New turf field, old challenge in football home opener

Sep 14, 2019

The Indians are back at a newly renovated Memorial Stadium, but were not able to fend off Super Bowl finalist Old Rochester in its first home game of the season. 

The Bulldogs took the lead 7-0 in the September 13 home opener. In the process, senior running back Camden Brezinski became the first to score a touchdown on the newly renovated and reopened Memorial Stadium with a 37-yard play. 

The Indians were quick to respond, however, as senior running back Dylan Pacheco put the Indians’ first touchdown on the board with his own long play. However, a missed extra point prevented the Indians from tying things up. 

By halftime, Old Rochester still held a 13-12 lead.  Dartmouth tied the game at 20-20 with a 66-yard touchdown and two-point conversion, and moments later took its first lead 27-20. With seconds left in the third quarter, the Bulldogs tied it at 27-27. 

The Bulldogs’ strong defense locked the Indians out from making a play at overtime, and Old Rochester followed that with a touchdown to take the 33-27 win. 

It was a game where you were back and forth,” said Head Coach Rick White. “It was a great high school football game. They made a couple more plays than we did.” 

It was the first football game played on Dartmouth’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium. Over the summer, a new turf field and lighting system was installed, along with a new scoreboard and other improvements. 

“The fields are beautiful,” White said. “Our kids deserve it. Thankfully the town came together to get it done.”

Although the new LED lighting did come on, it was not under Friday night lights, owing to the game’s rescheduling to earlier in the afternoon due to EEE concerns. Still, fans flocked to the game. 

“I think it looks great, it really came out great,” said Dartmouth High principal Ross Thibault during halftime. “It’s great for our students, our band… it’s just a great community center.” 

Although the work is not over yet. The project was originally divided into three phases, and the turf and new lighting was just phase one. The final two phases, however, have since been combined into one. 

According to School Business Administrator Jim Kiely, a request for $3.6 million to fully fund the remainder of the project -- which will include renovations to the grandstands, bathrooms, and concession stands, home and visitor bleachers, accessibility improvements, a new entryway, and a host of other updates -- is set to appear on the Fall Town Meeting agenda.