Dartmouth 34, Princeton 20
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) _ Jay Fiedler passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as Dartmouth gained a share of the Ivy League title with Princeton by defeating the Tigers 34-20 Saturday.
The victory gave Dartmouth (8-2, 6-1 Ivy) its third straight title and 16th overall and deprived Princeton (8-2, 6-1) of its first outright title since 1964. The Tigers shared the title in 1989 with Yale.
Each of Dartmouth’s three recent titles came with season-ending victories over Princeton. Dartmouth got a share of the crown with Cornell in 1990 by beating the Tigers and earned its first outright title in 13 seasons by winning last season.
A crucial play Saturday was a missed extra point by Princeton’s Jeff Hogg after the Tigers drew within 21-20 with 5:56 left in the third quarter. That helped Dartmouth offset a 207-yard, two-touchdown rushing performance by Keith Elias of the Tigers.
Fiedler, who was 15 of 24 for 272 yards, threw touchdown passes of 26 yards to John Clifford and 8 yards to Mark Brzica and also scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter.
That run gave Dartmouth a 21-14 lead, capping an eight-play, 80-yard march moments after Elias’ 58-yard run had tied it 14-14.
Princeton, which only needed a tie to win the title outright, came right back and went 80 yards in 11 plays with Elias going the final 10 yards. The Tigers, who have been beset by kicking problems in recent years, saw Hogg miss the extra point wide right, leaving them behind 21-20.
Fiedler stretched the lead to 27-20 with his touchdown pass to Brzica four minutes into the fourth quarter. But the Big Green left the door open when the 2-point conversion pass by Fiedler failed.
Princeton got to the Dartmouth 35 midway through the fourth quarter before being forced to punt.
Dartmouth then went 76 yards in 14 plays on a drive that consumed more than seven minutes to finish off the Tigers. Neal Martin closed out the scoring with a 6-yard run with about a minute to play.
Fiedler took Dartmouth on scoring marches of 92 and 80 yards in the first half.
The 92-yard drive was completed in nine plays with Fiedler hitting Clifford down the middle for a score on third and 14.
Princeton tied the game at 7-7 on a somewhat lucky play with 27 seconds left in the opening quarter. After gaining possession at the Big Green 37 following a 23-yard punt by Geoffrey Willison, the Tigers were faced with third and three at the Dartmouth 13. Foote’s pass to Steve Tufillaro was tipped by the receiver at the goal line and caught by backup tight end Colin Nance for a score.
Hoffmeister put Dartmouth ahead 14-7 with 2:27 left in the half when he took a pitchout from Fiedler and scored from a yard out. Fiedler kept the 14- play drive alive early third-down completions of 29 yards to Clifford and 18 yards to Brzica early in the drive.