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Dartmouth shuts down Bears in final football game of season

Bears didn’t get on board until final two minutes of play

The Bears’s final touchdown drive of the season was capped off by a 2-yard rush from co-captain Allen Smith ’23. 

Courtesy of Brown Athletics
The Bears’s final touchdown drive of the season was capped off by a 2-yard rush from co-captain Allen Smith ’23. Courtesy of Brown Athletics

The Brown football team (3-7, 1-6 Ivy League) concluded its season with a 30-7 loss against two-time defending champion Dartmouth (3-7, 2-5 Ivy League) on Saturday afternoon. Brown’s offense was quiet all game, scoring just one touchdown with less than two minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t think we played particularly well, especially in the first half,” Head Coach James Perry ’00 said. “We played much better in the second half, but (in) all (aspects) of the game in the first half we got beat.”

In addition to outgaining the Bears in total yards 425-185, the Big Green dominated when it came to control of the ball with a possession time nearly twice as long as Bruno’s. Dartmouth’s primary weapon was its rushing offense, which accounted for 296 of the team’s yards. Quarterback Nick Howard established this strength early with a 64-yard run on their second possession of the afternoon as part of a touchdown drive.

Perry said that going into the game, the Brown team was aware that Dartmouth was “an effective run team” that had played well throughout the year. Dartmouth’s “record was definitely not reflective of what type of team we were playing,” he said.

By the end of the half, the Big Green had jumped out to a 20-0 lead from a pair of touchdowns and field goals, with one field goal coming after recovering an onside kick in the second quarter’s final minutes. After a scoreless third quarter, Dartmouth tacked on another touchdown and field goal in the fourth, extending the team’s lead to 30-0. 

With less than five minutes of their season remaining, the Bears were able to put together one final touchdown drive capped off by a two-yard rush from co-captain and running back Allen Smith ’23. The touchdown was Smith’s 13th of the season, the most in the Ivy League in his final season with the Bears.

Smith said that his teammates “grinded their butts off all year long,” adding that he is “just so thankful to those guys for allowing me to have the scoring success.”

With quarterback Jake Willcox ’24 finishing the season on the sidelines due to injury during a game against Penn in October, the Bears used three quarterbacks — Aidan Gilman ’23, Will Jarvis ’25 and Michael Walsh ’23 — to attempt to jumpstart their offense against Dartmouth. Walsh, in his second appearance in the position all season, had the most success, going 7-for-7 during the Bears’ only run-scoring drive in the fourth quarter.

“They just did a very good job defensively,” Perry said. “I think on both sides of the ball we were physical at times, but we tremendously struggled generating offense.”

Perry reflected on the close of the season, saying in all his years of coaching, “this hurts like no other. I want very desperately for this team to experience success and results because (of) the way they practice, the way they work … I will remember the 2022 Brown Bears as a group that worked exceptionally hard and were very fun to coach.”

“It literally kills me inside to not get ’em a little bit more on-field success, because they’re such a terrific group of players to coach,” Perry continued.

Camden Gagnon ’23, who recorded a career-high eight tackles in the final game of his five-year Bears career, said “the biggest thing I’ll take away is the relationships I made with my teammates.”

The defensive line is “a big family,” Gagnon said. “I just love ’em. I’m gonna miss them the most.”

Smith also highlighted the team’s dedication and toughness. “Over the years, seeing this program elevate, getting better every day, … the fact that we grinded it out when it was hard, when (we) didn’t really wanna show up all the time. These guys did, and they fought it out,” he said. “I’m gonna take (away) those memories of just getting through everything together.”



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