Special Teams Lifts Bears to 38-24 Victory Over Cornell

Oct. 22, 2005

Box Score

Ithaca, NY - Brown set a team record for kickoff return yards in a game, and junior Brandon Markey returned a kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown, to lead the Bears to a 38-24 Ivy League victory over Cornell. The win lifts the Bears to a 5-1 overall record, including a 2-1 Ivy League mark, while Cornell drops to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in Ivy play.

The Bears' Special Teams turned in a record setting performance with 222 kickoff return yards, shattering the previous record of 196 yards vs. Princeton in 1960. Markey technically had five kickoff returns for 119 yards, while sophomore Nkosi returned kickoffs for 103 yards. In addition, Markey returned three punts 48 yards, including a long return of 36 yards.

Cornell got on the scoreboard first, marching 71 yards in 6 rushing plays on its first possession, to grab a 7-0 lead just two minutes and twenty-nine seconds into the game.

The Bears were unable to respond right away, despite a 46-yard kickoff return by sophomore Nkosi Still that brought the ball to the Cornell 46-yard line. The Bears advanced to the Big Red one-yard line before being stopped on fourth down.

Brown's defense held the Big Red at the three-yard line and enabled the Bears to get good field possession following a Big Red punt, taking over at the Big Red 29-yard line.

Three plays later, junior quarterback Joe DiGiacomo spotted senior Jarrett Schreck wide open in the end zone for a 24-yard scoring play to tie the game, 7-7, with 4:25 left in the first quarter.

Cornell booted a 37-yard field on the first play of the second quarter to grab a 10-7 lead.

But the Bears answered once again following another long kickoff return by Still, who returned the ball to the Cornell 40-yard line. Sophomore Steve Morgan booted a 25-yard field goal tie the game, 10-10, with 11:30 left in the quarter, his 13th field goal of the season.

The Big Red struck first in the second half, driving 97 yards in 15 plays to grab a 17-10 advantage with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

Lightning struck quickly when Bears' Markey stunned the partisan crowd by taking the ensuing kickoff 92-yards for a touchdown, tying the game, 17-17, with 2:33 left in the quarter.

Cornell took the lead once again, following a Brown fumble at its own 18-yard line. Three plays later, the Big Red took a 24-17 lead with 13:07 left in the fourth quarter.

The Bears refused to let the Big Red take control of the game and answered quickly once again, this time on its first offensive play from scrimmage. Taking over at its own 15-yard line, DiGiacomo connected with Schreck at the Cornell 35-yard stripe. Schreck made a back-cut to the 32-yard line and raced down the sideline 85 yards for the game-tying touchdown, 24-24.

The Bears got a break when Cornell fumbled a punt at its own 37-yards line that was recovered by Matt Mullenax. Five plays later, senior All-American Nick Hartigan ran the ball into the end zone from five yards out to give the Bears their first lead of the game, 31-24, with 7:19 left to play. The big play in the drive was a 26-yard pass play from DiGiacomo to junior Lonnie Hill.

Bears' senior Steve Storrs sacked Cornell's quarterback and forced a fumble, giving the Bears possession at the Big Red 22-yard line. Hartigan took over, carrying three straight times, exploding into the end zone from the 10-yard line to lift the Bears to a 38-24 advantage with just 5:01 left to play.

Hartigan finished the game with 119 yards on 29 carries, running for 100 or more yards for the 20th time in his Brown career. Schreck made 3 receptions for 136 yards. DiGiacomo completed 9 of 16 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

Defenively, junior All-American Zak DeOssie seemed to be in on every tackle, making 18 total tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Sophomore Jose Yearwood made a career best 12 tackles, senior Tim Cotter had 11 tackles, and seniors James Frazier and Jamie Gasparella made 10 tackles each.

The Bears will be back in action next Saturday at home against Ivy rival Penn. Game time is 1:00 p.m. at Brown Stadium.