Duncan ’19 leads football with three TD’s in first start

Duncan ’19 and Jarvis ’17.5 seal victory with stellar performances in season opener

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Starting quarterback Nicholas Duncan ’19 had a strong showing in the football team’s home opener, accounting for three of the Bears’ (1-0) four touchdowns in a 28-23 victory over Bryant University Saturday. Rookie Scott Boylan ’21 woke up the Bear Den with a 95-yard kickoff return for the Bears’ first touchdown. Though penalties plagued Bruno’s offensive efforts, big plays on defense by co-captains Richard “Dewey” Jarvis ’17.5 and Isaiah Thompkins ’19 kept the Bulldogs under control.

“It’s huge to start off with a win,” Jarvis said. “Everyone’s feeling good about it. We’re going to clean up all the mistakes we made … It’s just nice entering the season on a high.”

Brown came out of the gates flying as Jarvis sacked Price Wilson for an eight-yard loss on the first play of the game. After swapping punts, the veteran defensive end recorded an identical sack on the Bulldogs’ second offensive possession. Later in the series, Bryant escaped a sticky 3rd-and-16 after a costly penalty negated an interception by Sebastian Dovi ’19.

Bruno stopped the Bulldogs before they could reach the end zone, forcing Bryant to kick a field goal for the first score of the game. Boylan responded instantly, scoring on his first collegiate touch on the ensuing kickoff.

Bryant had success in the passing game early, outgaining Brown 76 yards to 10 in the first quarter. But Duncan eventually found his rhythm in his first start, finding a reliable target in Jaelon Blandburg ’20. After a Bryant field goal went wide right early in the second, Duncan connected with Blandburg for a 24-yard gain. A six-yard completion to Livingstone Harriott ’20 moved the Bears to midfield. On the next play, Duncan rushed into the endzone untouched for his first score, putting Brown up 14-3.

The Bulldogs secured a touchdown of their own to close out the second quarter, and the teams headed to the locker room with Brown leading 14-10.

The Bears started off the second half with a trick play. A fake fourth down punt that featured a direct snap to Thompkins fooled Bryant, and the junior rushed for 17 to pick up a new set of downs. The Bears burst into the redzone after Duncan found Harriott for a 21-yard gain. Duncan held onto the ball for his second rushing touchdown, putting Brown up 21-10 after the extra point.

Bryant answered with a score of its own. But in the Bulldogs’ next series, Brown’s defense forced and recovered a fumble, resulting in Duncan connecting with Isaac Whitney ’18 for a touchdown.

But the Bears’ defense started feeling the heat late in the fourth quarter as Bryant converted multiple fourth downs.

“I don’t think I’ve ever sweat this much before in-season,” Jarvis said. “Usually it’s not this humid, and a lot of guys were catching cramps all throughout the game … Everyone bore down and kind of dug through it. It was a huge test of resilience, and everyone stepped up.”

The Bulldogs managed one final touchdown but failed a two-point conversion, leaving the score at 28-23. Brown’s defense got a second wind and cut Bryant’s last offensive drive short with a sack by Jarvis and a game-ending interception by Thompkins.

“Knowing you got that win under your belt, you have a little bit of swagger and a little bit of confidence going into the next game,” Jarvis said.

The Bears travel to Harvard to open conference play Saturday at noon, and Head Coach Phil Estes P’18 has clear expectations: “win.”

“We haven’t had a win in a long time against Harvard,” Estes said. “We had a lot of penalties called against us, so we have to clean that up. If we can do that, then we’re going to have a game.”



    An alien arriving from a distant planet would marvel at the inefficiency of admissions processes at Brown. Nearly 29,000 people apply, about 3,000 get accepted, and about 1,600 end up on campus. How people decide to apply, the process for acceptance and the student’s decision on accepting the acceptance are a black box. Traditionally a “tough place to get into,” Brown chooses from a very small pool of mostly US graduates—94% in the top 10% of their classes.
    Those in the Admissions Department have a tough job: how can you evaluate the lifetime promise of an 18-year-old potential student? Those at Admissions must be scratching their heads in a lot of cases. How can you make a life-changing decision about a candidate based on a few written pages and a couple of test results?
    Even less clear is how people decide to apply to Brown in the first place. Albert Einstein would not have applied to Brown. He would have had to write his essay in English, which would have been a challenge for him in pre-War Zurich and Augsburg. The Brown Daily Herald wouldn’t have been available to him. If he had applied, he probably would not have been accepted.
    Finally, those that “got away” to rival universities, or to ashrams in India (hello Steve Jobs), reflect a low “yield” rate and a frustrating loss of opportunity for Brown. How do people decide, after running the Admissions gauntlet, that “Brown just isn’t for me?” Applying students deciding to attend know as little about Brown (in most cases) than the Admissions Department knows about them when they decided to accept them.
    So, admissions at Brown is an inefficient, inexact, frustrating and wasteful process. What must Brown do in the Next 250 Vision to improve this? How can Brown find and recruit the next budding Nelson Mandelas, Mahatma Gandhis and Albert Einsteins of the world?
    Admission is binary. You receive either a thin letter or a fat letter. You’re in or you’re out. It’s like a bad first and last date.
    A better way would be to have a spectrum of ways to get to know students, and for them to know Brown. In the Next 250 Vision, tens of millions of students would participate in a Brown education. Their opportunities would range from a series of free, online lectures ala Khan Academy, to certificates for attendance or passing exams, to coached courses offered and monitored by graduate and undergraduate students, to online tutored and professor-supported courses.
    Admissions in the Brown 250 Vision would be a gradual process. Rather than sending in applications, Brown can intensify its interaction with tens of millions of students, reaching from the slums of Calcutta and the favelas of Rio to the banlieux of Paris and the barefoot classrooms of Vanuatu. As the “stars” emerge from first contacts, these students are encouraged to deepen their interactions with Brown. Those who rise to the top, and who choose to live in Providence for four years, would form a part of the elite 1,600 full-time, on-campus, attendees.
    Professional baseball teams have single-, double- and triple-A teams. They rarely bring their recruits directly to the Majors—rather, they bring them to the farm teams and coach them and watch their progress.
    Admissions in the Brown 250 Vision needs not be a binary event. Rather than waiting for applications to come over the transom, admissions will become an active process of interacting with millions. Rather than issuing a “thumbs-up/thumbs’down” decision, Brown will be able to offer a spectrum of admissions opportunities. And students who are accepted to Brown will know a good deal more about the University than they do under the current process.
    Admissions should be a process, not a milestone or a deadline.

  2. go bruno! hope we can make 0-1 harvard 0-2

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