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Bears wallop Princeton in shutout win

Wide receiver Tellef Lundevall '13 caught a touchdown and threw for another as Brown dominated Princeton 34-0 Saturday at Brown Stadium. It was the first shutout for the Bears (4-1, 1-1 Ivy) since 1990.

Shutting a team out "just gets us fired up," said linebacker Dan Smithwick '12. "We definitely take pride in shutting down an offense like that and putting that goose egg up on the scoreboard."

The victory is the Bears' third in a row and their first conference win of the year. The struggling Tigers (1-4, 1-1) failed to keep their Ivy record unblemished after a win over Columbia Oct. 1.

Head Coach Phil Estes credited defensive coordinator Mike Kelleher for drawing up the highly effective defensive game plan, which he said kept a threatening Tigers offense "out of rhythm" for the entire game.  

"With our defense and our game plan, the coaches had us ready," Smithwick said. "We expected and anticipated what they were going to run, and we were in the right position."

Co-captain quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero '11.5 led another stellar offensive performance, going 22-31 for 229 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Alex Tounkara-Kone '11.5 turned in his strongest performance since the season opener, catching five passes for 97 yards, while Lundevall and Jimmy Saros '12 hauled in six catches apiece. The rushing attack continued to progress, contributing 194 yards.

Perhaps most importantly, the offense did not turn over the ball for the third straight game.

"They matched up really well on the perimeter with us," said Princeton Head Coach Bob Surace about the Brown passing attack.

"With those big receivers, they had terrific timing from quarterback to receiver. They had diving catches, fingertip catches," he said, "You have to credit them, but I thought we had chances to stop them on third down and didn't, so that was frustrating."

Brown almost doubled Princeton's yardage total, outgaining the Tigers 415 yards to 208. On the other side of the ball, the Bears' defense shut down Princeton's passing attack, giving Tigers quarterback Tommy Wornham an abysmal stat line of 11-27 for 75 yards and an interception. Princeton was only 3-15 on third down conversions. By contrast, Brown was 9-16 on its third down chances.

"Those third- and fourth-down plays — those are the times for our defense to really step up and prove what we have out there," Smithwick said. Brown took the lead only 57 seconds into the game when Smithwick intercepted Wornham and ran it back for a touchdown. On the third play of the game, the Princeton quarterback put the pass right into Smithwick's arms, and the senior obliged by taking it 36 yards to the house.

"It got the momentum going and really helped carry us through the game," Smithwick said.  

"Danny's been making big play after big play, game after game," Estes said. Along with his touchdown, Smithwick led the Brown defense with eight tackles.  

A 39-yard field goal by kicker Alex Norocea '14 extended the Bears' lead to 10-0 in the first quarter.

Early in the second quarter, Newhall-Caballero found Lundevall for a touchdown to cap a 78-yard drive that featured a 41-yard reception by Tounkara-Kone and a third down Newhall-Caballero run to the Tigers' one-yard line. A holding call on Lundevall pushed the ball back to the 11, but the junior receiver redeemed himself on the next play by making a diving catch at the pylon for the score.

Later in the quarter, the Bears again marched down the field for a touchdown. The drive featured a pair of key third down conversions, including a catch and run by Tounkara-Kone to take the ball to the Tigers' one-yard line. The Bears scored on the next play, though it was not how the coaches drew it up. A direct snap to running back Mark Kachmer '13 flew over his head. But Kachmer was able to run back, scoop up the ball, then sprint to the left edge and leap over the pylon to make the score 24-0 in Brown's favor at the halftime whistle.  

Norocea tacked on another field goal in the third quarter, but in the fourth, the Bears sealed the win in dazzling fashion.  

On fourth and 14 from the Princeton 46, punter Nate Lovett '12 surprised the Tigers by tucking the ball and running on a fake punt call. There was nothing but open field in front of Lovett, who ran for 22 yards and the first down.

On the next play, Estes again dialed up some trickery for a score. Lundevall was handed the ball on an end around, and then lobbed the ball into the middle of the end zone to Saros. Saros was well-covered but was able to wrestle the ball away from the defender to make the final score line 34-0.  

Estes said the play —  known appropriately as the "Tiger Pass" — is one that has been in the playbook for 14 years, and the Bears practice versions of it every day.  

Three times in the second half, Brown's defense forced a turnover on downs inside its own 10-yard line to preserve the shutout. The win came in front of 5,265 on Family Weekend.

The win puts the Bears right back in the thick of things in the Ivy League race. Bruno will travel next week to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell (2-3, 0-2) in another crucial conference matchup. With Yale (3-2, 2-0), Harvard (4-1, 2-0) and Penn (3-2, 2-0) each undefeated in Ivy play, a win over the Big Red could prove crucial in the Bears' quest for an Ivy crown.


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