Providence, R.I.- Senior wide receiver Brian Strachan (Wellesley, MA) caught three touchdown pass, including one in overtime, and junior Grant Senne (Winter Park, FL) booted the game-winning 23-yard field goal in the second overtime, to lift Brown to a 27-24 non-league win over Holy Cross and give Bears' head coach Phil Estes' his 100th career victory at rain soaked Brown Stadium. Brown extends its record to 2-2 overall, while Holy Cross falls to 2-5 overall.
Estes now has a career record of 100-63 in his 17th season and has won three of Brown's four Ivy League Championships.
"This was a great, wet win by our team," said Estes. "I've learned that our team can win ugly and I've accepted it. This is a great New England rivalry game and I'd love to continue it in the future."
The elements were a major factor throughout the game with heavy rain pelting the Brown Stadium natural turf.
Holy Cross sent the game into overtime, 17-17, with a late touchdown, a one-yard run by Gabe Guild with 1:38 left on the clock.
In the first overtime period, Bears' senior quarterback Marcus Fuller (Ashland, OH) tossed a 25-yard strike to Strahan in the back of the end zone on the initial play from scrimmage to give the Bears a 24-17 lead.
It took Holy Cross two plays to respond, with quarterback Peter Pujals throwing a 21-yard scoring pass to Kalif Raymond to knot the score, 24-24.
Brown's defense stiffened in the second overtime period, forcing a 39-yard field goal attempt by the Crusaders that flew wide left.
The Bears methodically drove down the field on a series of runs by seniors Andrew Coke (Andover, MA) and Robert Grebenc (Cleveland, OH) to set up a 23-yard field goal by Senne, who split the uprights to give Brown the victory, 27-24.
"It's awesome that doing your job gives you a lot of accolades," said Senne of the game-winning boot. "I'm really excited, but I'm just doing my job."
Strachan had a sensational game battling the elements, making eight catches for 98 yards, both career highs. Fuller completed 20-of-37 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Coke finished the game with a career best 89 yards on the ground.
Pujals had a big day for the Crusaders, completing 30-of-44 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown. Brendan Flaherty registered a game high 11 receptions for 95 yards.
Defensively, junior safety Zachary Gillen (Mt. Brook, AL) made his first career start for the Bears and responded with a game high 12 tackles, including eight solo hits. Senior inside linebacker Xavier Russo had eight tackles, while senior Zach Sparber (Norwood, NJ) and Ryan MacDonald (Falmouth, ME) had six tackles each, with MacDonald adding an interception.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Holy Cross mounted a 14 play, 80 yard scoring drive, capped off by a nine yard touchdown run by Guild with 8:29 left in the second quarter, giving the Crusaders a 7-0 lead.
A goal line interception by Brown's MacDonald stopped another Crusaders' drive making an interception with 2:02 left in the opening half.
Brown came storming out of the locker room to open the second and tied the game, 7-7, on its opening possession, capping a 72-yard scoring drive with a little razzle-dazzle. Fuller pitched the ball to wide receiver Troy Doles (Saratoga, CA), who threw a 10-yard strike to diving Strachan in the right side of the end zone.
The Bears grabbed their first lead of the game on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Fuller to wide open Strachan in the end zone with 3:46 left in the third quarter, to open up a 14-7 advantage after three quarters.
Senne extended Brown's lead to 17-7 with a career long 40-yard field goal with 10:40 left in the game.
An interception by Patrick O'Neill (Honolulu, HI) at the Brown six-yard line stopped another Holy Cross drive with just over eight minutes to play.
Junior Connor Fitzgerald got the Crusaders a little closer, trailing 17-10, with a 28-yard field goal at the 4:14 mark of the fourth quarter.
Brown returns to Ivy League play on Saturday, October 18, traveling to Princeton, NJ to face the Princeton Tigers. The NBC Sports Regional Network will televise the game, starting at 3:30 pm at Princeton Stadium.