Dartmouth snaps Princeton’s streak with 31-7 drubbing

NCAA Football

HANOVER, N.H. (AP)Derek Kyler threw for 193 yards and three touchdowns, Isaiah Johnson returned an interception 73 yards for another score and Dartmouth rocked previously undefeated Princeton 31-7 in the 100th meeting between the Ivy League foes on Friday night.

Dartmouth (7-1, 4-1) forced three Princeton punts to open the game and scored 17 points off the changes of possession. Kyler hit a wide-open Paxton Scott with a 37-yard touchdown bomb as Dartmouth marched downfield in eight plays to score on its first series.

Kyler, 16-of-19 passing, directed Big Green to a second quick score, flipping a 4-yard pass to Dale Chesson at the back of the end zone. The TD catch was Chesson’s first. Connor Davis added a 33-yard field goal as Big Green built a 17-0 early lead.

Princeton put together a 14-play drive with John Volker’s carry from the 1-yard line getting the Tigers on the scoreboard, 17-7, with 3:48 left in the half. After forcing a Dartmouth three-and-out, Princeton got the ball back at its own 43 and drove to the Dartmouth 10 on a final possession, but a 27-yard field goal attempt glanced off the back of a Princeton lineman’s helmet, deflected and bounced off the right upright as the first half ended.

Smith completed 21 of 32 passes for 171 yards but, in addition to the pick-6, was sacked six times, hurried twice and had four passes broken up.

In the second half, taking over after Princeton failed to convert a fourth-and-6 at the 45, Kyler fired a 23-yard dart to Jonny Barrett, pushing the score to 24-7. Then Isaiah Johnson stepped in front of a Smith pass, returning the interception 73 yards, racing past an attempted shoe-string tackle by Smith. The back-to-back touchdowns gave Dartmouth a 31-7 lead going into the final 15 minutes.

The Tigers (7-1, 4-1), ranked 16th in the FCS coaches poll, also lost a streak of an FCS-leading 12 straight road wins. In fact, Princeton’s last road loss was Nov. 18, 2017 at Dartmouth (54-44).

The win was Dartmouth’s second straight win over an opponent ranked in the FCS polls, having edged then-No. 21 Harvard 20-17 on Oct. 30.

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