Oct. 11, 2008
Worcester, Mass. - In 131 years of Brown football, no quarterback had ever thrown for 500 or more yards. That's until today. Unfortunately for the Bears, quarterback Michael Dougherty's Ivy League record 526 yards passing weren't enough, as the Bears fell to Holy Cross, 41-34, in a shootout at Fitton Field.
Dougherty passed for an Ivy League and Brown record 526 yards, completing 41 of 60 passes, including touchdown passes of two, 13, 22 and 64 yards. His 526 passing yards eclipsed the Ivy League record of 501 yards by Princeton's Bob Holly against Yale in 1981, and the Brown mark of 497 yards by Kyle Slager against Rhode Island in 2002. Dougherty's 41 completions rank fourth in the Brown record book.
Dougherty also set a Brown and Ivy record for total offense, adding 12 rushing yards for 538 total yards. The previous Ivy record of 504 total yards was held by Columbia's John Witkowski against Dartmouth in 1982, while the Brown mark for total offense was held by Kyle Rowley with 483 yards against URI in 2001.
The feature match-up of two of the nation's top quarterbacks, Brown's Dougherty, and Dominic Randolph from Holy Cross, didn't disappoint the fans in attendance. Both quarterbacks passed for more that 400 yards for the second straight year.
Not to be outdone, Randolph completed a school record 41 passes, while compiling 430 yards and four touchdowns.
"Randolph has torched us for the last three years," said Bears' head coach Phil Estes. "We haven't found a way to stop him."
The two teams combined for 1,115 total yards, with Brown gaining 562 total yards, and Holy Cross accumulating 553 total yards.
"I'm please we got our offense going," said Estes, "but we need to have a complete game to win - executing on offense, defense and special teams."
In a frenetic first half, Holy Cross held a 31-21 lead as the Bears and Crusaders combined for 616 total yards of offense, with Brown gaining 251 yards and Holy Cross 365 yards.
The Bears got off to a sluggish start and quickly fell behind by a 14-0 margin with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
A 26-yard kickoff return by senior Nkosi Still got the Bears back on track, bringing the ball to the Holy Cross 40 yard line. Dougherty directed the Bears down the field and lofted a two-yard touchdown pass to junior Bobby Sewall with 4:14 left in the quarter, pulling the Bears to within 14-7 of the Crusaders.
Brown's first quarter score extended its Ivy record consecutive game-scoring streak to 122 games.
Randolph gave the Crusaders a 21-7 first quarter advantage with another scoring strike, this time a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jon Brock to cap an 83-yard scoring drive.
Brown came back once again to make it a one- possession deficit early in the second quarter when sophomore Trevan Samp made his first career touchdown reception. Samp grabbed a pass from Dougherty at the three-yard line and lunging into the end zone to complete a 13- yard scoring play and pull to within 21-14 of the Crusaders.
Holy Cross scored on its fourth straight possession, this time with Randolph throwing a screen pass to Freddie Santana, who ran 19-yards into the end zone to give the Crusaders a 28-14 lead with 10:06 left in the half.
The first half offensive onslaught continued with Dougherty directing a 74 yard scoring drive, capped off by a 22-yard strike to senior tight end Colin Cloherty to make the score 28-21 in favor of Holy Cross.
A 46-yard Holy Cross field goal as time expired in the half gave the Crusaders a 31-21 advantage at intermission.
The game settled down in the third quarter with the teams exchanging field goals, Holy Cross booting a 47 yard field goal, and Brown's Robert Ranney kicking a 27 yard field goal with 1:12 left in the quarter, to cut the Crusader lead to 34-24.
Brown crept a little closer when Ranney booted a 40-yard field goal with 10:06 left in the game, enabling the Bears to get within a touchdown of Holy Cross, 34-27.
Holy Cross once again jumped out to a 41-27 margin on Randolph's fourth touchdown pass with 3:13 left to play. Two minutes later, Dougherty connected on a 64-yard yard touchdown pass to Sewall, pulling the Bears to within seven points.
Brown's onside kick attempt came tantalizing close to being recovered by the Bears, but a bouncing ball was tipped out of bounds by Sewall, as the ball sailed high towards the sideline.
Cloherty was the big receiver for the Bears, making 14 catches for 166 yards. His 14 receptions rank eighth in the Brown record book. Sewall also had a solid day, catching 10 passes for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
Although it wasn't a good day to be a defender, senior Steve Ziogas led the Bears with 7 solo tackles, while senior Miles Craigwell had eight total tackles for the Bears. Senior Jon May registered the lone sack for the Bears, while also making five tackles.
The Bears head to Princeton, New Jersey for their third of three straight games on the road, facing Princeton on Saturday, October 18th. Game time is 1:00 p.m. at Princeton Stadium.