Bears Toppled By Rhode Island, Despite Equaling Three NCAA I-AA Offensive Records
Oct. 5, 2002
Despite an NCAA I-AA record-tying 24 pass receptions by Bears' senior Chas Gessner and 20 consecutive first half completions by junior quarterback Kyle Slager, Brown struggled to keep Rhode Island off the scoreboard and dropped a 38-28 decision to the Rams in Kingston, Rhode Island.
Brown built a 21-10 lead midway through the second quarter on two touchdown receptions by Gessner and a one yard scoring run by sophomore Aaron Neff. Gessner's touchdown catches came on passes of 12 and 14 yards from quarterback Kyle Slager.
Rhode Island registered the next three scores with two touchdowns and a field goal to grab a 28-21 advantage with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
Slager connected on a 41 yard scoring pass to senior Jamaal Grier to tie the game, 28-28, with 2:53 left in the third quarter. But Rhody scored on a 70 yard run on its next possession to take the lead for good, 35-28.
Gessner, who leads the nation in receptions and receiving yards, made 14 catches in the first half alone and tied the NCAA I-AA record of 24 receptions held by Mississippi Valley's Jerry Rice against Southern University on October 1, 1983.
Slager also tied two NCAA I-AA records when he connected on 20 of 20 first half passes, tying the NCAA record for most consecutive passes completed in a game and most consecutive passes completed to start a game. Southwest Missouri State's Austin Moherman also holds the two records, completing 20 consecutive passes against Indiana State on October 7, 2000.
For the game, Slager completed 44 of 58 passes for 497 yards and three touchdowns. His 497 passing yards is an Ivy League record for a non-Ivy game and just four yards shy of the Ivy League record of 501 yards passing. Slager's 44 pass completions sets a new Ivy League record, eclipsing the mark of 42 completions by Brown's James Perry against Princeton in 1999.