Princeton football’s season finales in each of the last six seasons had been spoiled by Dartmouth, but not this year: The Tigers ended a six-game losing streak against the Big Green with a 38–21 come-from-behind win Nov. 19 to share the Ivy League championship with Penn, a team that Princeton had beaten, 28–0, two weeks earlier.
“The way we performed on both sides of the ball and special teams kind of proved that we’re the best team in the league,” Princeton co-captain Dorian Williams ’17 said afterward. “Not to be too arrogant, but I think it’s known around the league too.”
The Ivy title was Princeton’s second in four seasons and the 11th in program history. The Tigers’ only loss in league play was a 23–20 overtime defeat at the hands of Harvard Oct. 22. “We’d love to have it back,” said Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff ’17. “But you can only control what you can control, and we did a great job of doing that.”
Kanoff’s senior class will graduate with 26 wins, equaling the Class of 1997 for the most by a Princeton class since freshman eligibility began for the Ivies in the fall of 1993. They also have two Ivy rings, something no Princeton player had had since the 1960s.
Quarterback John Lovett ’18 rushed for two touchdowns against Dartmouth to set a new Princeton season record with 20 rushing touchdowns. Three days later he was unanimously chosen for the All-Ivy team as a running back, joining lineman Mitchell Sweigart ’18. In December, Lovett was named the Ivy Offensive Player of the Year, sharing the Bushnell Cup with Dartmouth’s Folarin Orimolade, the league’s top defensive player.
In seven Ivy games, Princeton led the league in total defense (yards allowed) and scoring defense by wide margins, surrendering 279 yards and 10.6 points per game. Four of the Tigers’ defensive starters were All-Ivy honorees: Williams, Kurt Holuba ’18, Luke Catarius ’17, and James Gales ’17.
Princeton finished 8-2 overall, tying its best mark in seven years under head coach Bob Surace ’90, who was named Ivy Coach of the Year.
For the Record
This story has been updated to clarify the Class of 2017’s record-tying 26 wins.