Fourth Quarter Rally Lifts Brown Over Holy Cross, 20-13
Providence, Rhode Island – Senior quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero engineered an NCAA record 99-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to rally Brown to a 20-13 victory over Holy Cross at Brown Stadium in its final non-league game of the season. The win lifts Brown to 3-1 for the season while Holy Cross falls to 2-3.
With the score tied, 13-13, Brown took over at its own one yard line with nine minutes remaining. Newhall-Caballero marched the Bears 99 yards in 11 plays, taking six minutes off the clock.
Brown's game-winning touchdown came on a third down play when Newhall-Caballero scrambled first to his right and them back to the center of the field to connect on an 18-yard pass play to senior Jonah Fay, who cradled the ball in the end zone with 3:04 left in the game to give the Bears a 20-13 lead.
"Kyle is always looking down field trying to make plays," said Brown head coach Phil Estes. "He does a great job of reading coverage's and finding the open man."
Newhall-Caballero connected on 25 of 39 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was junior wide receiver Tellef Lundevall, who made nine receptions for 90 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown catch. Bears' junior tailback led the Bears' rushing attack with 68 yards on 12 carries, including a 32 yard run in Brown's crucial 99-yard scoring drive.
Brown's solid defensive effort against the high-scoring Crusaders was led by senior safety Stephen Peyton, who made 10 tackles and picked off a pass with 58 seconds remaining to cement the Brown win. Senior linebackers Daniel Smithwick and Matthew O'Donnel made nine tackles each for the Bears.
With expectations of footballs filling the air, both teams struggled to get on track in the early going.
After a scoreless first quarter, Holy Cross got on the scoreboard first on the initial play of the second quarter when John Macomber booted a 30-yard field goal to give the Crusaders a 3-0 advantage.
The first break of the game came Brown's way when senior Sam McGrath recovered a Holy Cross fumble at the Crusaders' 35-yard line. The turnover led to a Brown field goal with sophomore Alex Norocea converting on a 35-yard boot to even the score, 3-3, with 8:07 remaining in the second quarter.
McCombert connected on his second field goal, this time a 25-yard boot, to give Holy Cross a 6-3 lead with 2:36 left in the half.
Brown made the most of the remaining time in the half, thanks to a 30-yard kickoff return by junior AJ Cruz that gave Brown possession at the Holy Cross 48 yard line. Seven plays later, Newhall-Caballero connected on a 9-yard scoring throw to Lundevall, who was able to drag one foot in bounds for the score to give Brown a 10-6 lead with 32 seconds remaining.
Holy Cross grabbed a 13-10 lead on its first drive of the second half when quarterback Ryan Taggert drove the Crusaders 53 yards down the field and tossed a nine yard touchdown strike to Gerald Mistretta with 5:25 left in the quarter.
The Bears got another break when Holy Cross punter Corey Page took a snap on one knee at its own five-yard line late in the third quarter. But the Crusaders defense stiffened and Brown missed a 26-yard field goal.
Brown tied the game, 13-13, on a 34-yard field goal by Norocea with 10:25 left in the game. The field goal came after Holy Cross faked a punt that was stopped by senior Dan Smithwick at the Holy Cross 43 yard line.
Taggart came into the game averaging over 300 passing yards per game. He was held to 243 yards passing, completing 27 of 43 passes. Mistretta registered eight catches for 94 yards.
The Bears return home next week for a Homecoming and Family Weekend match-up against Ivy rival Princeton. Game time is 12:30 p.m. at Brown Stadium.
Pictured: Steve Peyton intercepts a pass vs. Holy Cross. photo by dspics.com