Yale Athletics

The Bulldogs (3–1, 2–0 Ivy) took down Dartmouth (1–3, 0–2 Ivy) in their second Ivy League game of the season, pushing their win streak up to three. 

Donning new commemorative jerseys this Saturday, the Yale football team started off in a deficit before soaring back to secure a 24–21 victory over the Big Green. The game came down to the last minute with Dartmouth in possession, but middle linebacker Hamilton Moore ’23 ended the game with an interception at the Dartmouth 15-yard line. 

We say all the time that we have to be ready to win on the last play,” head coach Tony Reno told Yale Athletics. “[Moore] made an amazing play to close it out. For our team, it was really special.”

Yale’s win against Dartmouth was its first since 2016.

With under three minutes left in the first quarter, Dartmouth quarterback Dylan Cadwallader made a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Jonny Barrett for the Big Green’s first touchdown of the game. Cadwallader filled in for quarterback Nick Howard and completed 28 passes on 45 attempts during the game. 

Despite a first period where both teams were getting a sense of the other, the Bulldogs entered the second quarter down in score but determined to take the lead. 

Over five minutes into the second, quarterback Nolan Grooms ’24 ran the ball in on a designed quarterback keep to score a five-yard touchdown, and kicker Jack Bosman ’24 added the extra point to tie the game. Grooms had a total 90 rushing yards during the game and was 19-of-22 in the air, throwing for 170 yards and a touchdown. 

Every league win is important [and] the team played well,” offensive lineman and team captain Nick Gargiulo ’23 said. “The offense did a nice job establishing the run and dictating the tempo of the game, [and] the defense was able to force two key turnovers that shifted the momentum of the game.”

Following Grooms’ touchdown, it was the Eli defense’s turn to shine. With the game knotted at seven, Dartmouth seemed poised to take the lead, as they drove the ball to the Yale 15-yard line. Big Green running back Q Jones took a hand off all the way down to the Yale one-yard-line where Moore and sophomore cornerback Sean Guyton ’25 stacked him up to prevent the touchdown. 

As Moore and Guyton worked to bring down Jones, Bulldogs safety Brandon Benn ’24 jumped on top of the pile and ripped the ball out before falling on it himself to force a momentum-shifting turnover. 

Following the fumble, the Yale offense worked its way down the field, and with 16 seconds remaining in the half, Bosman made a 41-yard field goal to give Team 149 a three-point lead at the break. 

After a halftime show featuring the Amistad drumline from Achievement First Amistad High School in New Haven, wide receiver Mason Tipton ’24 reeled in a 25-yard pass from Grooms in the endzone to cap off a 96-yard scoring drive. Tipton led the Elis in receiving for the second time in four games with six catches for 73 yards. 

Three minutes later, running back Tre Peterson ’24 tallied another six points with a two-yard run into the endzone. 

Prior to Moore’s game-sealing interception, Peterson was the story of the game, as the junior running back ran rampant through the Big Green defense all afternoon. The game marked the second straight Saturday in which Peterson has gone over 100 yards, as he followed a 144-yard performance against Howard with a career best 173 yards on 28 carries. 

The Bulldog running back’s performance did not go unnoticed, as he won the New England Football Writers Association Gold Helmet Award as the outstanding performer of the week and was also named the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Week.

Despite Yale’s strong 24–7 lead, Dartmouth attempted to come back in the fourth frame. Cadwallader scored off a seven-yard run, and kicker Ryan Bloch added an extra point to cut the deficit to 10. 

With 1:44 left in the game, Cadwallader made a 23-yard pass to wide receiver Paxton Scott, bringing the Big Green within three points of an overtime game. 

The tension on the Yale sideline grew, as Dartmouth maintained possession in the final minute of the game. Facing the possibility of overtime, the Bulldog defense worked to keep the Big Green at bay, holding Dartmouth to 20 total yards rushing over the course of the game — the Big Green’s lowest output in a decade. 

Dartmouth took over the ball at their own 13-yard line following a Yale punt with 41 seconds left in the game, leaving them an opportunity to drive the length of the field for a tying field goal or game-winning touchdown. 

Operating out of the shotgun, Cadwallader took the snap before firing a ball to the left sideline, looking for a quick throw and catch to start the drive. Moore, however, had other ideas, as he reached his right hand in front of the Dartmouth receiver, tipping the ball into the air. Before it landed, he was able to secure it for an interception to seal the Bulldogs’ second Ivy League win of the season. 

“Just wanted to thank our coach for putting us in a lot of two-minute situational drills during practice,” Moore said. “It wasn’t our first time doing that, and [we knew] that they were looking to go for the sidelines.”

In addition to his late-game heroics, Moore also led the team with nine tackles on the day and was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week.

Other key players for the Blue and White were wide receiver David Pantelis ’25, who had eight catches for 67 yards, and defensive back Wande Owens ’23 who had seven tackles. Defensive linemen Tamatoa McDonough ’25 and Clay Patterson ’24 each added a sack. 

“There are areas where we need to improve,” Gargiulo said. “[We’re] looking forward to our last out-of-conference game this weekend against Bucknell.”

The Bulldogs will kickoff against Bucknell at noon next Saturday at the Class of 1954 Field at the Yale Bowl. 

Amelia Lower covers football, men's ice hockey and men's lacrosse. She is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College from Rye, New York, double-majoring in Spanish and the History of Science, Medicine and Public Health.
Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.