Bears stifled by Tigers, drop 10th straight in Ivy League

Football soundly defeated 48-10, fall to 1-4 overall, 0-2 in conference matchups this season

Senior Staff Writer
Sunday, October 14, 2018

Running back Allen Smith ’22 runs against the University of Rhode Island in a shutout loss last weekend. Bruno’s rushing attack has left much to be desired this season, as the team is only averaging 65.4 rushing yards per game and 2.4 yards per rushing attempt.

While the football team improved on last season’s 53-0 defeat against No. 21 Princeton, the Bears’ efforts were not nearly enough, as they fell 48-10 to the Tigers on the road Saturday. For the second week in a row, and for the third time this season, the Bears’ defense gave up more than 40 points. The offense, which seemingly came alive against Georgetown two weeks ago, has dramatically regressed — Bruno was shutout by the University of Rhode Island last weekend and could only muster 10 points on the Tigers’ stout defense.

“I think a lot of what went wrong today on offense was in our control,” wrote quarterback Michael McGovern ’21 in a statement to The Herald. “We need to clean up the mistakes and have all 11 guys on offense do their job, and we’ll be very successful.”

From the opening snap, the Bears (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) were in trouble. Princeton quarterback Kevin Davidson, in the first start of his career, found Steven Carlson for a 39-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage of the game. A pass interference penalty a few plays later put the Bears’ defense on the ropes, and the Tigers (5-0, 2-0) capped the drive when Davidson found Ryan Quigley in the end zone. Just 154 seconds into the game, Bruno was down a touchdown.

Brown’s offense could not get anything going on their first series, and the Tigers responded on their next drive with a 62-yard touchdown strike from Davidson to Jesper Horsted. Horsted caught the ball at around the 25-yard line, but had the angle on the safety and took off for the end zone to put the Bears in an early 14-point hole.

For the rest of the quarter, Bruno’s defense looked up to the task of stopping the robust Princeton offensive machine. It halted a Tigers series and forced a 4th down on Princeton’s next two drives. But at the start of the second quarter, the wheels fell off for Brown. Tigers running back Charlie Volker converted a 4th and 1, and Davidson found a leaping Horsted in the end zone on the very next play.

The Bears’ offense continued to be plagued by drive-killing penalties and missed opportunities. On Brown’s next drive, the team fumbled two snaps and had a punt blocked to give the Tigers the ball at midfield.

“We’re (going to) watch the film, find the mistakes and fix them,” McGovern wrote.

The Tigers seamlessly passed the reins of the offense to quarterback Zach Keller in the second quarter, and he led a 58-yard march in just 90 seconds. Volker scored a 22-yard touchdown to finish the drive and give his team a 28-0 lead.

Though the Bears blocked a Tigers field goal and embarked on a promising drive before the end of the quarter, Princeton was firmly in control, leading by four touchdowns at the half.

In the third quarter, McGovern led the Bears on a nine-play, 43-yard drive that resulted in a field goal and broke a scoring drought that had lasted over one and a half games.

The Tigers quickly re-established their dominance from the first half and followed up Bruno’s field goal with two touchdown drives of their own to put the score at 42-3 with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

In the waning moments of the game, Brown finally reached the end zone to cap a 75-yard drive. Running back Allen Smith ’22, who scored the Bears’ last touchdown two weeks ago against Georgetown, galloped 13 yards for the score.

Princeton went on a long, clock-killing drive for another touchdown before the final whistle sounded, handing the Bears a 38-point loss.

“As a defense, we just needed to finish plays,” wrote defensive captain Michael Hoecht ’20 in a statement to The Herald. “We let a few sacks, tackles and interceptions slip away that could have changed momentum. We were put in the right positions — we just need to make the play when our number is called.”

The Bears were outgained 556-222 on offense and only recorded 15 first downs, compared to 27 from the Tigers. McGovern was 17 for 29 from the field with 146 yards and an interception. He was also sacked five times.

“Now we’re going to learn from our mistakes in this past game and get better for Cornell,” McGovern wrote.  “We don’t need to change the plan, we just need to execute it.”

Bruno will return home to face Cornell at Brown Stadium Saturday at 1 p.m. during Family Weekend.

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