No. 17/18 Bulldogs Blast Dartmouth 50-10, Stay Unbeaten

Oct. 6, 2007

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - No. 17/18 Yale had five rushing touchdowns for the second week in a row -- this time from five different players -- and generated four Dartmouth turnovers en route to a 50-10 win over the Big Green Saturday afternoon at the Yale Bowl, Class of 1954 Field. With a 51-12 win over Cornell two weeks earlier, the Bulldogs are now the first team in the 51-year history of the Ivy League to have scored 50 points or more in a league game twice in a season.

"I really like the way we're playing -- how physical we are on both sides of the ball," said Jack Siedlecki, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football.

Yale (4-0, 2-0 Ivy) outgained Dartmouth 304-85 on the ground, the third week in a row the Bulldogs have outgained their opponents by at least 200 yards rushing. Junior tailback Mike McLeod had 155 of those yards, along with a touchdown that extended McLeod's school career rushing touchdown record to 38 and his school record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 13.

The Bulldogs' first scoring drive was ignited by a 26-yard punt return from sophomore wide receiver Reid Lathan, and there was a late hit penalty on Dartmouth tacked on at the end. The Bulldogs started at the Big Green 21 and got to the 13 for a 30-yard field goal by senior place kicker Alan Kimball.

Yale special teams then generated another big play, as Dartmouth kick returner Phil Galligan lost the ball on the kickoff after Kimball's field goal. Senior defensive back Matt Coombs recovered the fumble at the Dartmouth 26. Three plays after that, senior quarterback Matt Polhemus took a bootleg right and used a block from senior tight end Langston Johnson to find open space before fighting through an attempted tackle and lunging into the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown run.

Junior linebacker Bobby Abare brought the next Dartmouth drive to a quick end, busting into the backfield to tackle quarterback Tim McManus for a two-yard loss on second down and then pressuring him into a short pass on third down that left Dartmouth nine yards shy of a first down. Abare also started off the next Big Green drive with a eight-yard sack.

Two plays after the Abare sack the Bulldogs once again got to the quarterback, this time in the end zone. Senior defensive lineman Jared Hamilton knocked the ball loose as Tom Bennewitz was attempting to pass, and Dartmouth offensive lineman Ben Goeke recovered the ball amidst a pile of players for a safety that put Yale up 12-0.

The quick start for Yale did much to diffuse any momentum Dartmouth (1-3, 1-1 Ivy) may have had from its 21-13 win over Penn last weekend, the first time in 10 years the Big Green had won its Ivy League opener.

"That's what good teams do," Abare said. "We're just a focused team. We're not going to let anyone sneak up on us."

The Bulldogs began breaking the game open on the next possession, as a 20-yard reception by Johnson and 15-yard scramble by Polhemus brought the ball to the 13. Two plays later the Yale signal caller connected with sophomore fullback John Sheffield in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown that made it 19-0.

Yale has now outscored its opponents 46-0 in the first quarter this season.

Junior defensive end Kyle Hawari recovered another Dartmouth fumble at the Yale 41 to end a drive early in the second quarter, and the next Big Green possession was derailed by a booming tackle at the line of scrimmage by senior defensive lineman Brandt Hollander. A Yale fumble gave Dartmouth the ball at the Eli 40 later in the quarter, but that drive got only four yards before Hamilton pressured quarterback Bennewitz into an incompletion on third down. The Big Green went for it on fourth down, but Bennewitz' heave into the end zone wound up in the hands of junior free safety Steven Santoro.

Dartmouth got a 20-yard field goal by Andrew Kempler 49.9 seconds before halftime to make it 19-3. The Bulldogs then got another long return from Lathan, this one a 29-yarder, plus a 25-yard run by McLeod and a 19-yard grab by junior wide receiver Jarrett Drake. That allowed Kimball to drill a 27-yarder with time expiring in the half.

"That drive before the half was a great thing," Siedlecki said. "You hate to see things swing [in the opponent's favor]. Even though they didn't get a touchdown on their drive, they did drive 80+ yards."

A five-yard touchdown run by McLeod extended Yale's lead to 29-3 at 12:02 of the third quarter.

Later in the quarter a 15-yard run by McLeod that put the ball on the goal line gave the Elis a chance to reward one of their unsung heroes. Senior fullback Joe Fuccillo, whose blocking has been crucial to Yale's league-leading rushing attack, got the call for his first carry of the year and powered in for his first career touchdown.

"It was great to finally get the touch," Fuccillo said. "The call was for Mike, but Mike and Matt talked it over and said `Joe, you want to get this one?' I just nodded my head. It was cool."

Dartmouth got a momentary boost from a blocked punt returned 33 yards for a touchdown by Zechariah Glaize in the fourth quarter, but sophomore defensive back Travis Henry snared the onside kick attempt that followed.

That drive ended in an eight-yard touchdown run by Jordan Farrell, and the Bulldogs kept the pressure on. On the kickoff, sophomore defensive back Brian Stephenson popped the ball loose from Brian Evans and senior defensive back Andrew Liyana recovered at the Dartmouth seven. Four plays later it was sophomore tailback Ricardo Galvez' turn to run the ball in, this one from two yards out.

Yale hosts Lehigh next Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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