Hanover, New Hampshire - Brown senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jonah Fay with 1:14 remaining to rally Brown from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Dartmouth, 28-24, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Field.
The win assured the Bears of their fifth straight winning season with a 6-3 overall record, 3-3 in the Ivy League. Dartmouth falls to 5-4 overall and 3-3 in Ivy play.
"That was a great effort by our team after we gave Dartmouth a lot of chances to win with fumbles, penalties and an unsuccessful onside kick," said Brown head coach Phil Estes. "This is a resilient team who never gives up."
Brown's game-winning drive followed a Dartmouth "pooch" punt on a fake field goal attempt, giving Brown the ball, trailing by three points, with 3:30 left on the clock and 80-yards from the goal line. 77 of the 80 yards on the final drive came on passes, but the big play was a three-yard run by junior Cody Taulbee that picked up a first down by the narrowest of margins on a third down play at midfield.
Donnelly's final scoring pass came on a first down play to a wide open Fay in the end zone, giving Brown a 28-24 lead with 1:14 left on the clock.
"That's a base play we practice over 100 times," said Donnelly. "Jonah sold the out rout and got himself wide open in the middle of the field."
Donnelly's three-yard touchdown run with 6:39 left in the game pulled the Bears to within three points of the Big Green, 24-21. Donnelly scrambled right, then back to the left eluding several Big Green defensive players. He then scrambled back to his right from the 15 yard line and ran into the end zone for the score.
Donnelly finished with four touchdowns, two on the ground and two via the air. He finished the game by completing 20 of 32 passes for 233 yards, throwing touchdown passes of 11 and 18 yards, while running for scores of two and three yards.
Senior wide receiver Tellef Lundevall caught a game high eight passes for 64 yards, while Fay had four catches for 90 yards.
Brown's defense came into the game ranked second in the nation in tackles for a loss, and excelled with 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the Big Green, led by sophomore Dan Giovacchini, junior Michael Yules and senior Luke Miller, who had three each. Junior Ade Oyalowo led the Bears with 11 total tackles.
Dartmouth's offensive effort was led by freshman quarterback Dylan Williams, who threw for 240 yards and completed 18 of 27 passes. Senior tailback Dominick Pierre rushed for a game high 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Brown capitalized on an early Dartmouth error when senior linebacker Reed Watne forced a fumble at the Big Green 28 yard line. Three plays later, Donnelly threw a 11 yard strike to junior tight end Andrew Marks in the end zone to give the Bears a 7-0 lead with 8:54 let in the opening quarter.
Following a Dartmouth fumble recovery, the Big Green got on the scoreboard with a 23-yard field goal early in the second quarter to trail, 7-3. It could have been much worse, but Brown's defense held the Big Green three times near the goal line, twice at the one-yard line, the last time on a tackle by Yules for a five-yard loss.
Another Brown fumble at its own 46 yard line led to Dartmouth's go-ahead touchdown. Four plays later, Pierre scampered into the end zone from the 23-yard tine to give the Big Green a 10-7 advantage with 10:27 left in the second quarter.
Dartmouth extended its lead to 17-7 when Pierre scored from the six yard line with 1:31 left in the half on a fourth down play.
The Bears clawed their way back in the game when Donnelly scored on a two-yard quarterback keeper with 10 seconds left in the half to trail, 17-14.
Dartmouth extended its lead to 10 points again, 24-14, with nine seconds left in the third quarter, when Williams threw a 10-yard touchdown strike to senior Michael Reilly, capping an 88-yard scoring drive.
Brown plays its final game of the 2012 season next Saturday, November 17, against Columbia, with 27 seniors being honored in pre-game ceremonies at Brown Stadium. It's also Military Day at Brown, with members of the Armed Forces in attendance and being honored in pre-game and halftime ceremonies. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.