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Defense helps football to victory over Stony Brook

Correction appended.

As Stony Brook quarterback Dan Sweeney leaped for the end zone, linebacker Andrew Serrano '11 had other ideas. With the clock winding down to halftime and the ball on the Brown one-yard line, the Seawolves were looking to cut into the Bears' 17-0 lead.

After two running plays had failed to get the ball across the goal line, Stony Brook lined up three receivers on the left side, and Sweeney dropped back to pass. But when defensive end James Develin '10 burst through the left side of the line, Sweeney was forced to roll out to the right and try to take the ball to the end zone himself. As he leaped for the goal line, Serrano met him in midair, knocking Sweeney to the ground and jarring the ball free to be scooped up by fellow linebacker Kelley Cox '10. The Bears went to the locker room for halftime with their 17-0 lead intact.

It was that kind of day for the Brown defense, as Stony Brook scored its only points on an interception returned for a touchdown in a 17-7 win for Bruno. Develin led the defensive effort with a team-high nine tackles, including two sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, while linebacker Steve Ziogas '09 made eight tackles and provided pressure on the quarterback throughout the game.

"Against a team that prides themselves on the run...we took them out of their game, and they had to end up throwing it, which is not necessarily something they like doing," Ziogas said.

The Seawolves, who came into Saturday's game averaging 169.3 rushing yards per game on the season, netted just 36 rushing yards on 29 attempts.

"Against a team that was big and physical, that had some great running backs and a big offensive line, we physically dominated the line of scrimmage," said Head Coach Phil Estes. "Today was one of the great efforts by a whole group of inspired defenders, and this was, since I've been here, one of the best defensive efforts."

After the defense forced Stony Brook to punt on its first drive, the Brown offense took over at its own 33-yard line. On second and 8, running back Jonathan Edwards '09 took the ball up the middle for 11 yards and added another first-down run just three plays later, when he ran a draw play for four yards on third and 1. After quarterback Michael Dougherty '09 found receiver Buddy Farnham '10 over the middle for 22 yards to put the ball on the Stony Brook 19-yard line, the Bears turned once again to Edwards. On first down, Edwards found a hole up the middle and ran untouched into the end zone to give Bruno a 7-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, the Bears effectively shut down Stony Brook's running game, forcing the Seawolves to punt again. Running back Dereck Knight '09 kept the next drive alive with a fourth-down conversion run, and three plays later, on third down, another completion to Farnham put the ball on the 30-yard line. After an incompletion, Brown continued to move the chains, on an 18-yard completion to receiver Bobby Sewall '10, followed by Knight's 10-yard run to the 2. On first and goal, with Sewall lined up behind Dougherty, Farnham was set in motion, and took the handoff up the middle, catching the defense off-guard and plunging in for the touchdown.

In addition to his rushing touchdown, Farnham made a game-high 14 receptions for 111 yards, and added a 41-yard kickoff return in the second half.

The next drive told a similar story for the Seawolves, when on third and 7, tackle David Howard '09 broke through the line and came up with a sack for a seven-yard loss to force the Seawolves to punt again.

"Our goal on every drive is to force a turnover or a three-and-out, so we achieved our goal on the first four drives of the game," Ziogas said.

After Brown took over at the Stony Brook 42, Dougherty continued to move the ball down the field with completions to Farnham and Sewall. The Bears failed to convert a third and 1 from the 6, but Robert Ranney '09 was successful on his first field goal attempt of the season, converting the 25-yard try to give the Bears a 17-0 lead with 14:16 left in the second quarter.

Though the offense failed to score again for the remainder of the game, the Brown defense continued to dominate, and Stony Brook was unable to get even a first down until its final drive of the first half, which ended in a fumble.

"Coach put all the confidence in the world in us, and we had to come out and prove that we were capable of doing that," Develin said. "We were fired up...and we just came out and had one hell of a game."

Early in the fourth quarter, the Seawolves finally got on the board, when Stony Brook safety Cory Giddings stepped in front of Dougherty's throw to Sewall, and returned the ball 19 yards down the sideline for the touchdown.

"In the second half, (the offense was) just so out of sync," Estes said. "The defense helped us, because every time we created a problem, they ended up taking care of it for us."

Midway through the fourth quarter, Brown had a chance to put the game away, but with fourth and 6 on the Stony Brook 32, tight end Colin Cloherty '09 was tackled four yards short of the first-down marker, giving the Seawolves the ball back with 5:05 remaining in the game. They moved the ball down to the Brown 21, but on fourth down, Sweeney's throw to the end zone fell incomplete, allowing the Bears to run out the clock for the 17-7 win in their season opener.

Next week, Brown will play Harvard in the Homecoming game on Saturday, whom it has not beaten since 1999, in its Ivy League season opener.

In the Sept. 22 issue of The Herald, a sports caption incorrectly identified James Develin '10 as Stephen Peyton '12. The caption also incorrectly identified the Bears' opponents: They played the Stony Brook Seawolves, not the Seahawks.



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