Worcester, Mass. – Making his first collegiate start, senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly rallied Brown from a 21-10 fourth quarter deficit to lead the Bears to a 24-21 non-league victory over Holy Cross in the season opener of Brown's 135th year of intercollegiate football.
"When it came down to crunch time and the game was on the line, Patrick Donnelly really came through," said Brown football coach Phil Estes. "We settled down in the last 30 minutes after struggling in the first half. This is a great come-from-behind win for our team."
Trailing 21-10 early in the fourth quarter, Donnelly cut the Crusader lead to 21-17, when he connected on a two-yard touchdown pass to senior Jonah Fay to cap a 75-yard scoring drive at the 10:17 mark.
Following a defensive stop, Brown took over at its own 16-yard line with over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Donnelly directed a 13 play, 84 yard scoring drive behind the running of senior tailback Spiro Theodhosi, who accounted for 53 yards in the drive. Theodhosi, who finished with a game high 120 yards on the ground, missed the last two years due to injury after a stellar sophomore season.
Donnelly scored the game-winning touchdown on a 10-yard run, giving the Bears a 24-21 lead with just 1:24 left on the clock.
Brown All-American corner back AJ Cruz iced the game for the Bears with an interception on the Crusaders' last possession, giving the ball back to Brown with 56 seconds remaining.
"I can't say enough about Spiro Theodhosi, who had most of our yards on that final drive and made a key first down at the end of the game to put it away," added Estes. "He provided our offense with a shot in the arm."
Donnelly completed 24 of 41 passes for 199 yards, including touchdown passes of 38 and 2 yards. Senior wide receiver Tellef Lundevall made 7 catches for a game high 74 yards, while senior Mark Kachmer and Fay made six catches each.
Overall, Brown's defensive effort was led by senior linebacker Stephen Zambetti, who made 12 tackles, including eight solo stops. Senior linebacker Reed Watne also came through with nine solo tackles.
Holy Cross senior quarterback Kevin Watson racked up a bunch of yards for the Crusaders, throwing for 223 yards, while completing 26 of 40 passes. Eddie Houghton led the Holy Cross ground game with 62 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, Brown got on the scoreboard first when Alex Norocea connected on a 24-yard field goal with 13:08 left in the second quarter, giving the Bears a 3-0 advantage.
Holy Cross answered on its next possession, marching 79 yards on 14 plays with Watson diving into the end zone from one yard out to give the Crusaders a 7-3 lead at the 7:52 mark of the second quarter.
The Crusaders scored on their first possession of the second half to pull ahead by a 14-3 margin with 9:33 left in the third quarter when Alex Schneider caught a 6-yard Watson touchdown pass.
Donnelly got the Bears back in the game when he spotted Lundevall wide open down the sideline, tossing a 38-yard scoring pass with 4:02 left in the third quarter to pull the Bears to within 14-10 of the Crusaders.
Holy Cross extended its lead to 21-10 with an 83 yard scoring drive at the end of the third quarter, with Eddie Houghton running into the end zone from one yard out.
Brown opens its home season next Saturday, September 22, hosting Harvard under the lights at Brown Stadium. The game will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network with kick-off scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Pictured: Patrick Donnelly '13 dives into the end zone for the game winning touchdown. photo by dspics.net