November 9, 2002

Brown Gridders Fall To Elis, 31-27

Nov. 9, 2002

Providence, RI - Brown's bid to win its first game of the season on fourth and seven from the nine yard line was thwarted in the end zone with 31 seconds left to play as the Bears dropped a 31-27 Ivy League game to the Yale Elis.

Brown took the opening kickoff and scored onj its first possession to take an early 7-0 lead. Junior quarterback Kyle Slager connected on a 4 yard touchdown pass to sophomore fullback Brett Grinna to complete a 70 yard, 9 play drive.

It looked like Brown's day when Yale's punter couldn't handle the snap and was thrown for a 10 yard loss by senior Jeremiah Watts to give the Bears great field possession at the Elis 42 yard line. Five plays later, senior Joe Rackley smashed his way into the end zone to lift the Bears to a 13-0 advantage. The extra point was blocked as a Yale player vaulted off the back of another Eli player to block the point after touchdown.

Yale roared back to grab a 14-13 lead midway through the second quarter. But the Bears' offense was running on all cylinders as Slager drove the Bears 65 yards, throwing a 21 yard touchdown pass to senior All-American Chas Gessner, who battled the Yale defender in the end zone for the touchdown grab, giving the Bears a 20-14 lead at the half.

The sea-saw battle continued with Yale booting a field goal and adding a touchdown to take a 24-20 lead with 10:06 left in the fourth quarter.

Brown showed its resiliency by grabbing the lead, 27-24, when Slager tossed an 18 yard touchdown pass to Gessner, who out-wrestled Yale for the ball in the left side of the end zone. Slager's third touchdown pass of the day gave Brown the lead with 5:39 remaining. For the day, Slager completed 31 of 42 passes for 364 yards.

The Elis battled back and took a 31-27 lead with 1:46 left in the game.

Brown has a chance to win it in the end after taking over at its own 18 yard line. Slager completed a 28 yard pass to Gessner, a 10 yarder to freshman Jared Schreck and a seven yard pass to senior Chris Walther to advance the ball to the Eli 37 yard line with 1:04 left to play.

Senior Brandon Buchanan caught a 25 yard pass from Slager to advance to the Eli 12 yard line, and Rackley rushed three yards to the nine yard line as Brown called timeout with 45 seconds left to play.

The Brown drive stalled there as Slager threw three incomplete passes, the last to senior Ian Malapeai, who couldn't come up with a reception with a Yale defender draped all over him.

The good news for the Bears was the return of a healthy Rackley to the lineup. Rackley rushed for 108 yards on 21 carries, becoming the first Brown player to rush for 100 or more yards this season.

Gessner also came up big for the Bears, making 9 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Gessner's two touchdown receptions moved him into second place in all time Ivy League touchdown receptions with 34 touchdown catches.

Brown's defense played well all day with senior safety Shaun Eidson leading the way with eight tackles. Junior Jermaine Griffin had seven tackles, picked off a pass and knocked down four passes for the Bears. Senior Joel Barone and freshman Jason Ching made six tackles each.