Editor’s Note: This story was written by and republished with the permission of the Big Red Sports Network, which provides excellent Cornell sports coverage throughout the year for alumni, parents, students and fans everywhere.
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Ithaca, N.Y. — Three minutes into the contest, it looked like this game would be different. After Luke Hagy broke off a 48-yard touchdown run just 2:38 into the game, Cornell achieved their first first-quarter lead of the season. However, led by the stellar play of quarterback Dalyn Williams, Dartmouth then scored 42 unanswered points, as the Big Green (6-2, 4-1 Ivy) routed the Big Red (0-8, 0-5 Ivy) 42-7 Saturday afternoon at Schoellkopf Field.
With the recent success of sophomore quarterback Robert Somborn, who earned his first starting nod of the season, it seemed Cornell would have a chance to compete with second-place Dartmouth, whose only Ivy League loss came to the undefeated Harvard Crimson. After Hagy’s opening score, the Big Green’s first drive was abruptly ended when Williams was picked off by Michael Turner on Dartmouth’s 43-yard line. However, the Big Red were unable to take advantage of the good field position, as their next drive ended with a missed 39-yard field goal. Dartmouth then started to look more like the team that upset Yale earlier this season, as on the ensuing drive, they went 78 yards in just 3:21, culminating with Williams’s first TD pass of the game, a 24-yarder to Kyle Bramble.
After Dartmouth tied the game, Cornell’s offense went back to looking like the way it has all season. Their offensive line was manhandled by the Big Green’s front seven the whole afternoon. After the first touchdown, Hagy ran for less than four yards per carry for the remainder of the game, and the Big Red was unable to effectively incorporate any of the zone-read plays they’ve been running more much of the year. Somborn turned in a performance that was better than most others by Cornell quarterbacks this year, but it was not nearly enough, as he finished 20 of 33 for 182 yards and no touchdowns, while throwing his first interception of the season. However, too many times he was simply not given enough time to throw. He was sacked six times, and seemed to play the whole game in a collapsed pocket. Even when the Big Red started a drive on Dartmouth’s 21-yard line after intercepting backup QB Alex Park, they turned it over on downs four plays later.
Dartmouth, on the other hand, was seemingly able to do whatever they pleased on offense. After their first drive ended in an interception, Williams led the high-scoring unit to 42 straight points. The junior QB, who, unlike Somborn, was given clean pockets and ample time to throw the whole game, picked apart the defense, completing 24 of 34 passes for 381 yards and four touchdowns. He also kept the Big Red off balance with his running ability, as he escaped several would-be sacks, including a nine-yard touchdown run that put Dartmouth ahead 14-7 in the second quarter. He then showed off his arm strength later in the quarter with a pretty 32-yard touchdown toss to a double-covered Victor Williams.
However, the Big Green did most of their damage in the third quarter. After a goal line stand by Cornell kept the score 21-7 at the half, Dartmouth scored on their first two drives of the third quarter. Dalyn Williams’s third TD pass and a long scoring run by Kyle Bramble made the score 35-7, and reminded everyone in the stands why Dartmouth is a contender to win the Ivy League. The scoring was then completed about halfway through the quarter when Abrm McQuarters took a screen pass almost untouched 60 yards to the end zone, one of the many times Cornell was unable to defend the screen.
The Big Red will travel to New York City next weekend to take on the also-winless Columbia Lions, in the annual Empire State Bowl.