History appeared to repeat itself as the football team fell to Dartmouth 33-10 under the lights of Fenway Park Friday night. The Big Green (7-2, 4-2 Ivy) had previously faced the Bears twice (2-7, 0-6) in the home of the Boston Red Sox, claiming back-to-back victories over Bruno in Boston 94 years ago. Brown was unable to turn the tides at Fenway, allowing 421 yards, four touchdowns and two field goals in its sixth straight loss this season.
Heading into the game, the Bears were ready to go from the gun.
“Going into it, I definitely thought we had a chance to win the game,” said wide receiver Jaelon Blandburg ’20. “We just had to execute our assignments. It was a tough loss, honestly. But I never once thought that we were out of the game. I never once thought my team gave up.”
A year ago, Ben Rosenblatt ’18 booted a 52-yard field goal through the uprights late in the first half to give the Bears the edge over the Big Green. But the 27-yard, second-quarter field goal he notched Friday didn’t have the same effect as the Bears failed to find the end zone until the final minutes of the game and after the game was well out of reach.
Thomas “TJ” Linta’s ’18 29-yard touchdown pass to Blandburg cut Dartmouth’s lead to 23, but the damage was already done. Big Green quarterback Jack Heneghan racked up 223 of his 263 passing yards in the first half, and the Bears were outgained 141 to 28 on the ground for the game. Blandburg led the team in rushing with one 14-yard carry while starting running back Darius Daies ’21 only managed nine yards on nine rushes.
“(Dartmouth) gave us everything we expected,” Blandburg said. “They didn’t do anything different from what they showed on film. We went into it knowing they were going to run the zone, and they stayed to that the whole game.”
Linta’s 44 passing attempts were his second-highest of the year, and it was only the third time he eclipsed 200 yards in a game.
Dartmouth took control early, scoring once in the opening quarter and adding 17 more points before halftime. A second-quarter interception by cornerback Jorquel Condomina ’19 looked to give Brown a chance at a comeback right after it got on the board. But the Bears failed to take advantage of the turnover after being stopped short on an attempted fourth-down conversion.
The momentum stayed with the Big Green for the remainder of the game as Dartmouth returned an interception for another touchdown on Bruno’s opening drive of the second half and added a fourth-quarter field goal, bringing the final score to 33-10.
“It’s all about us going 11 for 11. All 11 people doing their job all in the same play,” Blandburg said. “I think that’s what we struggle with the most — everybody executing on the same play. I feel like we’re definitely good enough to be winning the game, but it’s small mistakes here and there that cost us.”
Prior to kickoff, Brown honored its 25 seniors for their commitment and contributions to the program. The veterans gave up their final game in Brown Stadium to play as the home team at the historic ballpark, marking the first season since 1925 that Bruno did not host a game in November.
Award-winning sports journalist Chris Berman ’77 served as an honorary captain for the Bears, joining team co-captains Isaiah Thompkins ’19 and Richard “Dewey” Jarvis ’17.5 during the coin toss.
“It was awesome,” Blandburg said. “I don’t even know how to explain it. It was just crazy. Being in a stadium that has so much history…it wasn’t like a normal football game. It was a crazy experience.”
The Bears will cap off their season against Columbia at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium Saturday. With a win, Bruno can knock the Lions out of second place and claim its first conference victory of the season. The last team to go winless in Ivy League play was the 2014 Lions and Bruno will be trying to avoid a similar fate next week.
“The main focus for the Columbia game is just to win and come out on top,” Blandburg said. “This is our Ivy League championship. Every game is like an Ivy League championship. We’re just trying to win.”