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Defenses shine as neither side scores TD in scrimmage
As an annual tradition and an integral part of Spring football practices, the Dartmouth Green and White Football Scrimmage, held on Saturday morning, gave coaches and fans a preview of the upcoming Fall season. Both teams struggled offensively, as kicker Foley Schmidt ’12 accounted for all of the scoring — converting four field goals to help lead the White Team to a 12-0 victory at Memorial Field in front of a large crowd of Big Green faithfuls.
Schmidt was perfect on the day, making field goals from 27, 39, 46 and 47 yards.
In addition to Schmidt, Conner Kempe ’12 picked up where he left off last season and had a successful day for the White Team. Kempe completed 14-of-28 passes for 161 yards with one interception.
On the interception, cornerback Kevin de Regt ’11 made a dazzling play on the ball, giving the fans a glimpse of what they can look forward to seeing in the Fall. Cornerback AJ Houston ’11, who characteristically has quiet games, silenced many of his critics with an impressive solo tackle.
Also contributing to the White Team’s effort was linebacker Luke Hussey ’11, who had six hard-nosed tackles, receiver Brad Dornak ’12, who caught six passes for 60 yards, and TJ Cameron ’11, who powered his way to 44 yards on 11 carries.
The Green Team featured a pair of Dartmouth record-breakers in the duo of Nick Schwieger ’12 and Greg Patton ’13. Schwieger broke the school record for most rushing yards in a game last season against Columbia University with 242, only to have the record broken by Patton two weeks later, when he ran for 243 yards against Cornell University.
Seeing his first game-time action since suffering a season-ending hand injury against Harvard University last year, Schwieger ran for 25 yards on eight carries and had two receptions for 16 yards in very limited playing time.
Patton, meanwhile, assumed the role of quarterback for the Green squad and finished 3-for-7 with one interception. Dan Rooney ’12 also saw playing time under center with the Green Team and completed 5-of-7 passes for 22 yards.
After Patton’s breakout performance last season, there will be a battle for the starting quarterback job next Fall. Kempe had a solid overall season and a strong scrimmage, while Patton showed he could be deadly out of the wildcat formation. In addition, highly touted recruit Cole Marcoux ’14 could be added to the rotation to bolster the Big Green’s offense.
On the defensive side of the ball for the Green Team, junior Lane Shipley ’11 showed amazing speed given his size, as he had five solo tackles.
Overall, the game was friendly and showed glimpses of hope for the 2010 season.
After finishing 2-8 overall and 2-5 in the Ivy League, the team hopes to improve its record and become more competitive.
“It was productive,” head coach Buddy Teevens said in a College press release. “We moved forward as a team. We still have another week to work. The interesting thing is we drafted the teams so it was a hodge-podge. The guys had 10 plays together on Friday and that’s it. Then to go out and play relatively clean was good.”
At halftime, the team announced the captains for the 2010 season. Wide receiver Tim McManus ’11, who served as co-captain last season, will continue to lead the Big Green in conjunction with defensive lineman Charles Bay ’11.
“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized by the team as a leader,” Bay said. “It’s not going to be too much different because there are already so many leaders on this team, but it’s good to be recognized by them. I feel like I lead more by my actions and the way I play, so I’m going to try to make an effort to be more vocal now.”
As per tradition, the team handed out awards for Most Improved Player by position at the end of the game. After their strong performances, Kempe won the Most Improved Player Award for quarterbacks, Dornak won for wide receivers and Tyler Melancon ’12 won for linebackers. Other winners were Jason Lawrence ’13 at running back, Michael Aprahamian ’13 at tight end, Rob Bathe ’13 at offensive line and JB Andreassi ’12 at defensive back.
In addition, Tanner Scott ’11 won the Stubby Pearson Award for contributions made to the team on-and-off the field.
The team will resume its last week of official Spring practice this week before beginning its off-season training schedule.
“This week, we’ll get to watch some of the film from the scrimmage and use the last few days of practice to correct our mistakes,” Bay said. “Looking forward to next year, we have good players in every position from quarterback to receivers to lineman, so this should definitely be a year when we surprise some people, but I don’t think we’ll surprise ourselves.”
The Big Green begins its 2010 campaign against Bucknell University on Sept. 18 in Lewisburg, Pa., after a scheduling change. The Big Green were originally to face Colgate University, but both schools agreed to forgo the contest, according to a College press release.
This will be the first time Dartmouth and Bucknell have played each other in football since the 1993 season, when Dartmouth defeated the Bison 31-13.
Defenses shine as neither side scores TD in scrimmage
By Rich Mezzasalma, The Dartmouth