Yale Athletics

The Elis (2–2, 1–1 Ivy) took down Dartmouth (2–2, 1–1 Ivy) on the Hanover team’s field last Saturday in a 31–24 contest — Yale’s first win at Dartmouth since 2010. 

In their first away game of the season, the Bulldogs fought throughout the matchup to gain an edge over the Big Green, experiencing tied scores in the first, third and fourth quarters. The Yale football team then secured the victory in the final six minutes of the game, earning its second straight victory and first Ivy League win of the season. For those who enjoy the thrill of predicting outcomes, delve into kabaddi odds for another exciting dimension to your sports experience.

“We [went] out on the road in Hanover against a really good football team,” head coach Tony Reno said. “Something that I think is really important, if you’re going to be a really good team that’s going to win tough games, is finish. We played our best football in the last four minutes … and the guys really played together.”

Dartmouth was the first to add points to the scoreboard in the first quarter. Just over seven minutes into the game, running back Tevita Moimoi ran through the middle of the line for a 41-yard pickup to the Yale 5. Quarterback Nick Howard then made a 5-yard run to secure the touchdown, and punter and kicker Owen Zalc added the extra point. 

Less than five minutes later, Yale answered back with a pick six. Defensive back Sean Guyton ’25 intercepted a pass by Howard and ran the ball 70 yards, earning the Bulldogs their first touchdown of the afternoon. Kicker and punter Jack Bosman ’24 added an extra point, tying the score at 7–7.

“Before the touchdown, they kept running a lot of out routes, so the whole time I was just waiting for it to come, waiting for them to throw it,” Guyton said. “They finally threw it and I jumped in front of it… It’s a huge win.”

The Elis continued their momentum into the first quarter, when Bosman kicked a 43-yard field goal with 11:43 remaining. 

Six minutes later, Howard converted a 2-yard touchdown off of a 13-play, 75-yard drive to regain the lead for Dartmouth.

The Bulldogs, however, did not remain behind for long. Quarterback Nolan Grooms ’24 completed a 30-yard pass to wide receiver Mason Tipton ’24 to set Yale up for success. To cap the 6-play, 75-yard drive, running back Joshua Pitsenberger ’26 punched in a 4-yard touchdown, giving Yale a 17–14 lead for halftime. 

“It’s fun, first of all, to be out there with Mason,” wide receiver Ryan Lindley ’24 said. “But also having that complement with him and all the other receivers as well, just being able to work and operate off each other… Being able to make the right place at the right time is definitely good chemistry.”

To start off the second half, Dartmouth drove down the field with a seven-minute drive, yet fumbled a snap on 3rd-and-goal from the 1-yard line to halt their own drive. The Big Green settled for a field goal, and Zalc evened the score for the second time with a 32-yard kick. 

On the ensuing possession, the Blue and White were then forced to punt from its own 14-yard line, which ultimately nicked a Dartmouth blocker in the shoulder, allowing Yale to recover the fumbled ball at its 41-yard line and retain possession. 

“This was a moment that this team made a decision [to] really push themselves forward and chase what we’re trying to do,” Reno said. “There’s some really nice momentum with the team, and moving forward, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The score remained tied until the fourth period. Less than a minute into the final quarter, Grooms threw a 4-yard pass to Tipton to cap a 82-yard drive and raise the score to 24–17.  

The Big Green then responded with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took up almost half of the quarter. Dartmouth quarterback Jackson Proctor went 4-of-5 throwing to drive the ball to the Yale 6-yard line. Proctor then threw a 6-yard pass to wide receiver Paxton Scott, leveling the score for the final time at 24–24. 

“The big plays were in the pass game, and then obviously Sean [Guyton’s] interception,” Reno said. “We had a punt that we were able to recover, which is a field position piece, so turnovers are a huge part of the game.”

Proctor went 17-of-23 throwing the ball for 120 yards over the course of the game, and Scott led the Big Green catching for 60 yards on five receptions. 

After three Yale plays with just over five minutes remaining, Grooms threw a 69 yard bomb to Lindley. The Dartmouth safety guarding Lindley slipped, and Lindley took advantage of the open field, booking it into the end zone and reestablishing Yale’s lead. 

“I think having the ball in my hand is a privilege, a lot of trust,” Lindley said. “The main thing we preach here is ball security… and then after that, it’s get as many yards as you can.”

After the Big Green regained possession, defensive lineman Dylan Yang ’26 had a sack, which forced Dartmouth into a 2nd and 19. On Dartmouth’s next third down, linebacker Hamilton Moore ’24 intercepted a pass by Proctor to regain possession for the Bulldogs. This was Moore’s second straight game with an interception. 

The Big Green soon after regained the ball, however, and started their drive to attempt to even the game with 3:02 left on the clock. Two plays into the drive, Guyton made a diving play for his second interception of the afternoon, giving Yale the opportunity to run out the clock and secure their second season win. 

By the end of the game, Yale’s offense had gained 275 yards in 49 plays, while Dartmouth moved the ball more effectively with 368 yards in 72 plays. 

“The explosives are great, but we’ve got to also be better in those other areas for us to be a consistent offense and defense,” Reno said. “We’re a different offense, we’re scoring, we’re throwing the ball more, we’re scoring on bigger plays.”

Grooms completed 15-of-22 passes for 239 yards and tallied two touchdowns. Tipton’s fourth quarter touchdown marked his fifth of the season, which currently leads Team 150.

Lindley caught seven passes for 128 yards, his career high, and Pitsenberger carried the ball nine times. This was Pitsenberger’s first game back after an injury that prevented him from playing in the past two games.  

“It’s very frustrating and disappointing that we couldn’t come away from this game with a win,” Dartmouth interim head coach Sammy McCorkle told Dartmouth Athletics. “Those turnovers really hurt us, put us in tough situations. We had our own chances to get some interceptions but just couldn’t quite finish off those plays.”

Guyton’s 70-yard interception return was the 10th longest return in school history and the longest since 2009, when defensive back Adam Money ’11 made a 77-yard return in Yale’s game against Brown

Coming off of a preseason pulled hamstring with a two-month recovery period that kept him out of the first three games of the season, Guyton said he was excited to get back on the field and have the second two-interception game of his career, the first against Brown in 2021

“It was really great,” Guyton said. “At first, it was my first game back, and I was a little nervous. Then as the game went on, it was so amazing to be out there, playing aside my teammates, celebrating with them.”

The junior cornerback’s star performance did not go unrecognized, as Guyton was named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week.

The Elis forced four turnovers during the contest, including a fumble recovery and three interceptions. Linebacker Joseph Vaughn ’24 led both teams with 15 tackles during the game. 

The results of the contest currently have Yale and Dartmouth tied in the Ivy League standings, 2–2 overall and 1–1 in the Ivy League. 

“Big picture, we’re not even close to where we can be yet,” Reno said. “It’s probably the most exciting thing for me and I know for the guys … is we have so much room to grow.”

The Bulldogs will face Sacred Heart this Saturday for their final non-conference game of the season. The contest is slated for a noon kickoff at the Yale Bowl and will be streamed on ESPN+. 

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.