Harvard Earns 41-23 Win Over Brown In Ivy League Opener
Boston, Mass. – Brown opened up a 13-0 first quarter lead, but Harvard rallied with 31 unanswered points to take control of the game and earn a 41-23 Ivy League win over the Bears before an announced crowd of 17,256 at Harvard Stadium and a national television audience.
Harvard extended its record to 2-0 overall with the win, 1-0 in the Ivy League, while Brown falls to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in Ivy play.
Brown senior tailback John Spooney (Northfield, OH) ran for over 100 yards for the second consecutive game, rushing for a game high 110 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears. Senior quarterback Patrick Donnelly (Longmeadow, MA) threw for 169 yards, but he was intercepted three times.
"We are a better football team than we showed today," said Brown head coach Phil Estes. "Harvard had a three man rush and we have to do a better job protecting our quarterback. My job is to get our team back on track. It's a big game, but it's only one game."
Defensively, senior Zachary Lattrell (West Newbury, MA) made nine tackles to lead the Bears, including a quarterback sack, while juniors Xavier Russo (San Francisco, CA) and Zach Sparber (Norwood, NY) also registered quarterback sacks.
Crimson quarterback Conner Hemple threw for 296 yards and a touchdown, completing 16 of 22 passes. He also ran for 22 yards.
Harvard's opening drive was stopped by an interception by Russo at the Harvard five-yard line, returning it to the Brown 22-yard line.
Brown marched down the field and scored the first Ivy touchdown of the season when Spooney gave the Bears a 6-0 lead on a 9-yard run with 2:45 remaining in the opening quarter. The Bears' two-point conversion failed. Donnelly directed the 13-play scoring drive with a mix of passes and strategic running plays, while amassing five first downs.
On the ensuing kick-off, Brown pulled out all the stops with an onside kick that was recovered by Bears' sophomore Will Quigley (Marblehead, MA) at the Brown 48-yard line.
Four plays later, Donnelly connected on a 22-yard scoring pass to junior Brian Strachan (Wellesley, MA), giving the Bears a 13-0 advantage with 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
Harvard exploded for 28 unanswered points in the second quarter to grab a 28-13 lead at the half. The Crimson tacked on a 36-yard field goal to open the second half and pull ahead, 31-13, with 10:20 left in the third quarter.
Spooney got the Bears back in the game and stopped the Crimson scoring streak at 31 points when he scored on a 34-yard run with 4:32 left in the third quarter to cut Harvard's lead to 31-20. His 34-yard run capped an 80-yard scoring drive.
The Crimson opened up a 38-20 advantage with 2:19 left in the third quarter on a 63-yard pass play.
Senior Alexander Norocea (Hermosa Beach, CA) booted a 23=yard field goal for the Bears at the 9:56 mark of the final quarter to pull the Bears within striking distance, 38-23.
Brown returns home on Saturday, October 5, 2013, to face the University of Rhode Island under the lights at Brown Stadium in the 98th renewal of the Governor's Cup football game between the two Rhode Island colleges. Brown Athletics is also hosting RI Legends Day, bringing together the legends of Rhode Island sports for an evening of celebration. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Pictured: Junior WR Brian Strachan ready to make a touchdown catch.