Junior quarterback Nicholas Duncan ran for 73 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 152 yards and a score to lead Brown football to a 28-23 win over in-state rival Bryant in its season opener at Brown Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Making his first collegiate start, Duncan (St. Louis, MO) connected on 14-of-27 passes for his 152 yards and carried 10 times for his 73 rushing yards.
Sophomore Livingstone Harriott (Central Islip, NY) rushed 11 times for 41 yards, caught two passes for 27 yards, and completed his only pass attempt for eight yards. Sophomore Jaelon Blandburg (Orange County, CA) led the Bears' receivers with seven receptions for 71 yards while senior Isaac Whitney (Venice, FL) posted his second career receiving touchdown.
The Bears' co-captains paced the Brown defense as junior linebacker Isaiah Thompkins (Middletown, CT) recorded career-highs with 12 tackles and two sacks to go along with his second career interception, and senior defensive end Richard Jarvis (Watertown, MA) made a career-high four sacks and totaled eight tackles. Junior cornerback Jorquel Condomina (Naples, FL) contributed a career-high 10 tackles.
The game marked the return to Brown Stadium of former Brown standout James Perry '00, the head coach of Bryant. Perry was the Ivy League Player of the Year in 1999 after leading the Bears to the Ivy League Championship.
Two key Brown penalties led to Bryant's first score, a 37-yard field goal by Gavin Rowley with 7:07 left in the first quarter, to give the Bulldogs an early 3-0 advantage.
Freshman Scott Boylan (Bakersfield, CA) electrified the Brown Stadium crowd the first time he touched the ball in a collegiate game, returning the ensuing kick-off 95 yards for a touchdown, the eighth longest kickoff return in Brown football history. Boylan fielded the kickoff at the five-yard line and ran down the home sideline into the end zone.
The Bears pulled ahead by a 14-3 margin on another big play, this time a 50-yard run by Duncan, who raced 50 yards untouched down the middle of the field on a quarterback draw with 8:27 left in the second quarter.
Bryant pulled to within four points, 14-10, on a 17-yard scoring pass from Price Wilson to Matt Sewall with 51 seconds left in the half.
Duncan gave the Bears a 21-10 advantage when he scored on a five-yard run with 10:28 left in the third quarter, capping a 65-yard drive. The big play in the drive was a 17-yard run by Thompkins on a fake punt.
Wilson connected with Sewall on an 18-yard pass play for Bryant to cut Brown's lead to 21-17 with 7:04 remaining in the quarter.
The Bears pulled ahead 28-17 after three quarters when Duncan connected on a seven-yard touchdown pass to Whitney at the 3:20 mark. Brown's defense set up the score as senior Jay Williams (Tucson, AZ) forced a fumble, and sophomore Michael Hoecht (Oakwood, OH) made the recovery at the Bears' 48-yard line.
Bryant cut the margin to 28-23 with 4:57 to play in the fourth quarter as Devin Ray found Pat Tanner for a two-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs converted three times on fourth down on the drive.
Brown's defense stopped Bryant on its penultimate drive on a fourth down on the Bears' 27-yard line with 1:57 remaining with Thompkins intercepting a pass to end the game on the visitors' final possession.
Brown will open its Ivy League schedule next Saturday, September 23, traveling to Boston, MA to battle Harvard at Harvard Stadium. Kick-off is 12 noon in a game televised on NESN-Plus