Providence, Rhode Island – Senior quarterback Joe Springer passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns, both to senior Alex Tounkara, to lead Brown (4-2, 3-0 Ivy) to a 27-14 Ivy League win over Cornell (1-5, 0-3 Ivy) before a Parent's Weekend crowd of 7,160 at Brown Stadium. The win over the Big Red gives Brown a 3-0 start in the Ivy League for just the second time in its history. It also sets up next Saturday's battle for first place in the Ivy standings against Penn in Philadelphia, matching the lone remaining unbeaten Ivy League teams.
Brown also extended its Ivy League record consecutive game scoring streak to 144 games, dating back to the second game of the 1996 season.
"I'm happy to be home, back playing on grass," said an elated Brown coach Phil Estes after the game. "Joe (Springer) was spectacular today in directing the offense. He threw the ball extremely well, and our offense was terrific on first down."
Running on all cylinders, Brown's offense amassed 444 total yards for the game. Springer completed 20 of 33 passes, with touchdowns on throws of 20 and 13 yards. He distributed his passes among seven receivers, with sophomore Mark Kachmer making eight receptions for 71 yards coming out of the offensive backfield. Kachmer also rushed for a game high 81 yards.
"Our two runningbacks – Zack Tronti and Mark Kachmer – ran really well today. Both were running down hill," said Estes.
Defensively, the Bears kept the heat on the Big Red all day, making 10 tackles for a loss, including five quarterback sacks by five different Brown players. Senior linebacker Andrew Serrano led the Bears' with eight tackles and a sack, while sophomore defensive back AJ Cruz added six total tackles.
"Our defensive front was extremely physical today," added Estes. "We don't play with a lot of finesse, but we kept Cornell back on their heels."
Brown opened the scoring when freshman Alex Norocea booted a 45-yard field with 8:35 left in the first quarter to give the Bears a 3-0 advantage.
The young Cornell offense came back on its next possession when freshman quarterback Jeff Mathews connected on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Houska to give the Big Red a 7-3 advantage with 6:12 left in the first quarter.
Bears' freshman AJ Cruz turned the momentum in Brown's favor with a 26- yard kickoff return, giving the Bears possession at its own 37 yard line. The Bears drove 63 yards down the field and scored when sophomore tailback Marc Kachmer fumbled the exchange at the three yard line, but fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to put the Bears back on top, 10-3.
Norocea booted his second field goal of the game and extended Brown's lead to 13-7 with a 24-yard boot with 5:28 left in the first half.
Brown struck once again in the waning moments of the half when Springer spotted Tounkara in the end zone from 20-yards out to give the Bears a 20-7 lead with 34 seconds left before intermission. The score capped a 57-yard scoring drive for the Bears.
The Bears put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter when Springer connected with Tounkara once again, this time a 13 yard scoring pass with 13:12 left in the game to extend Brown's lead to 27-7.
Cornell made the game interesting when Ryan Houska scored on a two-yard run, following a Brown pass interference penalty. The touchdown pulled the Big Red to within 27-14 of the Bears with 9:30 left on the clock.
Brown is back on the road next Saturday, October 30, traveling to Philadelphia, PA, for a key Ivy League showdown with Penn. Game time is 1:30 p.m. at Franklin Field.
Pictured: Andrew Serrano '11. photo by dspics.com