Providence, Rhode Island - Junior Patrick Rooney booted a
34-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to lift Brown to a
stunning 34-31 victory over 19th-ranked Holy Cross at Brown
Stadium. Bears’ junior quarterback Kyle Newhall set an Ivy
League record with 46 pass completions against the Crusaders, as
the Bears earned their second straight win to extend their record
to 2-2 overall. The loss was Holy Cross’ first of the season,
dropping to 4-1 overall.
“We wanted to be better than Holy Cross on this day,” said Brown head coach Phil Estes. “Holy Cross is a very good team, but on this day we needed for our offense, defense and special teams to step up. This is a great team win for us.”
Rooney only previous experience came in a JV game against Yale two weeks ago, and he wasn’t listed on the Brown depth chart. He entered the game midway through the third quarter after the Bears had missed two field goals and an extra point.
His first career kick was a 31-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Rooney’s game-winning 34-yard field goal came after Brown drove 57 yards in 1:42, after the Crusaders had tied the game, 31-31, with 1:49 left in the game.
“Patrick has ice in his veins,” said Estes. “He wasn’t a recruited kicker, but we told him before the game that he had to be ready. I didn’t hesitate to use him, and told him on our last drive that if we get the ball inside the 25, we’d give him a shot to win it.”
Everyone expected an aerial shootout and the two teams didn’t disappoint. Newhall established a new an Ivy League record with 46 completions on 61 attempts, while accumulating 431 passing yards. His 46 completions broke the previous Ivy League mark of 44 completions by Brown’s Kyle Slager against Rhode Island on October 5, 2002.
Newhall also threw two touchdown passes (22 and 10 yards) and ran for another on a seven-yard run. Newhall’s 445 yards of total offense rank ninth in the Brown record book, and 21st in Ivy football history.
Nnewhall’s counterpart, Holy Cross’ senior All-American Dominic Randolph, threw for 411 yards, completing 38 of 53 passes and four touchdowns.
While Brown’s offense is often termed the Buddy (Farnham) and Bobby (Sewall) Show, for its All-American wide receivers, senior Trevan Samp stole the show with 15 catches for 206 yards and a 22 yard touchdown reception. The 15 receptions are sixth best in Brown football history and 12th best in the Ivy record book, while Samp’s 206 receiving yards rank 11th in the Brown record book, 26th in Ivy history.
Sewall also had a solid game for the Bears, making 14 catches for 97 yards and a touchdown. His 14 receptions rank ninth in the Brown record book, and 20th in Ivy football history. He also added a two-point conversion catch.
The Crusaders drove 62 yards on their first possession, but the Bears’ defense stiffened and held Holy Cross to a field goal with 11:44 left in the first quarter.
Randolph, considered the top passer in the NCAA Division I FCS, got the Crusaders rolling with his arm and legs. He twice ran for first downs in a 55 yard scoring drive, and tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Nick Cole to give the Crusaders a 10-0 lead with 2:57 left in the first quarter.
Brown came back on its next possession, driving 65 yards in 10 plays, and drew to within three points, 10-7, on a seven-yard touchdown run by Newhall early in the second quarter.
Randolph tossed his second touchdown pass of the half when he connected with Alex Schneider on a five-yard pass to put the Crusaders up, 17-7, with 7:04 left in the quarter.
After missing two field goals, Brown got back in the game when senior Robert Gillett picked off a Randolph pass at the Brown 44 yard line. Eight plays later, Newhall connected with Sewall, who caught the ball at the Holy Cross five yard line and spun into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown reception with 7:51 left in the third quarter, pulling the Bears to within 17-13 of the Crusaders.
Lightning struck once again when Brown senior linebacker Brendan Gallagher stepped in front of another Randolph pass and returned it 28-yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 20-17 lead with 6:59 left in the quarter.
The Bears extended their lead to 23-17 when Rooney connected on his first collegiate field goal, booting a 31-yard kick on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Brown extended its lead when Newhall spotted wide-open Samp at the five yard line and Samp waltzed into the end zone for a 22-yard scoring play with 8:30 left in the game. Newhall connected on a two-point conversion pass to Sewall to give the Bears a 31-17 advantage.
The Crusaders came back quickly with two straight Randolph touchdown passes of 13 and 30 yards to Rob Koster, the second with 1:49 left on the clock.
Brown’s defense was led by freshman AJ Cruz, who played bump-and-run defense against the vaunted Crusader receivers and made a team high 12 tackles, while breaking up two passes. Senior linebacker Kelly Cox registered six tackles, as did sophomore linebacker Shane Cooney. Senior James Develin registered a sack for the Bears to go with his three tackles.
Brown returns to Ivy League action next Saturday, October 17, 2009 against Princeton. The game will be nationally televised live on the VERSUS Network, with a 12:37 p.m. start time at Brown Stadium.