Providence, R.I. - Senior tailback John Spooney (Northfield, OH) rushed for 102 yards, ran for two scores and caught a pass for a touchdown, all in the first half, as Brown (1-0) built a 31-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 45-7 win over Georgetown (1-3) in its season opening game at Brown Stadium.
Spooney, who ran track last year instead of playing football, rushed for touchdowns of 8 and 7 yards, and caught a 24-yard screen pass for another score. With the game out of reach, Spooney was rested in the second half as the Bears were able to give some valuable playing time to a slew of runningbacks. Spooney's 102 yards led a Brown rushing attack that accumulated 268 yards on the ground.
"Welcome back John Spooney," said Brown head coach Phil Estes after the game. "John shook off the rust after not playing football last year and really made a difference. There are a lot of things we have to fix for next week against Harvard, but overall I'm pleased with our effort."
Bears' senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly (Longmeadow, MA) brilliantly ran the Brown offense for three quarters, completing 19 of 27 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Brown's co-captain also ran for 35 yards on six carries.
Brown's defense kept the Hoyas off the scoreboard for 58:32, with Georgetown quarterback Isiah Kempf tossing a 14-yard scoring pass on a fourth down play with just 28 seconds remaining in the game. Overall, the Bears registered 11 tackles for a loss of 43 yards, including five quarterback sacks.
Senior Michael Yules (South Dartmouth, MA) picked-up where he left off a year ago, making two quarterback sacks to lead the Bears' defense.
"While we played well, there are some areas that we can improve on," said Yules. "We played hard and with a lot of energy, but we need to finish better."
Junior linebacker Xavier Russo (San Francisco, CA) led the Bears with seven total tackles, while senior linebacker Zack Lattrell (West Newbury, MA) and junior safety Eric Armagost (Fayetteville, GA) had five tackles each. Armagost also recorded the game's only interception.
Brown's offense was in midseason form its opening drive, with Donnelly marching the Bears 92 yards in nine plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Donnelly connected with senior Alex Phelan (Walpole, MA), who made an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone from eight yards out for the opening score of the season at the 11:00 mark.
The Bears grabbed a 10-0 lead on their next possession when senior All-Ivy kicker Alex Norocea (Hermosa Beach, CA) booted a 33-yard field goal with 7:11 left in the opening quarter.
Spooney gave Brown a 17-0 advantage late in the first quarter when he scampered into the end zone from the eight-yard line with just 1:02 left. The big play in the 55 yard scoring drive was a 27-yard scamper by Donnelly on a fourth down play.
When the Bears defense stopped the Hoyas and forced a punt from the one-yard line, Brown took over at the Georgetown 37 yard line.
Lightning struck once again when Spooney caught a screen pass from Donnelly on a 24-yard screen pass, followed the block of senior guard Dan Austin (Franklin, TN) and weaved his way into the end zone for a 24-yard scoring play with 10:37 left in the half.
Spooney eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark and gave Brown a 31-0 halftime lead when he registered his second rushing touchdown of the day, scoring on an eight yard run.
Brown extended its lead to 38-0 midway through the third quarter when sophomore Andrew Coke (Andover, MA) scored his first career touchdown, scoring on a 3-yard run.
Junior runningback Robert Grebenc (Cleveland, OH) also scored his first career touchdown with a 25-yard touchdown run with just 4:11 left in the game.
Brown travels to Boston, Mass. to face Harvard on Saturday evening, September 28, in a nationally televised game on NBC Sports. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Harvard Stadium.