Bears Drop Final Game To Columbia, 35-28, In Double Overtime
New York, New York – Senior Sean Brackett ran for four touchdowns, including the game-winning 16-yard touchdown run in overtime, to lead Columbia to its first win of the year, 35-28, over Brown in double overtime. Brown finished second in the Ivy standings with a 4-3 league mark, and posted a 7-3 overall record, while Columbia finished 1-9 on the season.
The Lions had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Brown junior AJ Cruz blocked a 40-yard Columbia field goal with eight seconds left in the game.
Brown scored first in overtime when senior quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero threw his third touchdown pass of the day, a 25-yard strike to senior Jimmy Saros. The Lions answered with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brackett to Hamilton Garner after converting a key fourth down play.
In the second overtime, Brackett scored on a 16 yard run to give the Lions a 35-28 advantage.
On Brown's second overtime possession, the Bears drove to the Lions one yard line where their wildcat offense was stopped twice by the Columbia defense, with senior Matt Sudfield apparently stretching the ball over the goal line on the fourth down play, but ruled short to the line judge at the far side of the field.
"The game should never have been this close," said Bears' head coach Phil Estes. "We shot ourselves in the foot with penalties and fumbles. Give credit to Columbia. They persevered, hung in there and deserved to win."
Columbia finished with 241 total yards after having just 16 yards in the first half. Brown had 386 total yards.
Newhall-Caballero finished his storied Brown career as one of the top quarterbacks in Ivy League football history. After completing 32 of 44 passes for 262 yards against the Lions, Newhall-Caballero ranks 12th all-time in Ivy League career touchdown passes (39), tenth in career Ivy completions (517), and 17th in career Ivy passing yards (5,472).
Defensively, Brown had 15 tackles for a loss, including five quarterback sacks. Bears' senior Clayton McGrath had five total tackles, including three for a loss of 12 yards. Seniors Dan Smithwick and Kyle Rettig had nine tackles each for Brown.
Columbia's defensive effort was led by linebacker Evan Miller, who made 19 tackles and forced a fumble.
Brown got on the scoreboard first when senior linebacker Matt O'Donnell scooped up a Columbia fumble at the Lions 17-yard line and scampered down the sideline for a touchdown to give the Bears an early 7-0 advantage.
The Lions' Ross Morand recovered a Brown fumble and returned it 26 yards to the Bears' 10-yard line. Two plays later, Columbia Brackett scored on a two-yard run to tie the game, 7-7, with 8:39 left in the first quarter.
Newhall-Caballero engineered a 79-yard scoring drive to give the Bears a 14-7 lead with 5:35 left in the quarter, capping the drive with a nine-yard scoring pass to senior Matt Sudfeld, who caught the ball in traffic at the two yard line and stretched the ball over the goal line for the go-ahead score.
Sudfeld gave the Bears a 21-7 lead when he made a leaping 12-yard catch of a Newhall-Caballero pass in the end zone early in the second quarter. The acrobatic catch by Sudfeld capped a 52-yard scoring drive for the Bears.
Both offenses sputtered considerably in the third quarter as the Bears maintained their 21-7 lead over the Lions.
Columbia started its comeback with a 46-yard fourth quarter scoring drive following a Brown fumble. Brackett scored once again on a two-yard run to bring the Lions to within seven points of the Bears, 21-14, with 9:46 left in the game.
Brackett scored his third touchdown of the game, this time on a one-yard quarterback sneak, to tie the game, 21-21, with 5:06 left in the game.