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Football unstoppable in season’s final game

Bruno’s 26 seniors all got playing time in the Bears’ 48-7 victory against Columbia Saturday

After consecutive close losses in conference play the last two weekends, the football team unleashed some pent-up frustration at Columbia, racking up 627 yards of total offense and drumming the Lions 48-7.

The slaughter of winless Columbia (0-10, 0-7 Ivy) wraps up a sixth consecutive winning season for Bruno and secures the Bears (6-4, 3-4) a fourth-place tie in the Ivy League.

“A nice way to end the season — a dominating win,” said Head Coach Phil Estes.

The box score tells the story best. Bruno had three times as many first downs and six times as many takeaway turnovers as the Lions. Quarterback and co-captain Patrick Donnelly ’13.5 led the charge, throwing for 301 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. On the receiving end of Donnelly’s big day were his two biggest targets all season long: Tellef Lundevall ’13.5 and Jordan Evans ’14, who combined for 14 receptions, 242 yards and two touchdowns.

Not to be overshadowed by Donnelly, star running back John Spooney ’14 turned in another stellar performance carrying the pigskin. Spooney’s 186 total yards and 6.8 yards per carry Saturday were a major sparkplug for the offense’s domination of the Lions’ defense. Bruno fans now expect this type of performance, as the speedy tailback leads the Ivy League in rushing and surpassed 100 yards rushing in each of his last five contests.

True to form, Spooney started the offense on the right foot in the Bears’ third possession, breaking two tackles and motoring 45 yards into the end zone. The next time Bruno got the ball, Donnelly connected on a 32-yard strike to Lundevall and a 13-yard touchdown to Evans. After two early touchdowns, Bruno’s energy opened the floodgates.

“We came out with a lot of punch,” Estes said. He added that the combination of playing the last game and recently having lost two close games powered the seniors’ strong play.

Before the game, defensive end and co-captain Michael Yules ’14 predicted the offense would get an early lead and the defense would use it to play aggressively and go after the quarterback. Yules could not have been more correct.

It was an uncomfortable day for Lions quarterback Trevor McDonagh. Bruno sacked McDonagh twice and pressured him to finish with a dismal 32 percent completion rate and three interceptions.

The Columbia running game fared even worse. Ball-carriers were planted before the line of scrimmage five times and totaled just 57 yards all game long. Linebacker Ade Oyalowo ’14 notched 11 tackles, three of them for loss, and one sack.

The defensive success was a product of aggression after an early lead and disguised looks that confused the young quarterback, Estes said.

Bruno’s 10-0 second quarter witnessed several highlights: a one-yard touchdown pass from Donnelly to Spooney and a 23-yard field goal by Alexander Norocea ’14 that capped a long, 81-yard scoring drive. The rout was on in the third quarter as Donnelly connected with both Lundevall ­for a 40-yard score and tight end Andrew Marks ’14 for a 21-yard touchdown. Norocea added another field goal, this one 29 yards, and Bruno entered the final quarter with a 41-7 lead. Jordan Reisner ’14 capped the blowout with a 31-yard scamper to pay dirt.

Estes said he was happy the squad built such a large lead early because it allowed all 26 seniors to get valuable playing time in their last game.

The big day for leaders like Donnelly, Lundevall, Spooney and Oyalowo marks the end of a strong season for several veterans on the team, which filled 19 of its 22 starting positions with seniors.


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