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Football run over by Bulldogs in 17-7 loss in New Haven

Following a convincing win over the University of Pennsylvania last weekend, the football team traveled to New Haven, Conn., full of confidence for Saturday's tilt with Yale. But the Bulldogs' powerful running attack and staunch defense, combined with heavy rain and wind, proved to be too much for the Bears, who fell 17-7.

With the loss, Brown was mathematically eliminated from the Ivy League championship, with a 2-3 record in the Ivy League and two games remaining in the season.

As the remnants of Tropical Storm Noel descended on the Yale Bowl, Brown's top-rated passing game struggled to mount a consistent attack.

"You can't make excuses, but there's no doubt that the weather was a factor," said quarterback Michael Dougherty '09.

Brown's defense made big plays in the first half to hold the Bulldogs to just three points, despite 157 first-half rushing yards from Yale's standout tailback Mike McLeod. In the first quarter alone, the Bulldogs gained 156 yards, but a fumble and key stops on third and fourth down kept them out of the end zone.

James Develin '10 led the defensive effort from the game's outset and finished with 11 tackles, including three tackles for losses and a sack.

"Our defense was playing well all game," Develin wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. "In the first half we were doing a lot of bending but not breaking."

The Bears' lone score of the game came early in the second quarter when quarterback Dougherty found Buddy Farnham '10 open down the right sideline and hit him in stride for a 43-yard touchdown to give Bruno a 7-3 lead.

"They ended up playing man-to-man on that play," Dougherty said. "The corner came down on Paul (Raymond '08), and I was able to get the ball out there over the top, and Buddy made a great catch."

Throughout most of the game, however, Yale's zone defense stifled Brown's offense. Dougherty completed just 10 passes in 31 attempts, for 99 yards with two interceptions and the lone touchdown.

"Everything was there, we just couldn't make plays," Dougherty said. "I didn't play well at all, I couldn't get anything going."

In the third quarter, Brown had a chance to pull further ahead when wide receiver Miles Craigwell '09 broke through the line and knocked the ball away from quarterback Matt Polhemus. Linebacker Steve Ziogas '09 scooped up the loose ball and had a clear path to the end zone, but the referees ruled that the Polhemus' arm was moving forward, making the play an incomplete pass.

"I do believe that that call was the wrong call, having watched it on film his arm was going back when Miles hit the ball out," Develin wrote. "If we had gotten that call ... the game may have turned out very differently than it did."

That Yale drive eventually ended on a 31-yard touchdown run by running back Jordan Farrell to put Yale ahead 10-7, and there was no looking back for the Bulldogs.

On the Bears' next possession, running back Chris Strickland '10 converted a 4th-and-1 opportunity with a 4-yard run up the middle, and the Bears crossed into Yale territory. But Bruno squandered the opportunity when on 3rd-and-6 at the Yale 27, Dougherty's under-thrown pass over the middle was intercepted by Brady Hart.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs benefited from a 12-yard punt by Steve Morgan '08, which was downed at the Brown 37. Yale's run offense proceeded to move the ball down the field and McLeod's two-yard plunge into the end zone widened the Bulldogs' lead to 17-7.

Brown still has a chance to better last year's 2-5 conference mark.

"We still want to have a winning record in the league," Dougherty said. "During the season, when things aren't going well, you have to set new goals and re-evaluate where you want to go as a team."

Next weekend, the Bears will face Dartmouth at 12:30 p.m. in their final home game of the

season.


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