Football fall to Tigers at home, 53-0

Bruno falters on both sides of the ball, getting shutout for first time since 2012

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Rookie quarterback Jeffrey Jonke ’21 runs outside of the pocket. Jonke made his second appearance of the season in the loss, which saw the Bears concede 53 points to the third-place Tigers at Brown Stadium Saturday.

Updated Oct. 16 at 3:28 p.m.

It has been five years since the football team last found itself on the wrong side of a shutout when, in 2012, Princeton hung 19 unanswered points on the Bears (2-3, 0-2 Ivy). This year, the Tigers (4-1, 1-1) put up 53, sealing victory with seven touchdowns and two field goals, not allowing Bruno to score once.

“We didn’t come out and play the way we’re capable of playing,” said rookie quarterback Jeffrey “Mitchell” Jonke ’21. “They got on us early, and we just weren’t able to turn it around. Right now, we just have to use it as a learning tool. … We’re using this as a motivation to never play like that again.”

Rainy conditions hindered Brown’s running game and also made it difficult for quarterbacks Jonke and Thomas “TJ” Linta ’18 to handle the ball. A Brown fumble on the opening kickoff gave Princeton the ball deep in the Bears’ territory at the start of the game, and from there, the Tigers took over. They dominated every aspect of the game, forcing eight punts and racking up 538 total yards on offense, the most Brown’s defense has allowed all season. The Bears had no response for the Tigers’ stifling defense, amassing only 12 first downs and 170 yards of offense.

The Tigers found success on the ground and through the air, splitting their yardage equally between rush and pass plays. Princeton quarterback Chad Kanoff completed 21 passes for two touchdowns, and running back Charlie Volker tallied 163 rushing yards on four scoring runs, including a 96-yard foray into the end zone in the second quarter. After notching 16 points in the first quarter and adding 20 more in the second, the Tigers went into the locker room with a comfortable 36-0 lead.

Starting quarterback Linta connected on seven of 12 passes for 55 yards before Jonke took over in the second half. Jonke made his second appearance of the season after seeing some time in the pocket during last week’s game against Stetson University. The first-year led Brown’s offense with 29 rushing yards and 60 passing yards on eight completions Saturday.

Despite the change of QB, the Bears still struggled to generate on offense. Princeton continued to score, posting 10 more points in the third quarter and one final touchdown early in the fourth to bring up the final 53-0.

“We’ve got to get tougher,” said Head Coach Phil Estes P’18. “We can’t worry about what the other team is doing so that we are hesitating. We have a defense and an offense to execute. It’s about doing your job and doing it really, really well.” 

“This is the time that we need to come together as a team because if we don’t, it’s really going to hurt our season,” Jonke said.

Brown will continue conference play in Ithaca, New York against Cornell Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.