ITHACA, N.Y. – The football team strung together three scoring drives in the second quarter to put a dent in one of the Ivy League's top defenses, but No. 23 Dartmouth pulled away with a pair of 1-yard rushing touchdowns by Jared Gerbino after the half for a 35-24 victory on Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field. The Big Green improved to 8-1 (5-1 Ivy) with the victory, while the Big Red fell to 3-6 (2-4 Ivy).
On Senior Day, Dalton Banks was 28-for-40 passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns for the Big Red, with Owen Peters, Harold Coles and Lars Pederson hauling in five receptions apiece. Banks also led Cornell with 58 yards rushing, and Coles added 45 on nine carries. The 24 points by Cornell (3-6, 2-4 Ivy League) were the most surrendered this season by Dartmouth (8-1, 5-1).
Defensively, Lance Blass had a career-high 15 tackles and intercepted a pass, as did senior DJ Woullard in his final home game. Jelani Taylor had 11 tackles, all in the second half after missing the first 30 minutes due to a targeting call the previous weekend.
On a blustery day where attacking the field's south end zone proved favorable, Dartmouth used that to its advantage early on. The Big Green soared to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, then called a timeout in the dying seconds to seemingly force one last punt into the wind by Cornell.
Only the Big Red refused. The hosts' first of three fourth-down conversions on the day served as a catalyst for a scoring drive capped by Harold Coles' 7-yard touchdown run. Zach Mays would hit a career-long field goal of 43 yards a little later, then Coles' 21-yard catch-and-run into the end zone with 54 seconds before half cut the Big Red's deficit to 21-17.
But Dartmouth regrouped at the half. After a 13-play scoring drive to open the third quarter, the Big Green later scored again after a fumble recovery at the Cornell 11-yard line to build the lead back up to 35-17. After making a spectacular one-handed grab earlier in the drive, Pedersen scored the Big Red's last touchdown late in the fourth.
Nigel Alexander (14) and David Emanuels (11) each posted career highs in tackles for the Big Green, while Jake Moen had seven total stops, including 2.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Gerbino led Dartmouth with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Derek Kyler connected on 12-of-20 passes for 167 yards and a pair of scores.
- Back-to-back receptions by Drew Estrada set up Dartmouth in Cornell territory, then Derek Kyler lobbed a pass over a pair of defenders up the middle that Jake Guidone juggled before reeling in and rumbling into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown (Connor Davis kick, Dartmouth leads 7-0, 10:57 left).
- Dartmouth's Isiah Swann snags his eighth interception of the season on Dalton Banks' third-down pass (8:46 left).
- After Jared Gerbino entered the game and rumbled for three first-down runs of at least 10 yards, Kyler re-entered the game and tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Jones III up the left seam (Davis kick, Dartmouth leads 14-0, 6:16 left).
- Out of the shotgun, Kyler handed off to Cooper for a rush to the right that led him untouched into the end zone from seven yards out (Davis kick, Dartmouth leads 21-0, 1:49 left).
- After Dartmouth calls a timeout with Cornell facing a fourth-and-2 from its own territory to presumably force a punt into the wind, but the Big Red opts to stay on offense. Banks keeps the ball on a read option to convert a fourth-and-2 from Cornell territory (end of the first quarter).
- Oscar Boochever hauls in a 26-yard pass up the middle to lead Cornell deep into Dartmouth territory for the first time (14:21 left).
- On a draw up the middle, Harold Coles muscles his way to a 7-yard touchdown rush (Mays kick, Dartmouth leads 21-7, 13:03 left).
- Dartmouth takes a shot at the end zone from the 28-yard line, but DJ Woullard peels off his man to pick off the pass for his fifth career interception (10:05 left).
- From its own 44, Cornell opts to go for it on fourth-and 1 and converts on Banks' rush on a read option (6:20 left).
- Mays caps a 14-play drive with a career-long field goal of 43 yards amidst a gusty swirling wind (Dartmouth leads 21-10, 4:06 left).
- Banks dumps a pass off to Coles in the left flat, and he breaks a tackle to gain 19 yards up the left sideline to the Dartmouth 40 (2:00 left).
- Banks completes another short pass to Coles, who speeds away from one defender and powers through another to rumble into the end zone just inside the left pylon. (Mays kick, Dartmouth leads 21-17, :54 left).
- On third-and-long, Kyler picks out Connor Rempel for a 34-yard completion to the Cornell 28 (12:51 left).
- After an officials' video review overturned a short touchdown rush by Gerbino on the previous play, he followed it up with a 1-yard rush in the end zone to cap a 13-play drive (Davis kick, Dartmouth leads 28-17, 10:10 left).
- Out of the shotgun, a Cornell snap hit a receiver running laterally across the formation and was recovered by Dartmouth's Kyran McKinney-Crudden at the Cornell 11 (6:51 left).
- Three plays later, Gerbino keeps the ball out of the shotgun and runs up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown (Davis kick, Dartmouth leads 35-17, 5:37 left).
- The Big Red's third fourth-down conversion is a 7-yard reception to Tommy McIntyre on the right side (3:15 left).
- J.D. PicKell catches another fourth-down pass from Banks, but DeWayne Terry Jr. makes the tackle to force Cornell to turn the ball over on downs (:16 left).
- From the Cornell 22, Kyler throws a ball toward the middle of the end zone that's picked off by Lance Blass for his first career interception (14:00 left).
- Estrada makes an athletic catch on fourth down, but he's tackled by Jelani Taylor at the Cornell 30 to force the Big Green to turn the ball over on downs. Taylor was only able to play in the second half due to a targeting infraction in last Friday's game vs. Penn (5:58 left).
- Lars Pedersen makes incredible one-handed grab running up the right sidelines for a 31-yard gain to set up Cornell deep in Dartmouth territory (4:54 left).
- Pedersen hauls in a quick pass from Banks for a 3-yard touchdown (Mays kick, Dartmouth leads 35-24, 3:52 left).
- Drew Hunnicutt recovers the Big Red's onside kick attempt (3:50 left).
Notes to Know
- Senior Dalton Banks moved into fourth place on the school's career passing yardage list with 5,877 yards and moved within one touchdown of climbing to third on the all-time passing touchdowns list (33).
- Senior Zach Mays booted his career-long 43-yard field goal into a stiff wind.
- With six tackles, senior Reis Seggebruch is up to 188 (No. 28 all-time at Cornell).
- With 45 rushing yards, Harold Coles jumped to 1,110 for his career (No. 27 all-time).
- Senior DJ Woullard had his first interception of the season and fifth of his career.
- The Big Red, who entered the game as the only FCS team that hadn't lost a fumble, coughed it up on a miscommunication from center in the fourth quarter.
- With two scores on the day, Harold Coles became the first Big Red player to score eight touchdowns in a season since Grant Gellatly '14 scored nine in 2013.