The football team dropped its final game of the 2016 season Saturday at Brown Stadium, struggling on both sides of the ball in a 31-13 defeat at the hands of Columbia.
For Brown (4-6, 3-4 Ivy), the loss ensured its first losing season since 2006 and was its first defeat against the Lions (3-7, 2-5) since a double-overtime loss in 2011.
The Bears couldn’t crack the Lions’ top-ranked pass defense, as TJ Linta ’18 and Nicholas Duncan ’19 combined for just 126 passing yards. Duncan took over in the second half after Linta was sidelined by injury.
“We didn’t handle their blitz very well,” said Head Coach Phil Estes P’18. Linta “got banged up pretty good. We didn’t protect him very well,” he added.
Duncan led the Bears on a seven-play, 61-yard scoring drive late in the third quarter, often scrambling outside of the pocket to extend plays.
Duncan “made some plays,” Estes said. “We knew that’s what he does. He can run.”
Livingstone Harriott ’20 punctuated the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run up the middle to cut Columbia’s advantage to 21-13.
But the scoring ended there for Bruno, and a field goal by Oren Milstein restored Columbia’s two-score lead with six minutes to play. After a missed field goal by Ben Rosenblatt ’17.5, Alan Watson broke a 69-yard touchdown run with 2:23 left to put the contest well out of Brown’s reach.
The Bears’ only lead of the game came in the first quarter when Rosenblatt converted a 42-yard field goal. Brown’s offense had the ball inside the 5-yard line after Ike Marchie ’19 blocked a punt on Columbia’s opening possession. But the offense went backward, squandering the opportunity for a touchdown and eventually settling for three points.
Anders Hill had a productive day for Columbia, finishing 13-for-20 for 222 yards passing and a pair of second-quarter touchdown throws to Josh Wainwright. Wainwright finished with 150 yards receiving on five catches.
Bruno trailed 21-6 after two quarters in which the offense totaled just 105 yards. Troy Doles ’16.5 and Alex Jette ’17 led Brown with five catches each in their final game in a Brown uniform.
Jette and Doles were among 23 seniors honored in a pre-game ceremony.
Defensively, Richard Jarvis ’17 and Will Twyman ’16.5 also impressed in their final games. Jarvis, who finished first in the Ivy League in tackles for loss, made eight total tackles and 2.5 in the backfield. Twyman finished with a sack, six total tackles and an interception.
The seniors “were just so resilient, letting things just bounce right off them,” Estes said. “I admire them for the sacrifice and commitment they made and for giving us that warrior-type mentality that gives us a chance to win each game.”
Despite a loss on the season’s final day, Brown finished fourth in the conference with an identical 3-4 mark from the 2015 season.
“We’ve overcome an awful lot,” Estes said. “We ended up getting the opportunity to play a lot of young kids. You look at the talent once you get them into the system. If we get some consistency, we can be a really good football team.”