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Fourth-quarter touchdown leads Bears past Holy Cross

With the game tied at 13 in the fourth quarter, co-captain quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero '11.5 orchestrated an 11-play, 99-yard touchdown drive to lead the Bears past Holy Cross 20-13 Saturday. The drive started at the Bears' own one-yard line with 9:06 left on the clock and ended when Newhall-Caballero found wide receiver Jonah Fay '12 in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard score.

"The team played really hard, and we were resilient," said wide receiver Tellef Lundevall '13. "Things didn't always go our way, but it's all about resiliency and toughness, and that's something our team has. That's what gave us the will to finish that game."

Brown's (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) defense was staunch all day and played exceptionally well in the red zone, even without co-captain defensive tackle Kyle Rettig '12. The unit contained the Crusaders (2-3) — who had scored over 30 points in each of their last three games — to a single touchdown. Safety Stephen Peyton '12 spearheaded the effort, logging 10 tackles and an interception. Linebackers Matt O'Donnell '12 and Daniel Smithwick '12 were close behind, with nine stops apiece.

Newhall-Caballero completed 25 of 39 passes for 229 yards and two scores. He spread the wealth among his weapons, but the hot hand belonged to Lundevall, who hauled in nine catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.

"Kyle just does a great job of reading coverages," said Head Coach Phil Estes. "He just sees the field so well."

Going into the game, the contest had the potential for a shoot-out between two high-powered aerial attacks. But early on, neither side could muster much of anything on offense. After a scoreless first quarter, Holy Cross drew first blood on a 30-yard field goal, which the Bears answered seven minutes later when kicker Alex Norocea '14 split the uprights from 35 yards out to even the score 3-3.  

On their next possession, the Crusaders marched down the field but were again held by Brown's defense inside the 20 and had to settle for another field goal.

The Crusaders' 6-3 lead was short-lived. On the ensuing kickoff, returner A.J. Cruz '13 looked to be wrapped up but was able to slip out of a mass of white jerseys and cut upfield all the way to the Holy Cross 42-yard line. With just over two minutes left in the half, Newhall-Caballero made quick work of the short field. A pair of first-down completions to Lundevall and Jimmy Saros '12 moved the ball to the Crusaders' 14-yard line. Newhall-Caballero then found Lundevall for a third time on the drive for the touchdown, as the junior receiver was able to keep one foot planted in bounds while diving to haul in the catch.

"I looked back and (Newhall-Caballero) was scrambling, so I got into the end zone just trying to get open," Lundevall said. "The defense converged on him and left me open, so he just put the ball into my hands."

 The score put the momentum in Brown's court as Bruno took a 10-6 lead into the locker rooms.

Holy Cross retook the lead midway through the third quarter. After gaining a first down on a fourth-down conversion in Brown territory, the Crusaders' quarterback Ryan Taggart found Gerald Mistretta over the middle for a nine-yard touchdown, giving his team a 13-10 lead.

Twice, the Bears looked primed to either tie the game or take the lead, but they could not put any points on the board.

After an encouraging drive, Bruno could not convert on fourth-and-one from the Holy Cross nine-yard line, and Brown turned the ball over on downs. On their next possession, the Bears failed to capitalize when the team was given a first-and-goal from inside the Holy Cross five-yard line after the Crusaders' punter dropped to his knee to catch a low snap and was ruled down. But after a costly false start penalty and two incompletions, Norocea missed a 26-yard field goal attempt.

But on its next turn with the ball, the offense made good on its chances. Bruno took over on the Holy Cross 43-yard line after O'Donnell came up with a big tackle to thwart an aggressive fake punt call by the Crusaders. A hard-nosed 16-yard run by running back Mark Kachmer '13 fired up the Brown sideline and set up a 34-yard field goal attempt, and this time Norocea was on the mark, tying the game at 13.

After the Crusaders' punter redeemed himself with a picture-perfect kick, the Bears had their backs against the wall at their own one-yard line. But after a first down completion to Lundevall, Kachmer and John Spooney '14 had room to run, and both ripped off big gains to enter Holy Cross territory. Twice on third downs, including on the touchdown to Fay, Newhall-Caballero used his mobility to elude the pass rush and buy time for his receivers.

"We had to scramble to make some plays, and that's when I think Kyle Newhall-Caballero's at his best," Estes said. "When he's out of the pocket and making plays with his feet, he's always looking downfield, and the receivers do a great job of finding open spots."

Holy Cross had two more chances to tie the game. A fourth-down pass by Taggart was deflected and fell incomplete, and then on the Crusaders' final chance of the game, safety Peyton picked Taggart off to seal the win.

"It was just embarrassing today," said Holy Cross Head Coach Tom Gilmore. "We made errors that shouldn't happen in Pop Warner, no less in college football. There's no excuse, especially when you're playing a good team like Brown."

The victory gives the Bears an undefeated non-conference record this season, with the team playing its best since falling to Harvard in its Ivy opener. Every game moving forward will be an Ivy League contest, starting Saturday when the Bears take on Princeton (1-3, 1-0) in Brown Stadium at 12:30 p.m.

"That Harvard game was really devastating, and we feel like they got away with one," Lundevall said. "We're excited to get back into Ivy League play and take it to the Tigers."




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