(STATS) - Most of the talk has been about the Princeton offense all season even if the defense has ranked among the best in the FCS.
The Tigers defense picked the right time to make everybody notice. It limited Dartmouth to 213 yards and quarterback John Lovett's second touchdown run with 6:33 left lifted the No. 18 Tigers past No. 24 Dartmouth 14-9 in a matchup of unbeaten Ivy League teams on Saturday.
Lovett's game-winning 5-yard keeper erased a 9-7 deficit. The Tigers improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the league; Dartmouth fell to 7-1 and 4-1.
"We have a team that works incredibly hard (and) believes in each other. That's most important," said Lovett, a senior who rushed for 53 yards and had 214 yards of total offense. "We believe in each other; we play for each other."
Princeton entered the showdown with the top offensive unit in the FCS, but the Tigers also was ranked second in scoring defense and seventh in total defense.
After Dartmouth opened the game with a 14-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, the Tigers shut out the Big Green and held them to 138 yards the rest of the way. Linebacker Tom Johnson led a balanced unit with 10 tackles and Ben Ellis and Delan Stallworth added nine each.
Lovett's game-winning touchdown came after Dartmouth punted from its end zone and Princeton began the go-ahead drive at the Big Green 34. The score also wiped out a potential mistake by the Tigers earlier in the quarter, when they went for it on 4th-and-inches at the Dartmouth 5 and Lovett was stuffed shy of the first down with 10:32 left.
Both teams scored touchdowns on their first possessions of the game - Dartmouth going ahead on Jared Gerbino's 13-yard touchdown pass to Robbie Mangas and Lovett answering from 3 yards out.
On Princeton's second possession, Lovett was sacked in the Tigers' end zone by Jake Moen and Seth Simmer, which put Dartmouth ahead 9-7 at the 13:28 mark of the second quarter. It stayed the way until Lovett's fourth-quarter touchdown.
Next year's game between the two rivals (Nov. 9, 2019) will be played at Yankee Stadium as part of the 150th anniversary of college football (Princeton and Rutgers met in the first game in 1869).
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