Nov. 15, 2008
Hanover, New Hampshire - Coach Phil Estes' Brown football team entered Memorial Field at the start of its game against Dartmouth with a fierce determination to take care of business. The first place Bears needed wins in both of their last two games to be assured at least a share of the Ivy League title, and had struggled in recent years against the Big Green in Hanover.
Brown's fears were quickly alleviated, scoring on its first four offensive possessions and intercepting a pass for a touchdown to build a 31-7 lead on its way to a 45-16 win over Dartmouth, its largest margin of victory ever over the Big Green. The Bears are now one win away from capturing their fourth-ever Ivy Championship.
"We have one more game left against Columbia, it's at home, and we get to salute our seniors," said a reserved Estes after the game. "We have to stay hungry and look hard at every team we play. When it's all over we can place a label on this team."
The win lifts the Bears to 5-1 in the Ivy League, 6-3 overall, while winless Dartmouth drops to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in Ivy play. With Harvard's win over Penn, the Bears are in a tie with the Crimson for first place in the Ivy League standings with one game remaining next week at home against Columbia. Brown defeated Harvard, 22-20 earlier in the season.
"I had a pit in my stomach all week, not knowing what would happen up here and coming off last week's game against Yale," said Estes. "We played hard in all phases of the game and it really came down to our first offensive drive when we set the tone for the game. Today we played 'Brown Football.'"
Bears' quarterback Michael Dougherty turned in a dominating performance with 311 yards in total offense in just three quarters of play, exiting the game after building a 45-10 lead. He passed for two touchdowns, ran for another on a 69-yard run (73 yards for the day), completed 16 of 22 passes, and threw for 238 yards, including 213 passing yards in the first half alone. The senior from Davie, Florida moved into 13th place in Ivy League career passing with 5,502 yards, and now ranks 10th in Ivy League history with 469 career completions.
Junior wide receiver Bobby Sewall continued his domination of the Big Green with five receptions for 90 yards, while accounting for three scores, including two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 58 yards.
Brown's defense also dominated the Big Green, keeping the Big Green out of the end zone until the final play of the game. "Our defense created big plays all day - interceptions, sacks and forcing fumbles."
The Bears used their determination to methodically march down the gridiron on its first possession, weaving down the field with a mix of pass and run plays. Brown got on the scoreboard when Dougherty lofted a 21 yard touchdown pass to Sewall less than five minutes into the game to give the Bears a 7-0 lead.
The momentum continued in Brown's favor on Dartmouth's offensive play from scrimmage when Bears' senior cornerback Nkosi Still intercepted a deflected pass at the Big Green 43 yard line.
Seven plays later, Sewall scored his second touchdown of the day, this time on a one-yard run to give the Bears a 14-0 advantage with 7:06 left in the quarter.
The Bears extended their first quarter lead to 17-0 five minutes later with a 35-yard field goal by senior Rob Ranney.
Dartmouth got back into the game with a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by freshman Shawn Abuhoff with 2:06 left in the quarter to cut Brown's lead to 17-7.
Brown's offensive juggernaut continued with Dougherty directing a 73 yard scoring drive on Brown's next possession, throwing a 25-yard touchdown strike to sophomore Trevan Samp on a Dartmouth blitz to give the Bears a 24-7 lead just 38 seconds into the second quarter.
The Bears defense got into the scoring mix on Dartmouth's next possession. Seniors Wale Adedokun and David Howard drilled Dartmouth quarterback Conner Kempe, and senior Joe Yanchunis picked off his pass in the flat, scampering 31-yards for his first career touchdown to give the Bears a 31-7 advantage over the Big Green with 13:07 left in the second quarter.
It was more of the same to start the second half, with the Bears scoring on their first offensive play from scrimmage, a 69-yard scoring run by Dougherty just two minutes into the third quarter to extend Brown's lead to 38-10.
The onslaught continued after senior tackle Joe McPhee forced and recovered a fumble at the Big Green 40-yard line. Four plays later, Sewall ran into the end zone from one out to lift Brown to a 45-10 lead through three quarters of play.
The Bears complete their regular season next Saturday, November 22, with an Ivy League match-up at home against Columbia. Game time is 12:30 p.m. at Brown Staium.