Providence, Rhode Island – Sophomore kicker Alex Norocea provided all of the scoring Brown needed with two field goals, as the Bears posted a 6-0 Ivy League win over Penn at Brown Stadium, snapping the Quakers 18-game Ivy League winning streak, while holding Penn to just 151 total yards. The Bears also posted their second straight home shutout for the first time since 1985, and extended their record to 6-1 overall, 3-1 in the Ivy League. Penn, who was shutout for the first time since 1997, fell to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in Ivy play.
With a late fall Nor'easter pelting the Brown Stadium turf with hard rain from the opening kickoff, it was a matter of survival, and the Bears' defense fed off the inclement weather.
Norocea's field goals came on boots of 39 and 42 yards with a swirling wind at Brown Stadium. "I hit the first field goal right down the middle, but the wind took it off to the left," said Norocea, whose kick hit off the left upright and in fell in with plenty to spare. "The grass wasn't holding, but I have to give credit to great snaps from freshman Courtland Clavette and a great holds by sophomore Alex Phelan."
"I didn't know how far Alex could kick in these muddy, windy, rainy conditions," said Bears' head coach Phi[ Estes. "It was a gut feeling to go with him and he delivered. I just said 'wow", after he made the kicks."
Both teams turned the ball over in the inclement conditions, with Penn losing two of five fumbles, while being intercepted three times by the Brown defense. The Bears lost one fumble and were intercepted once.
The closest Penn came to scoring was midway through the first quarter when the Quakers drove to the Brown 10-yard line after a fumbled Brown punt at its own 22 yard line. Connor Loftus' boot missed to the left and that proved to be Penn's only scoring opportunity for the game.
Bears' senior Dan Smithwick intercepted his third pass of the season just before the end of a scoreless first quarter. That set up a 39-yard field goal by Norocea with 13:53 left in the second quarter, giving the Bears a 3-0 lead.
Norocea extended Brown's lead to 6-0 on the last play of the third quarter with a 42-yard field goal against the driving rain. Norocea's boot capped a terrific 60-yard scoring drive that consumed 8:31 of the third quarter.
Smithwick led the Bears' defensive effort that held Penn to just 32 passing yards, making seven tackles, forcing a fumble and intercepting a pass. Junior AJ Cruz and senior Mel Farr also made interceptions. Sophomore Michael Yules came through with two tackles for a loss. Sophomore Brett Polacek also stood out with two tackles for a loss, including a quarterback sack.
While it wasn't easy to pass the ball, Bears' senior quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero bucked the elements by passing for 140 yards, completing 14 of 32 passes. Senior wide receiver Alex Tounkara-Kone was Newhall-Caballero's top target, making five catches for 56 yards. Sophomore fullback Cody Taulbee was an offensive standout for the Bears, bulling his way to 49 yards on the ground without fumbling.
Penn's offense was led by Brandon Colavita, who rushed for a game high 69 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Billy Ragone completed 6 of 15 passes for 32 yards for the Quakers.
The Bears travel to New Haven, Connecticut next Saturday, November 5, for a key Ivy match-up against Yale. The game will be televised live on the YES Network with kick-off slated for 12:00 noon at the Yale Bowl.