Brown Unable To Complete Comeback Against Harvard
The Brown football team staged a big comeback attempt, scoring 21 unanswered points in the second half before ultimately coming up short in a 35-28 loss to Harvard in front of 9,395 fans at Richard Gouse Field at Brown Stadium on Saturday.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior Jake Willcox completed 31 of his 55 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns.
Senior Wes Rockett caught five passes for 63 yards, 42 of which came on Brown’s final drive. He also caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Stockton Owen caught two passes for 55 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown. He also led the team with 52 yards rushing on nine attempts.
Senior Allan Houston III caught two balls for 30 yards and tallied a tallied his first career touchdown.
Graham Walker tallied 51 yards receiving and Hayes Sutton led the team with seven catches for 44 yards.
Senior Allen Smith scored his team-leading third touchdown in two games.
Brown’s defense held Harvard scoreless on their final six possessions of the game, including three consecutive three-and-outs in the fourth quarter.
Senior Josh Ofili and junior Isaiah Gamble led the team with seven tackles apiece.
Neither team committed a turnover.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Harvard struck first on its opening drive to take a 7-0 lead, capping an eight play, 67-yard drive with a 26-yard catch and run by Kym Wimberly, Jr.
Dean hit Wimberly over the middle once again for a 26-yard touchdown strike to put the Crimson up 14-0 with 9:19 to go in the second quarter.
After forcing another Brown three-and-out, Harvard took over at their own 32-yard line and drove 68 yards in eight plays, ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass to the right front corner of the end zone to Haven Montefalco to go up 21-0 with 4:01 left until halftime.
Brown regained possession with 1:09 remaining in the half, and picked up a pair of first downs before trying a Hail Mary from the Harvard 44-yard line, which was intercepted at the goal line.
Harvard wasted no time jumping on the board in third quarter, scoring off a flea flicker on the first play from scrimmage, an 81-yard pass from Dean to Ledger Hatch to go up 28-0.
Brown came back on its next drive, converted a fourth down pass to Mark Mahoney to move the ball near midfield. Three plays later, Willcox floated one to Owen who scampered down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown to get the Bears on the board.
Harvard came right back on its third play on the ensuing drive when Aidan Borguet broke free from the pile at the line and ran all the way for a 67-yard touchdown to make it a four-score game once again, 35-7.
Brown used a big 53-yard punt return by Rockett to set up first down at the Harvard 35-yard line with 2:54 to go in the quarter. After a Brown touchdown was overturned and the drive was extended by a fourth-down roughing the passer call, Smith had a seven-yard touchdown rush on third down to bring the Bears within 35-14 on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Brown converted a pair of third downs, including a 25-yarder to Walker, and moved the ball to the ball onto the red zone. Willcox then hit Rockett, who spun out of a tackle and took 16-yards for a touchdown to pull Brown within 35-21 with 9:55 left.
Brown got the ball back with 7:51 to play, and marched 55 yards in seven plays, capped when Houston made a tremendous catch off a tipped pass in the end zone for the 25-yard touchdown that pulled Brown within 35-28 with 5:36 remaining.
Brown forced a punt and took possession at its own 12-yard line with 1:34 left. Willcox connected with Rockett on three consecutive plays for 42 yards, including a fourth down conversion, to move the ball to the Harvard 38. Facing fourth down, Brown tried one last pass into the end zone, which fell incomplete with nine seconds remaining.
QUOTES FROM THE COACH: JAMES PERRY
“I’m very proud of our team today. They’ve practiced really hard and it shows. To watch the maturation of this team has been fun to see thanks to a lot of good seniors who work very hard. As a coach, there’s a ton of corrections to make, but none of them are effort, and that’s a great place to be in.”
“Harvard’s defense is talented and well coached. There were no easy yards and the way our guys handled it was impressive. They didn’t point fingers and when we started scoring, our defense handled that maturely and knew they had to get some stops. We were very physical. There were a couple key moments where we had to tackle exceptionally good backs and the kids have worked hard to make those plays. We had a chance to tie it at the end as the result of some terrific play.”
Brown will hit the road for the first time next week with a trip to in-state rival Rhode Island for the 106th edition of the Governor’s Cup. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in Kingston.