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Football avenges 2021 loss with 17–14 win over Dartmouth

<h5>Junior quarterback Blake Stenstrom throws a pass.</h5>
<h6>Courtesy of <a href="https://twitter.com/PrincetonFTBL/status/1589271496224280578/photo/2" target="_self">@PrincetonFTBL/Twitter.</a></h6>
Junior quarterback Blake Stenstrom throws a pass.
Courtesy of @PrincetonFTBL/Twitter.

On Saturday, Princeton football (8–0 overall, 5–0 Ivy League) claimed a 17–14 victory over Dartmouth (2–6, 1–4) to remain undefeated. The game featured a dominant Tigers defense that stifled the Dartmouth Big Green from start to finish. 

Likewise, the Tigers’ offense could not be stopped early on as Princeton opened up the game with two touchdown drives to take a 14–0 lead. Sophomore wide receiver AJ Barber and senior wide receiver Dylan Classi recorded key receptions on each drive. In the game, Barber recorded seven receptions for 50 yards while Classi went for eight receptions for 107 yards.

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Both early scores on the ground were rushing touchdowns, as sophomore running back Ja’Derris Carr and junior quarterback Blake Stenstrom each marched into the end zone. Dartmouth scored at the very end of the first quarter to make it a 14–7 game headed into the second frame. 

Sophomore kicker Jeffery Sexton nails an extra point during the first quarter of Saturday's win.
Giselle Schrier/The Daily Princetonian.                             


The Tigers’ defense put on a show over the next two quarters, recording three sacks and preventing the Big Green from crossing midfield. 

Senior edge rusher and captain Matthew Jester told The Daily Princetonian that the Tigers’ scheme on defense was key to their success.

“We run a mix 4–3, 3–4 defense, which allows for some flexibility when game planning week to week,” Jester said.

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Moreover, co-defensive coordinator Steve Verbit, the mastermind behind the Tigers’ top-five nationwide defense over the past two seasons, credited the players for their efforts in the backfield to disrupt the Big Green’s offense. 

“Our players demonstrated discipline, effort, and resiliency for 60 minutes this past Saturday,” Verbit wrote to the ‘Prince.’ 

Sophomore kicker Jeffrey Sexton added a field goal in the second quarter to pad the Princeton lead, 17–7. Ultimately, Dartmouth scored again with only eight seconds remaining in the game to cut the Tiger lead to 17–14, but by then, the game was all but decided. Senior defensive back Dawson De Iuliis recovered Dartmouth’s onside kick attempt to crush any hopes the Big Green had at mounting a comeback. 

Princeton moves to 8–0 on the season with only two games remaining. At the very least, the Tigers will hold a share of the Ivy League title with one win in the final two weeks. If they hold on to finish the season undefeated, they would win the Ivy League championship outright at 10–0 for the first time since 2018. 

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Next week, the Tigers will travel to New Haven for a much-anticipated duel against the Bulldogs at the Yale Bowl. If Princeton emerges victorious, they will clinch a bonfire for the second consecutive season.

Akshay Swani is a staff writer for the Sports and News sections at the ‘Prince.’ Please direct any corrections requests to corrections@dailyprincetonian.com.

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