Saturday marked a new low for the football team, which suffered a historic loss against Princeton in a Family Weekend matchup.
Princeton’s explosive offense went to work during the first half to put up an astounding 51 points. The undefeated Tigers spent most of the second half winding down the clock and left Brown Stadium with a 65-22 blowout victory. The score broke Brown’s record for most points allowed in a single game; the Bears previously allowed 62 points against Dartmouth in 1903.
“Princeton was definitely a great team, hats off to them,” said linebacker Malcolm Brunson ’23, who led the Bears in tackles Saturday. “The score is not indicative of how well we played. We still have a lot of progress to make, but overall I think we did pretty well.”
Brown (1-4, 0-2 Ivy) jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with a receiving touchdown from quarterback EJ Perry ’21 to wideout Jakob Prall ’21, and held Princeton (5-0, 2-0) to a field goal on the Tigers’ first offensive drive. However, a three and out by the Bears gave the ball right back to Princeton, and the Tigers’ running back Ryan Quigley ran for his first touchdown on the day. On the next Tigers possession, Quigley ran for his second score, giving Princeton a commanding 17-6 first quarter lead.
The Bears continued to fight despite the deficit, and a 42-yard strike to Prall brought Bruno to the 1-yard-line. Running back Allen Smith ’22 rushed into the end zone to cut Princeton’s advantage to 17-12.
On the ensuing possession, linebacker Jason Medeiros ’22 picked off Tigers quarterback Kevin Davidson. Brown nearly capitalized on the turnover by driving to the Princeton 1-yard-line, giving them an opportunity to take a second quarter lead over the returning conference champs. But the Princeton defense held firm and came up with a fourth down stop. That was the closest Bruno would get to the Tigers for the remainder of the game, as the Princeton passing game began to fire on all cylinders.
Davidson rebounded from his early pick to toss a 28-yard touchdown following the goal line stand. Then, a Perry interception set up the Tigers with great field position, and Quigley capitalized with a short rushing score. Quigley finished the game with 44 rushing yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.
Perry launched an accurate deep ball to receiver Dan Gemmell ’21, who glided into the end zone for an easy score to give the Bears a glimmer of hope midway through the second quarter. But the Tigers’ offensive onslaught was just getting started. Princeton scored a touchdown on each of its final three possessions of the half to waltz into the locker room with a 51-19 lead. Davidson tossed two of those touchdowns, and Zachary Keller punched in the third with a run. Suddenly, what was a close game just minutes ago was a blowout by halftime.
Princeton did not slow down out of the break. Davidson threw another long bomb to Dylan Classi, who blazed past the Bruno secondary for a 39-yard score. Brown was able to salvage a field goal on the following drive, but Davidson threw a 40-yard touchdown before the third quarter was over. The Princeton signal-caller finished the game with 379 passing yards and five touchdowns.
The Tigers played conservatively in the fourth quarter, using two five-minute drives to wind down the clock and put the finishing touches on their historic victory. Princeton put up 65 points, just one point fewer than the Tigers’ all-time single game record.
“Sometimes people get hung up on the scoreboard, but I’m not one of those people,” said Head Coach James Perry ’00. “I’m really happy with how we’re practicing. I know we’ll get better. The lessons learned today will lead to wins in the coming weeks.”
Despite the loss, Smith had a career day with his first ever 100-yard rushing game. He recorded 109 yards on 15 carries to go with a short touchdown run.
“The O-line was blocking great, getting me the holes,” Smith said. “A lot of credit to the O-line.”
The Bears will look to get back on track Saturday and earn their first Ivy victory as they head to Ithaca, New York to take on Cornell. The Big Red have also struggled early this season, beginning their year with an 0-2 conference record.