Sports

Bruno not looking past Tigers

By
Sports Editor
Thursday, October 13, 2011

After posting a perfect 3-0 non-conference record, the football team will resume Ivy League play tomorrow against Princeton at Brown Stadium. The Bears (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) will be looking for their first Ivy win after falling 24-7 in their conference opener against Harvard (3-1, 2-0), which is currently tied for first in the standings with Yale (3-1, 2-0).

The Bears came out on top in the past four matchups against Princeton (1-3, 1-0), so upperclassmen on the team have all experienced victory against the Tigers.

But wide receiver Jonah Fay ’12 — who scored his first career touchdown in last season’s Princeton game — said the Tigers have improved each year he has played against them. He cited last season’s game, in which Bruno trailed 13-0 going into halftime, as a tight match the Bears almost dropped. Though the Tigers are currently 1-3, Fay said the team cannot underestimate them.

“In some of their games (this season), they had a good chance to win,” he said. “They’re athletic, so it always gives them a good chance to win any game.”

Safety Stephen Peyton ’12 also acknowledged the Tigers will be a tough opponent, particularly since Brown’s former offensive coordinator, James Perry ’00, is now a second-year coach at Princeton. Perry was also a quarterback at Brown and is the Ivy League’s all-time leading passer. “He’ll have their squad up to play us,” Peyton said.

Princeton will have to break through a staunch Brown defense, which Peyton leads with linebackers Matthew O’Donnell ’12 and Daniel Smithwick ’12. Peyton was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Holy Cross last week. In the win, Peyton had 10 tackles and an interception and broke up two passes. O’Donnell and Smithwick each had nine tackles in the game. O’Donnell has averaged 9.8 tackles per game, which ranks him second in the league.

Bruno’s defense should be back at full strength with the return of co-captain defensive lineman Kyle Rettig ’12. Rettig did not play against Holy Cross due to a “tweaked muscle,” according to Peyton, but he said Rettig has been practicing this week and should be ready to play.

On the offensive side, Fay said starting tight end Nicholas Faber ’12 is expected to return to the lineup. In the Governor’s Cup game against the University of Rhode Island Oct. 1, Faber was carted off the field on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance after being upturned and landing on his head. There were no fractures in his neck and he did not suffer a concussion.

Co-captain quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero ‘11.5 has been the offensive anchor, averaging just short of 250 passing yards per game. Against Holy Cross, he threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

After being intercepted three times and fumbling twice in the Harvard game, the team has not surrendered any turnovers in the past two games.

“The turnover battle is always something Coach Estes preaches,” Peyton said. “I think the turnover ratio we’ve got going right now is just a testament to how we’ve been growing as a team.”

In addition to Newhall-Caballero’s aerial power and ball security, the team is looking to maintain a balance between rushing and passing during this week’s game, Fay said. On the season, Bruno has 993 yards passing and 428 rushing.

The Tigers have a much more balanced offense, with 771 yards in the air and 723 yards on the ground this season. Stopping the Tigers’ rush attack will be one of Bruno’s top priorities, Peyton said.

“(We need to) force them into situations they don’t want to be in, like third and long, and shut down their running game,” Peyton said. “If we shut down their running game, we can make them one-dimensional.”

Freshman running back Chuck Dibilio leads the Tigers’ rushing attack with 323 yards so far this season, averaging 80.8 yards per game. In comparison, Bears’ leading rusher Mark Kachmer ’13 has 232 yards total, averaging 58 yards per game.

The Bears will take on the Tigers in front of their fans, friends and family on Family Weekend.

“It’s always nice to have family and friends from back home cheering you on,” Peyton said. “I don’t know if it’ll make anyone play harder — it’ll be hard to get everyone more excited than they already are.”

Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.

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