
Freshman defensive back Ryan Roegge’s interception set the Big Green up at its own 20 with 3:49 remaining trailing by four points. Classmate Cole Douglas, the last of four quarterbacks to play for Dartmouth, swung a 17-yard pass out to running back Jordan Argilagos on first down and Joseph Cook wrestled his next throw away from a defender for a 22-yard gain across midfield to the Middlebury 41.
Then it was Argilagos with an 11-yard burst for another first down. After a one-yard completion to Brandon Hester, Douglas had a 19-yard completion to Argilagos waved off for holding, pushing the ball back to the 34.
With quarterbacks not live, the athletic Douglas was whistled for a sack and a loss of nine on the next snap, rambled for eight on second down and then hit Connor Rempel for six yards on third down.
On fourth-and-eight with 58 seconds remaining and the ball on the Midd 29, Douglas rolled left and fired toward Cook near the end zone. What at first looked like it might be a catch was broken up by the Middlebury defender, enabling the Panthers to hold on.
Middlebury, which beings regular-season play next week against Bowdoin, opened the scoring with a touchdown pass from junior transfer Jared Lebowitz — a Scout.com three-star recruit at UNLV — to senior Ryan Rizzo for a touchdown on the Panthers’ first possession. Lebowitz, who played two years at Vermont’s South Burlington High School and then two years at a high school in Southern California, was rated the nation’s No. 40 pro style quarterback as a senior by 247Sports.
Trailing 7-0, Dartmouth drove 53 yards in eight plays to pull within a point thanks to runs of 40 and 36 yards by dynamic 5-foot-6 sophomore Matthew Shearin. Argilagos got the points on a second-effort lunge. The PAT was wide.
The Panthers extended their lead with a wobbly 21-yard field goal on the final play of the first half, which was called with 35 seconds left on the clock.
A Roegge interception stopped the opening drive of the second half, and Dartmouth quarterback Jared Gerbino proceeded to complete three of four passes for 23 yards and race 12 yards for a first down before an interception at the 30 ended the march.
Dartmouth’s junior varsity is now off until Oct. 16 when the Williams jayvees come to town.
Douglas completed 5-of-6 passes for 46 yards to lead the Big Green. Shearing topped the run game with three carries for 75 yards while Cook led the receiving corps with three catches for 38.
Roegge had a team-high eight tackles for Dartmouth. Linebacker Nigel Alexander added seven stops while fellow linebacker Andrew Lemkuil had five. T.J. Simpson had four tackles with a sack, as did Seth Simmer.
Micah Croom at two breakups and two tackles in the secondary.
Davis Brief showed off his leg with punts of 45 and 40 yards while averaging 37.7 overall. Jack Katzman punted twice for an average of 38.5.