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Sewall '10 steals the show in football's rout

The football team had a particularly miserable opening 10 minutes against Dartmouth on Saturday. Brown managed to fumble the opening kickoff and miss a field goal, spotting the Big Green a 14-0 lead in the process. But the Bears woke up midway through the first quarter of its final home game. Brown's offense, led by its wide receivers and in particular Bobby Sewall '10, exploded to turn the game into a 56-35 rout.

Quarterback Michael Dougherty '09 had his best game of the season, and Sewall had a performance to remember.

"It's not the best way to start a game to spot the other team 14 points. When we woke up and we played, I thought it was just one of the most incredible performances I've seen in a long, long time," said a pleased Head Coach Phil Estes. Brown bumped its record to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in the Ivy League with the win.

Dougherty played nearly flawless football, completing 41 of 50 passes for 403 yards, while also rushing for a touchdown. Sewall was responsible for 141 of those yards, on 18 catches, but his contributions extended far beyond receiving.

With the Bears operating out of a shotgun and five-wide set on nearly every play, Sewall often motioned into the backfield to receive handoffs, and it paid off. Sewall finished with 144 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns on 15 carries. In addition, Sewall showcased his passing skills on a 41-yard touchdown pass to Buddy Farnham '10 on a trick play seconds before the end of the first half.

"Bobby Sewall went out there and did everything, from running the football, to catching the football, to throwing for a touchdown and then finished the last play on defense," Estes said. "If that's not a complete game I don't know what is."

Sewall's touchdown pass came with just 20 seconds remaining in the first half after linebacker Frank Nuzzo '09 forced a fumble and lineman Joseph McPhee '09 dove on the ball. On first down at the Dartmouth 41, Sewall took a handoff on a fake reverse from Dougherty and found Farnham streaking down the right side of the field with a step on his defender. Sewall's pass led Farnham perfectly for the touchdown. The score capped off the Bears' 28 unanswered points in the first half.

The game started disastrously for the Bears when a hit jarred the ball loose from Paul Raymond '08 on the opening kickoff. Dartmouth took over at the Brown 12, and a 1-yard touchdown run gave the Big Green a 7-0 lead only 1:49 into the game.

Bruno's first offensive drive resulted in a punt, and Dartmouth answered with a 59-yard drive, ending with a 4-yard touchdown run to put the Bears behind by 14.

The frustration continued when kicker Steve Morgan '08 failed to convert a 32-yard field goal attempt, but on their next possession the Bears started to roll.

Dougherty found Sewall and Farnham with short passes over the middle, and Brown moved the ball all the way to the Dartmouth 4-yard line. On 1st-and-goal, with Dougherty in the shotgun and Sewall lined up in the backfield, Dougherty faked the handoff to Sewall, drawing the defense to the left, and ran the ball to the right and straight into the end zone to cut the deficit to 14-7.

After the defense forced Dartmouth to punt, Brown got the ball back at its own 8, but the Bears moved the ball quickly when Raymond caught a short pass from Dougherty and bounced to the outside for 45 yards. Dougherty continued to find open receivers: a 20-yard completion to Farnham, two 6-yard passes to Sewall, and two completions over the middle to tight end Colin Cloherty '09 moved the ball to 1. A draw play to Sewall tied the game at 14.

On Brown's next scoring drive, Dougherty was perfect, completing all eight of his passes for 76 yards including an over-the-top throw to Farnham down the right sideline for a 24-yard score.

Just 26 seconds later, Farnham caught his second touchdown pass of the day, this time from Sewall, who played quarterback in high school, to give Bruno a 28-14 lead heading into halftime. Farnham finished with 12 catches for 159 yards, both career highs.

"I'm always on call, I've played a little quarterback," Sewall said. "I practice throwing the ball a little bit, so when the situation calls for it, I'll be able to make a play."

The Big Green got things started in the second half with a 72-yard drive that ended in a 9-yard touchdown run, cutting Brown's lead to 7 points, but Dougherty and the offense picked up right where they left off.

Beginning at the Brown 36, Dougherty found Sewall and Farnham open on slant routes over the middle, and Brown moved the ball to the Dartmouth 2-yard line in only six plays. From there, Sewall took the handoff and ran a sweep into the end zone to increase the lead to 35-21.

"If they're going to play soft coverages, and give us all the underneath stuff, we're going to keep taking it," Dougherty said. "As long as we stay consistent, and take what the defense is giving us, we really can't be stopped."

On Brown's next drive, Dougherty continued to complete short passes, and Sewall broke off an 18-yard run on a draw play to put the Bears at the Dartmouth 19. With the ball on the 10, Dougherty almost found the end zone on a keeper, but was brought down on the 1. Brown turned once again to Sewall, who scored his third rushing touchdown of the day on a 1-yard draw.

With 10:07 left in the game, the Big Green cut the lead to 42-28, but Brown answered only 21 seconds later. Raymond returned a kickoff 43 yards, and on the first play from scrimmage Sewall found a hole up the middle and sprinted 44 yards into the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game.

"I wasn't sure I was going to get this many carries, but the holes were there, and the line did a great job," Sewall said. "A lot of that was predicated off our passing game, if you throw for that many yards, it's easy to set up the run."

After Dartmouth scored again to cut the lead to 49-35, Brown moved the ball down the field and then turned to fullback Tyler Rowley '08 in the final home game of his career. With a 1st-and-10 at the Dartmouth 14, Rowley carried the ball for rushes of 2, 5, and 6 yards before plunging into the end zone from the 1 for the first touchdown of his collegiate career. The touchdown made the score 56-35, where it stayed for the rest of the game. Brown's 56 points are the most points ever scored by any team against Dartmouth.

"Last week was really disappointing (a 17-7 loss at Yale), so last night and even this morning, we were talking about putting up 50 (points)," Dougherty said. "We really meant it, we wanted to break records and put up a ton of points, and we just wanted to dominate offensively."

The Bears will travel to New York next week to play Columbia (1-8, 0-6 in the Ivy League) in its final game of the season.


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