New York, New York – A once promising 2009 season ended in
disappointment for the Brown football team, as the Bears dropped a
28-14 decision to Columbia at Wein Stadium in their final regular
season game. Brown finished third in the Ivy League standings with
a 4-3 league mark, 6-4 overall, while Columbia moves to 4-6
overall, 3-4 in league play.
It was a bittersweet ending for Brown’s senior All-Ivy wide receivers Buddy Farnham and Bobby Sewall, the top two receivers in the Ivy League. Farnham made 9 catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Sewall caught nine passes for 69 yards.
The Bears’ defense had no answer for Lions option quarterback Sean Brackett, who ran for 171 yards and passed for another 151 yards and a touchdown.
“We got beaten in all phases of the game,” said Brown head coach Phil Estes. “After our first drive we just couldn’t get anything going. Somehow we got out of sync and Columbia just ate up the clock.”
Brown’s offense seemed to be running on all cylinders at the game’s outset. The Bears drove 73 yards on their first possession, and got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero threw a wide receiver screen pass to Farnham, who dodged several Columbia tacklers on his way to a 29-yard touchdown reception to give the Bears a 7-0 lead with 8:48 left in the first quarter.
The Lions tied the game, 7-7, late in the first quarter when tailback Zack Kourouma scored from one yard out to cap an 80-yard scoring drive.
Columbia completely controlled the tempo of the second quarter and the Bears struggled to defend the Lions’ option offense.
Austin Knowlin scored on a five-yard run to give the Lions a 14-7 lead with one-minute left in the half.
Lightning struck the Bears on the last play of the half when Newhall-Caballero’s long pass was intercepted at the Columbia 15 yard line by Adam Mehrer, who took off down the Lions sideline. At midfield, Meher pitched a lateral to Andy Shalbrack , who reversed field and went down the Brown sideline into the end zone to give Columbia a stunning 21-7 lead at the half.
“The touchdown at the end of the half was a real momentum changer,” said Estes.
Columbia dominated the time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for 21:17, while the Bears had the ball for under nine minutes.
The Bears chewed up some offensive yardage in the third quarter, but neither team was able to get onto the scoreboard.
Columbia extended its lead to 28-7 on a 37-yard pass play midway through the fourth quarter. Prior to the Lions score, the frustrated Bears twice had the ball inside the Columbia 10-yard line in the fourth quarter and both times came away without scoring.
Farnham scored his second touchdown of the day, this time on an 11- yard touchdown reception with 6:29 remaining to pull the Bears to within 28-14 of the Lions.
“Buddy is one of the best players I’ve ever coaches,” said Estes. “He’s an extreme competitor, he sacrifices his body and makes plays. He thrives on competition.”
Farnham finished his brilliant Brown career ranked among the Ivy League’s most prolific wide receivers. His 229 career receptions are sixth in the Ivy record book, his 2,895 career yards are seventh all time in Ivy football history, while his 4,813 all-purpose yards are seventh in the Ivy record book.
Farnham also established a new Brown record for punt return yards in a career. He returned punts for 25 yards against the Lions, giving him 636 career punt return yards, eclipsing the previous mark of 620 yards by Stephen Campbell from 1997-2000.
Portmouth’s Bobby Sewall also capped off stellar Brown career as one of the Ivy League’s all-time leading wide receivers. He also finished in the Top 10 in career Ivy League receptions, finishing in eighth place with 210 career receptions. His 2,141 career receiving yards rank 26th best in Ivy football history.
In his first year as quarterback for the Bears, Newhall-Caballero also etched his name into the Brown and Ivy record book. His 259 completions rank seventh for a single season in the Ivy football history, and fifth best in the Brown record book, while his 2,709 passing yards 17th best in the Ivy record book.
Senior linebacker Kelly Cox led the Bears’ defensive effort with a career high 19 tackles, including eight solo tackles and a tackle for a loss. Senior Chris Perkins registered 11 total tackles, while senior Michael Lemmons made eight tackles. Senior David Clement intercepted his team-leading fourth pass of the season for the Bears midway through the first quarter.