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Total team effort helps football break Penn

Sitting in the locker room with a 28-10 halftime lead over the University of Pennsylvania, all the football team wanted was to get back on the field for the second half. After letting a 31-14 lead to slip away in an overtime loss to Cornell the previous week, the Bears (3-4, 2-2 Ivy League) were determined not to squander another chance for a win.

"They were gonna bust the door down," said Head Coach Phil Estes. "They wanted to get out there and start playing the second half."

A 3-yard touchdown pass for Penn with 3:25 left in the game cut Brown's lead to 31-17, but an interception in the end zone by linebacker Miles Craigwell '09 with 56 seconds to go sealed the win for the Bears.

After its second-half collapse last week, the defense came through with its best effort of the season on Saturday, in a game in which big defensive plays kept Brown in control. Brown blocked two field goals, and cornerback Darrell Harrison '09 returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to put the Bears up 14-7.

"That was a huge momentum swing," Estes said. "That was big, as big a play as we had out there."

The offense put Brown on the scoreboard first. A 68-yard drive in the first quarter ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass over the middle from quarterback Michael Dougherty '09 to tight end Colin Cloherty '09. Starting at their own 32, the Bears called on seldom-used fullback Tyler Rowley '08 to give them a spark. First, Rowley caught a two-yard pass from Dougherty, and then, on only his second carry of the season, Rowley powered his way up the gut for an 18-yard gain that moved the ball into Quaker territory.

Rowley finished the day with 20 rushing yards on two carries, to go along with his four receptions for 35 yards.

"It's hard to make plays when you're on a team with ... so many playmakers," Rowley said. "If it looked like I sparked the team, that's great, but all I'm doing is going out and playing as hard as I can."

After Cloherty's touchdown, the ensuing kickoff was returned 48 yards to the Brown 42. From there, it took the Quakers just two plays to find the end zone and knot the score at 7-7.

Penn looked poised to pull ahead when Dougherty's pass down the middle was intercepted and returned to the Brown 37. But on 3rd-and-12 from the Brown 39, Harrison stepped in front of an out route and charged down the sideline for a touchdown with 2:11 left in the first quarter.

"That was the key for us today," Harrison said. "If the kickoff didn't do well and let up a big play, the defense came out and we got a stop. If the offense threw a pick, the defense made a play. If the defense let up a big play, the offense was there, they had our backs. We played great as a team today."

After Dougherty threw his second interception of the first quarter, the defense responded once again. The Quakers took over at the Brown 47, but an offensive holding penalty followed by a 9-yard sack by defensive end David Howard '09 sent Penn back to its own 35. The next two plays failed to net the Quakers any yards, and they were forced to punt.

Brown added to its lead on the ensuing drive, when it drove 71 yards on 13 plays. Running back Chris Strickland '10 ran for a third down conversion and a fourth down conversion to keep the drive alive, and Dougherty finished the job with a 23-yard touchdown pass to receiver Paul Raymond '08.

Dougherty finished the game with 24 completions on 39 attempts, for 238 yards and two touchdowns, as well as the two interceptions. Raymond led the Bears with nine catches for 89 yards.

At the end of the second quarter, Brown put an exclamation point on its exceptional first half. Matt Mullenax '08 downed a punt at the Penn 2-yard line, and on 3rd-and-5, defensive end James Develin '10 landed on a fumbled hand-off at the 4-yard line to give Brown another shot at the end zone.

The offense did not let the opportunity go to waste. Versatile receiver Bobby Sewall '10 took a handoff on the first play and ran off-tackle into the end zone with just 21 seconds left to give the Bears an 18-point halftime lead.

Though the offense sputtered in the second half, the defense continued to muzzle the Quakers. In the third quarter, the Bears clamped down deep in their own territory to keep Penn out of the end zone. In addition, the Bears blocked two field goals to maintain their commanding lead, which stood at 28-10 after the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Strickland's 38-yard run set up a 29-yard field goal by Steve Morgan '08, which put Brown ahead 31-10 with 9:02 left. Strickland finished the game with a career-high 81 yards on 25 carries.

But the Quakers fought their way back into the game. On a Penn drive, a defensive pass interference call on 4th-and-goal gave the Quakers a 1st-and-goal at the 3, which led to a 3-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 31-17, with 3:25 left. After Sewall recovered an onside kick, the Bears had an unproductive drive, with Strickland gaining only two yards on three carries, and Penn used its three timeouts, allowing 29 seconds to run off the clock.

On the ensuing drive, the Quakers picked up five first downs, stopping the clock with each move of the chains. But with the ball on the Brown 21, quarterback Bryan Walker threw a pass which bounced off the hands of receiver Braden LePisto and right to Craigwell in the end zone.

Next week, the Bears will face perhaps their toughest competition of the season when they travel to New Haven, Conn., to face an unbeaten Yale team.

"It's probably going to be a tough one for us," Harrison said. "I feel like we can pull it off. I know we can pull it off."

At 2-2 in the Ivy League, Brown's hopes for a conference championship are slim, but still alive.

"This week, coach reminded us that we can still win an Ivy League championship," Rowley said. "From my perspective, and I think the perspective of most of the players on this team, that's what we want to do, that's all we want to do."



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