Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old Friends Meeting Up On Memorial Field

In addition to the Dartmouth-Columbia game preview, last night's BGA Premium posting included a short sidebar on two of the players in this afternoon's game. Here's a look at the story:

When Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan looks across the line on Saturday afternoon he’ll see a familiar face staring back at him.

As sixth- and seventh-graders growing up 10 minutes apart in the Bay Area, Heneghan and Columbia strong safety Landon Baty were teammates on the Menlo-Atherton Vikings Pop Warner football team. Three thousand miles and a decade later the two are captains of competing and undefeated Ivy League teams.

“We’ve been friends since like fifth grade,” Heneghan said late this week. “He was the quarterback and I played tight end and linebacker mostly.

“His dad (eight-year NFL tight end Greg Baty) was our coach and we were pretty good. We almost went to the national championships but lost in our regional final. We had some good players, with a couple of other guys going on to play at different places.”

Heneghan didn’t sound at all surprised that Baty has had success at safety as a collegian after moving over from the offense.

“He was a good quarterback, fast and physical,” the Dartmouth senior said. “It was Pop Warner so we didn’t throw much but he made plays. He played defense, too, and was an impact player who played with a lot of energy, kind of like he does now.”

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Baty is second on the Columbia roster with 36 tackles to go along with one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

The old teammates squared off for the first time as collegians last year in New York City.

“The first couple of years neither of us were playing or seeing much action,” Heneghan said. “I think he might have made the tackle on our very first offensive play. He’s a good player and a good guy.”

Heneghan’s memory is correct. Among Baty’s four stops in Columbia’s win over the Big Green last year was the tackle of Ryder Stone for a one-yard gain on Dartmouth’s initial snap.

Heneghan looks forward to sharing a handshake with his old teammate Saturday after the game – rather than meeting up with him in the backfield.

“He is been a guy that I see a lot when I go home,” the quarterback said. “We’ve definitely kept in touch. He sent me a text after we beat Penn on Friday night and they were watching. I have done the same thing after some of their big wins.

“He’s a good friend, but obviously we’re putting that aside Saturday afternoon.”

In another interesting coinci-dence, Baty’s older brother Turner played quarterback at UC Davis while Dartmouth offensive coordinator Kevin Daft was the quarterback coach and OC there.
The Valley News takes a look at twins John and Pat Kilcommons, identical twins and starters on the Dartmouth offensive line whose final choice of schools came down to Dartmouth and . . . Columbia. (LINK)
Princeton 52, Harvard 17
Chad Kanoff went 20-for-20 for more than 300 yards in the first half alone and finished 31-of-35 for 421 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers (5-1)  thoroughly trounced the Crimson (3-3). The NBCSports Network broadcast offered a first look at Harvard freshman quarterback Jake Smith (21-of-31 for 268 yards), who appears to have a Baker Mayfield/Trace McSorley magic in him.
It's game day in Hanover where the forecast calls for 66 degrees and clear skies at the 12:30 kickoff with Columbia. Remember, the game is being televised on the Eleven Sports network and being simulcast on the Ivy League Network.