Harvard 30, Dartmouth 14
Polished performances, on both sides of the ball.
The Crimson offense was hitting on all cylinders at Dartmouth’s Memorial Field on Saturday. Ably directed by junior quarterback Collier Winters, Harvard scored on four of its five first-half possessions, held a 27-7 lead at halftime, and won 30-14.
Winters, a second-team all-Ivy selection in 2009, was making his first start of the season. A hip injury sustained in the team’s first practice scrimmage of the year was expected to keep him off the field, but he was cleared to dress for the Princeton game on October 23 and was sent in at the start of the third period. He threw two touchdown passes as Harvard scored 24 points in the second half of a 45-28 shootout.
Despite some residual pain from his injury, Winters played the entire game against Dartmouth, rushing for two early touchdowns and passing for a third.
In the best-balanced offensive display of the season, Harvard gained 247 yards passing and 233 yards on the ground. Winters completed 19 of 31 passes for 212 yards, while senior back Gino Gordon and his alternate, Treavor Scales ’13, combined for 217 yards rushing.
Harvard’s ball-control offense dominated the opening quarter: the Crimson ran 31 plays to just nine for Dartmouth. The team’s first two touchdowns came after long drives that effectively mixed rushing and passing plays. Both ended with short-yardage carries by Winters.
Winters’s passing touchdown, a 10-yarder to wide receiver Adam Chrissis ’12, came after a second-quarter pass interception by reserve linebacker Josh Boyd ’13, who then made a 45-yard runback down the left sideline.
Harvard had opened the second quarter with a 35-yard reverse-option pass from senior receiver Mike Cook to Chrissis, setting up a 43-yard field goal by freshman David Mothander. With two seconds left in the quarter, Mothander tallied again on a 27-yard field goal try.
Starting the second half with a 27-7 lead, Harvard added three points on a 35-yard Mothander field goal. That one was set up by a pass interception by reserve linebacker Bobby Schneider ’13 and a 66-yard pass from Winters to receiver Curtis Ross ’13. The catch was Ross’s first as a varsity player.
Gordon gained 93 yards on 17 first-half carries; Scales rushed for 124 yards on 18 carrries. Chrissis was Harvard’s leading receiver, with seven catches for 86 yards.
The offense had a fumble-free, interception-free day, and was penalized only once.
The defensive unit excelled as well, yielding just one rushing touchdown to a Big Green offense that had averaged 28 points per game. Dartmouth’s only other score came on an 82-yard punt runback by cornerback Shawn Abuhoff, the Ivy League’s top punt returner.
Dartmouth quarterback Conner Kempe was intercepted three times and held to 15 completions in 33 attempts. He was sacked four times, twice by tackle Josue Ortiz ’12. The Big Green line had allowed only one sack in the team’s six previous games.
Back Nick Schwieger, who entered the game as the Ivies’ leading rusher, was limited to 69 yards on 16 carries. He left the game with an ankle sprain late in the third period. Dartmouth’s rushing touchdown came in the final quarter, on a five-yard sweep by freshman back Dominick Pierre.
Gordon, who sat out the second half with a minor injury, has now displaced Schwieger as the league’s most productive rusher. He’s gained 454 yards on 63 carries. Scales ranks third in the league, with 358 yards on 47 carries, and is averaging 7.6 yards per carry, as compared with 7.2 yards for Gordon and 3.9 for Schwieger.
With an average of 30 points per game, Harvard leads the league in scoring,
Harvard has won 13 of the last 14 contests with Dartmouth, and hasn’t lost at Hanover since 1993. The homecoming weekend attendance on Saturday was 9,142, the largest at Memorial Field in 12 years. The weather was chilly and overcast.
In other games: Pennsylvania (4-0, 6-1) remained unbeaten in Ivy League play, handing Brown (3-1, 4-3) its first league loss, 24-7. Yale (3-1, 5-2) held off Columbia (1-3, 3-4), 31-28. Cornell (1-3, 2-5) gained its first Ivy victory of the season, edging Princeton (0-4, 1-6), 21-19. Penn now has first place in the league standings to itself, with Harvard (3-1, 5-2), Yale, and Brown tied for second place. Dartmouth is now 1-3 in league play and 4-3 overall.
Next weekend: Harvard hosts Columbia at the Stadium on Saturday, kicking off at 12 noon. Penn travels to Princeton, Yale faces Brown in Providence, and Dartmouth meets Cornell at Ithaca.
The score by quarters:
Harvard 14 13 3 0 — 30
Dartmouth 0 7 0 7 — 14
The season so far:
Harvard 34, Holy Cross 6
Brown 29, Harvard 14
Harvard 35, Lafayette 10
Harvard 31, Cornell 17
Lehigh 21, Harvard 19
Harvard 45, Princeton 28
Harvard 30, Dartmouth 14
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