Providence, Rhode Island - The ominous 40-mile per hour gusts
that swirled through Brown Stadium proved to be a bad omen for the
Brown football team, as first place Penn held the Ivy
League’s top passing offense to 241 yards in the air to gain
a 14-7 overtime win over the Bears. The loss drops Brown to 4-3
overall, 2-2 in the Ivy League, while Penn stays atop the Ivy
standings with a 5-2 overall record, 4-0 in Ivy play.
The Titanic defensive battle came down to the first possession of overtime. Penn tailback Kyle Dernham broke a tackle at the five-yard line and drove into the end zone to give the Quakers a 14-7 lead. Brown was unable to convert on its possession, giving Penn the victory.
“Penn put pressure on us up front, and we were out of sync offensively all day,” said Bears head coach Phil Estes. “Our defense was outstanding, creating four turnovers and giving our offense plenty of opportunities. We just couldn’t convert.”
Brown defensive end James Develin dominated the field for the Bears, making 11 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss and a quarterback sack.
”It’s a shame that James hasn’t been a first team All-Ivy selection,” said Estes. “He’s one of the most dominant players on the field. He puts pressure on the offense and runs people down.”
Four Brown players intercepted Quaker passes, including senior linebacker Brendan Gallagher, junior outside linebacker Blaine Grinna, senior safety Chris Perkins and freshman cornerback AJ Cruz, who accounted for Brown’s lone touchdown with a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Penn had the better of play in the first half, taking the wind in the first quarter and a 7-0 lead when Quakers’ runningback Lyle Marsh fumbled at the one yard line and teammate Luke DeLuca recovered in the end zone for a touchdown with 3:36 left in the quarter. The Quakers maintained the 7-0 lead at the half.
While Brown’s offense couldn’t get on track, its defense came to the rescue. Early in the third quarter, Bears’ cornerback AJ Cruz stepped in front of a pass and wrestled it way from a Quaker receiver and ran 42-yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 7-7, with 13:14 left in the quarter.
Penn’s offense knocked at the Brown door, starting late in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter. With the ball at the Brown eight-yard line, Quakers quarterback Kyle Olson was intercepted for the third time, with Grinna picking off the pass in the end zone for the Bears with 14:22 left in the game.
The Bears had a chance to win the game in regulation with seven seconds remaining, but junior Patrick Rooney’s 44-yard field goal fell short against a stiff, gusting wind.
Bears’ junior quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero came into the game as the nation’s leader in completions. He struggled passing into the gusty wind and completed 24 of 42 passes for 241 yards. Senior All-American wide receivers Buddy Farnham and Bobby Sewall made six catches each.
Perkins led the Bears defense with 12 total tackles to go along with his interception. Senior linebacker Kelly Cox registered nine total tackles and a tackle for a loss. Junior Robert Gillett and senior Brian Neff also had tackles for a loss for the Bears.
Brown travels to New Haven for an Ivy match-up with Yale. The game will be televised live on the YES Network from the Yale Bowl, starting at 12:30 p.m.