The Bears (1-2, 0-1 Ivy League) fell to the University of Rhode Island (3-2, 0-1 Colonial Athletic Association) in the 40th Governor’s Cup by a final score of 38-10 on Saturday evening in Kingston, marking their second consecutive loss this season.
Bruno now stands at 19-21 in all-time Governor’s Cup matches after losing the last four matchups against the Rams.
URI is “a terrific team, and they played like a terrific team,” Head Coach James Perry ’00 said. “I’m very disappointed in myself and the staff and the players. I think it’s a huge day for Brown. … To really not put our best foot forward was disappointing.”
The Rams outplayed Brown on offense, racking up 541 total yards compared to Brown’s 262. While the Bears’ possession time was almost a minute greater than the Rams’, Brown failed to score at crucial points, with interceptions thrown by quarterback Jake Willcox ’24 ending three straight offensive drives in the second and third quarters.
“We pride ourselves on not doing things like that,” Perry said. “Interceptions (are) gonna happen,” but better decision-making can help prevent unnecessary turnovers.
The Rams wasted no time getting on the board, scoring all 38 of their points — from five touchdowns and a field goal — in an explosive first half. Thanks to a Brown fumble on a kick return, this included two touchdowns in the final minute of the second quarter, as well as two touchdowns on rushes by Rams running back Marques DeShields, who finished the game with 109 yards.
For the Bears, Allen Smith ’22.5 led the running game with 46 rushing yards, while Stockton Owen ’25 had 36. Willcox connected with receivers Wes Rockett ’23 and Hayes Sutton ’23 most often, with Rockett making four catches for 41 yards and Sutton hauling in six passes for 29 yards.
Despite the blowout loss, Bruno bounced back for a far better performance in the second half, holding URI’s offense scoreless while recording their only touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter on a rush by Smith.
Brown has shown particular late-game strength this season. Through their first three matchups, the Bears have been outscored 97-20 in the first three quarters. Meanwhile, they’ve outscored their opponents 49-7 in the final quarter. Bruno’s late strength led to a dramatic comeback victory on opening day against Bryant University, and nearly helped them overcome a steep deficit against Harvard before losing on Saturday.
“We’ll be working very hard (during practice) from a physical fitness perspective so that we can continue to play our best football in the second half,” Perry said. “We just gotta play a lot better than we did in the first.”
“There’s some really good things to build off of, but (it was) certainly a day that we did not play Brown football,” Perry noted. “So (it’s a) lesson learned for us. (If) you’re gonna play a top 20 team… (and) play at this level … you gotta put 60 minutes together and if you don’t, you’re gonna pay dearly.”
The Bears finish non-conference play on Saturday afternoon at Central Connecticut State (0-5, 0-2 Northeast Conference) before facing Princeton (3-0, 1-0 Ivy) on the road next Friday night. The game against Princeton will be broadcast on ESPNU.
“Our mindset for Ivy League play and, to be honest, the whole season is to take it one game at a time,” wide receiver Jordan McIntyre ’25 wrote in a message to The Herald. “Each week we need to focus on going 1-0.”
Linus is a sports editor from New York City. He is a junior concentrating in English, and when he's out of The Herald office you can find him rooting for the Mets, watching Star Wars or listening to The Beach Boys.