Dartmouth blanks Harvard to clinch Ivy title
Dartmouth started off facing into a stiff wind on this blustery October Saturday. The Green received the first kick, and it quickly became clear that the match would be physical, with Harvard contesting Dartmouth possession at every ruck. Senior fullback Carl Zehner ’11 was first to score, running in a try off of a brilliant transition line break. Derek Fish ’12 found the posts, and the Green were up 7-0 early on in the half. After some back-and-forth possession, a knock-on brought about a scrum where the Green pack were able to steal possession, putting the ball in Will Lehmann ‘12’s capable hands, and some fancy footwork by this junior outside center put the ball back in Harvard’s end for another Dartmouth try. The placement and a stiff wind coming off the Charles made the kick difficult for Fish, and the Green were up 12-0. Dartmouth returned the kickoff next, putting the ball back in Harvard territory once again. A turnover at Harvard’s five-meter line put the ball in Captain Tommy Brothers’ hands. He spun it wide to the back line, and it was through the hands to junior Clark Judge ’12 for Dartmouth’s last try of the half. Fish was able to find the posts, and the Green were up 19-0 going into the final forty minutes.
With the wind now at their back, the Green went into the second half determined to finish the job. The kick by Brothers put the ball deep in Harvard territory, and Dartmouth’s defense did a great job of keeping their opponents pinned down as the game wore on. A turnover put the ball back in Green possession, and a forwards-dominated attack drove even further towards the try line. After several phases on the offensive, Brothers found wing Judge once again, and it was another 5 points for Dartmouth. The corner placement made the kick difficult for Fish, and Dartmouth remained up 24-0 late in the 2nd half. Desperate to put some points on the board, the Harvard defense came up aggressively against the Green, putting Dartmouth on the back foot at times. However, a careless penalty cost them, and after a quick tap Dartmouth was able to put the pressure back on the Crimson. Co-Captain Paul Jarvis ’12 wove his way through traffic to find the try zone, and a great kick by Fish put the final score at 31-0 Dartmouth.
After the match, Captain Tommy Brothers was enthralled with the season’s results. “Shutting out Harvard in a physical game in front of a big alumni turnout was a great way to end our Ivy campaign”, he said. Speaking for the class of 2011 seniors, Brothers remarked that it was “a wonderful way to mark our four years together. Four Ivy League championships in four years is something very, very special, and I think it's a great testament to the work that we've put in and the winning culture we've been able to establish since 2007”.
Co-Captain Chris Downer echoed Brothers’ sentiments, stressing a teamwork culture that has grown over the years. “Personally, to win the title with a group of guys I respect so much made it that much better. As a senior class, I think we've learned a lot from one another the past four years and that's been great to see. What I really liked about the games this fall is that every win was a complete team effort. Everyone contributed to our undefeated record and I think that speaks volumes about the nature of our team and the guys on it.”
Tries: Carl Zehner, Will Lehmann, Clark Judge (2), Paul Jarvis
Conv: Derek Fish (3)