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Dartmouth Breaks Window But Not Harvard in 25-22 Contest

Before today, Dartmouth had outscored opponents 45-9 in the fourth quarter. The Crimson reversed that trend, posting a 13-8 advantage in the closing 15 minutes.

“For whatever reason, we label ourselves as a second-half team,” Teevens said. “For whatever reason we didn't come out in the second half with the energy we should have. It's impossible to put into words the frustration that we have right now.”

Relative to the fourth quarter, the Harvard offense struggled early. With 1:20 left in the first half, the Crimson trailed 14-0 and had just posted a three-and-out. Junior punter Zach Schmid sent a kick to the Big Green’s Danny McManus, who signaled for a fair catch.

Before the ball could reach McManus, however, blocker Isiah Swann pushed Harvard halfback Jack Stansell into the returner. In the ensuing confusion, the ball popped loose, and Crimson freshman Max Jones recovered.

“Obviously that's a pivotal point,” Teevens said. “If it's an interference call, we'll get the ball at the 50-yard line, we'll get two timeouts, and [we’ll be] good to go. All of a sudden it's their ball in your territory.”

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Harvard capitalized. After a wild scramble to convert a fourth-and-eight, Smith fired to senior halfback Ryan Antonellis at the goal line to make the score 14-6.

On the afternoon, Antonellis scored twice, while Taylor and freshman running back Aaron Shampklin added one apiece. In previous weeks, Harvard had relied on its backs to score, but Smith and wildcat quarterback Lavance Northington found the end zone four times through the air.

Northington’s touchdown punctuated the first drive of the second half—a possession that spanned 5:26 and 76 yards. The sophomore spelled Smith under center to run the option. He found Antonellis in the end zone for the first completion of his college career, making it a 14-12 game.

“When you put [Northington] in there, it makes people play assignment football,” Harvard coach Tim Murphy said. “It’s hard to play downhill football when you have to defend the option and the pass.”

On that third-quarter drive, running back Charlie Booker gained 44 yards on five attempts. The junior was relatively silent in the first half with 20 rushing yards, but he closed out the afternoon with 89.

Ball security was a strength for the Crimson, as the team committed no turnovers. Historically, this recipe has boded well for Harvard, which is 34-1 in games since 2000 without a turnover.

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The Crimson offense was not the only unit that struggled early against Dartmouth. Before halftime, Harvard’s secondary had difficulties reining in wide receivers, harkening back to last week’s performance against Princeton.

In the first quarter, Heneghan went five-for-five. Indeed, off the opening kickoff, the Big Green marched 80 yards in 4:36. Running back Ryder Stone, the main option out of the backfield, darted up the middle for a nine-yard score.

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