Comeback Falls Short at Brown

Little had 2 catches (Jack Warhola image)
Little had 2 catches (Jack Warhola image)

Bears Hold On For 27-22 Win

 

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Alan Lamar rushed for two touchdowns and Alex Galland booted a pair of field goals, but the Yale Football Team fell short in its comeback attempt at Brown today. The Bears led all the way to a 27-22 win at Brown Stadium.

Brown scored on its second offensive play of the day, a 52-yard touchdown run, before its punter fumbled the ball in his own end zone to give up a safety that made it 7-2.

The teams traded second quarter field goals leading up to a pair of home team touchdowns before the Bears took a 17-5 lead into halftime.

The Blue (2-6, 2-3 Ivy), led by freshman quarterback Kurt Rawlings, outscored Brown 17-10 in the second half and nearly completed the comeback. Yale's last chance to put points on the board ended on a Brown punt that bounced off a white jersey and was recovered by the Bears with 30 seconds left deep in the Eli end.

Lamar, the freshman tailback who leads the Elis in rushing this fall, scored from one and three yards out in the fourth quarter as the visitors kept their hopes alive.

Galland, who punted six times and put half of them inside the Brown 20, split the uprights on field goals from 35 and 37 yards. The sophomore was clearly the special teams MVP in a wild game where field position was crucial.

The Yale defense, which recorded nine tackles for lost yards, picked off a pass and recovered a fumble on the home three-yard line, made a number of big stops to give its offense shots at catching the Bears. However, the Elis had dug a hole too deep to climb out.

The school that led the FCS in fewest (28) penalties heading into this weekend, was flagged eight times for 80 yards. Three big penalties against the Bulldogs resulted in Brown first downs that turned into points. Yale eventually fell behind 20-5 before scoring 10 straight and making it very interesting in the fourth quarter.

"The kids battled all the way," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "We put ourselves in a tough situation with bad penalties."

Rawlings, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Week, completed 20 of 46 passes for 252 yards. He nearly made his first career start a victory, but it would have required a final possession with under a minute to play.

He never got that opportunity.

The Eli defense, which stopped nine of 16 third-down conversion attempts, forced another punt with time running out. Ryan Kopec's punt from his own 46 was too short and too low for Jason Alessi to catch. The ball hit the ground and then bounced off a Bulldog before settling into the arms of a Brown player.

If Rawlings had been given a final shot, two classmates probably would have played prominent roles on the drive. Receivers Reed Klubnik (8-89) and JP Shohfi (5-88) had career days catching passes. Senior tight end Sebastian Little, who got credit for the safety by making the play in the end zone on the botched punt in the first quarter, added two catches for 43 yards.

"Our young quarterback played well and he grew as the game went on," said Reno about Rawlings. "Brown did a great job of putting pressure on him. We just didn't handle it as well as we normally do."

The offense with all of its young standouts continued to be dealt new challenges. Playing without two starters on the offensive line wasn't enough. A veteran lineman was lost to injury in the first quarter and then Myles Gaines walked off the field in the second quarter after a hit that was penalized for targeting.

It was a good second half of offense considering the obstacles, and the Elis had those opportunities because of solid defense. Senior Foyesade Oluokun led all tacklers with seven solo and 11 overall, while Hayden Carlson picked off his third pass this season.

The Bulldogs are back in New Haven for a final home game of the season when Princeton comes to town next Saturday for a 12:30 kick.

 
 

Filed by Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – steven.conn@yale.edu