HANOVER, N.H. — Columbia improved to 6-0 and ensured its first winning season in 21 years, holding on to beat Dartmouth 22-17 Saturday behind a pair of goal-line stands in the last three minutes after two short touchdown runs by Josh Bean.
Columbia has won seven straight games for the first time since 1935 and ensured just its sixth season with a winning record since 1951 after 1961, 1962, 1971, 1994 and 1996.
The Lions, who won just five times in the previous four years combined, took over sole possession of the Ivy League lead at 3-0. Their only Ivy title was in 1961, when they shared the championship with Harvard at 6-1.
Columbia had not started 6-0 since 1996, the first time it did so since 1945. Columbia was 7-0 in 1932 and 8-0 in 1903.
Following Bean’s second score, the Lions led 22-7 entering the fourth quarter in the 11th meeting in conference history between undefeated teams with at least five total games played. They were in position to close out the game in comfort before Bun Straton’s end zone interception on the Lions’ next possession.
Dartmouth (5-1, 2-1) followed with an 80-yard drive capped by Drew Estrada’s first career score, a 38-yard catch-and-run that closed the gap to 22-17.
After a three-and-out, the Big Green drove from their 20 to the Columbia 6 before stalling with a false start and an offensive pass interference penalty with 2:21 to play.
Another Columbia three-and-out set up Dartmouth at its 31. Jack Heneghan, who finished 21 of 36 for 331, got the Big Green to a first-and-goal on the 7 but was sacked by Mike Hinton on the next play as time ran out.
Columbia had not won at Dartmouth since 2001.