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Brown offense pounds Yale for high-scoring win

Nothing suggested Brown would have a high-scoring day against Yale. Brown's offense was shut out against Penn a week ago, and Yale had allowed just 10 points against Brown in the last two years combined. Going into the game, Yale's defense had ranked seventh in the nation in scoring. Now, it ranks 12th.

The Bears (5-3, 3-2 Ivy) put up 35 points and gained 494 yards against the Bulldogs in a 35-21 win Saturday in New Haven, Conn.

"We wanted to prove we are the best offense in the Ivy League," said wide receiver Bobby Sewall '10.

The Brown offense, which is typically pass-focused, showed its most balanced attack of the season, gaining 269 yards through the air and 225 on the ground.

"We don't choose to do a balanced attack," said Head Coach Phil Estes. Instead, he said, the Bears just took what Yale's defense gave them.

From the first quarter on, Yale (4-4, 2-3) let the Bears turn to their rushing attack. By the end of the game, the Bears had 42 rushes and only 31 passes.

Spiro Theodhosi '12, who had just 11 carries this season before Saturday, rushed 25 times for 167 yards and one touchdown.

"The key was Theodhosi," Estes said, adding that he was "not surprised by how well he ran."

Theodhosi, who has been the second man in the Bears' two-back system this season, stepped into the leading role when Zachary Tronti '11 sustained an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the game.

Estes said the injury, likely a torn ACL and MCL, will probably end Tronti's season, though X-rays have not come back yet.

Quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero '11 was 23-of-30 passing for 269 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also had four carries for 20 yards rushing and a touchdown.

"I think Kyle made some great plays for us," Estes said. "He ran the ball extremely well."
Newhall-Caballero's favorite threats on the pass were, as usual, Sewall and fellow wideout Buddy Farnham '10. Farnham had six catches for 62 yards and two touchdowns, while Sewall contributed five receptions for 61 yards.

But Newhall-Caballero's one interception was a costly one — it was returned for a touchdown by the Bulldog defense.

Yale's offense found the end zone twice and added a field goal. But they were 0-of-3 on points after touchdown.

The Bulldogs gained 345 total yards but threw three interceptions and were just 4-of-12 on third-down conversions.

A.J. Cruz '13 led the Bears in the secondary, with eight tackles — including one for a loss — and an interception, his third of the season.

With Yale trailing, 35-21, with just under seven minutes left in the game, Yale quarterback Patrick Witt dropped back to pass, just six yards from the goal line. Witt went for the end zone, seeing his receiver in single coverage against Cruz. But the freshman cornerback leaped and intercepted the ball in the end zone, ending Yale's drive.

"That cornerback, No. 12, that guy can jump," Witt said.

Estes called Cruz a playmaker whom other teams were "picking on" — but at their own peril.

"I think they look at it and say, ‘Freshman,'" Estes said. "They look at his size, and say, ‘We can beat him.' They had some pretty big receivers, but A.J. is a hell of a player."

Estes said he thought the rest of the secondary played well, too. They helped hold Witt, a transfer from Nebraska, to 28-of-41 passing for 285 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. 

Witt found most of his success with screen passes in the first half. With the Bears putting pressure on the quarterback, Witt dumped passes off to his backs.

"We were able to neutralize the rush first half," Witt said. "But obviously, they made some adjustments in the locker room at halftime."

Estes said his defense simply wasn't doing its job in the first half and was getting beaten by screen passes because of it.

At halftime, they made sure to remedy the problem. "We changed some things up defensively to make sure that we spied the back, and that helped out," he said. After scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter, Yale had just nine points in the second half.

Yale was the only team left that Brown's seniors had played, but not beaten, in their careers.

"It's certainly something to be able to say you beat every team in the league," Sewall said. 
Coming off a loss to Penn, the team's win over Yale was "huge" for team morale, he added.

The victory put the Bears in sole possession of third place in the Ivy League. Harvard and Penn, which both hold 6-2 overall records and unbeaten 5-0 marks in league play, are tied at the top of the league standings. The Bears are mathematically eliminated from a back-to-back championship.

But they will return to Ivy League action with pride on the line against Dartmouth at Brown Stadium this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. They wrap up the 2009 season Nov. 21 on the road at Columbia.

"After that loss to Penn, we decided to take it one game at a time, finish off the rest of our season, go 3-0 in November," said co-captain and offensive tackle Paul Jasinowski '10. "We took step one and now we go on and focus on Dartmouth."



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