By Christopher Humm
Special to College Sports Journal
Editor’s Note: This story is courtesy of Brown athletics
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Junior Johnny Pena’s seven-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds remaining propelled Brown to its third straight win, a 38-31 shootout victory in over Princeton at Brown Stadium, knocking the Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten.
The Bears are now 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the Ivy League, while Princeton falls to 4-1, 1-1 in Ivy play.
The two high-powered offenses combined for 954 yards, with the Bears gaining 477 yards and the Tigers 447 yards.
Pena’s game-winning run was set up by an outstanding effort by Brown’s defense. With the score tied, 31-31, and Princeton in possession of the ball, Bears’ junior defensive end Robert Hughes hit the arm of Tigers’ quarterback Chad Kanoff.
The ball popped into the air and was grabbed by Brown senior inside linebacker Will Twyman, who cradled the ball at the Princeton 42-yard line.
Bears’ senior quarterback Marcus Fuller tossed a 17-yard pass to junior Alex Jette to advance the ball to the Princeton 25-yard line. The rest of the drive was all Pena, who ran for four, 12 and two yards to set up the game-winning run from seven yards out.
Fuller the nation’s fifth-leading passer, threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, completing 29-of-42 passes. Senior wide receiver Troy Doles led the receiving corps with six catches for 106 yards.
Jette had eight catches for 93 yards, and also posted 132 return yards, with a 99-yard kick-off return and 33 punt return yards.
Brown needed a rushing attack, and finally got one from senior tailback Andrew Coke, who rushed for a career high 99-yards on 13 carries before being injured midway through the third quarter. Pena finished with 45 yards for the Bears.
Defensively, Twyman and senior outside linebacker Quintin Rizek each intercepted a pass and had 10 total tackles to pace the Bears.
Kanoff passed for 321 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked four times by the Bears’ defense. He completed 24-of-44 passes. John Lovett led the Tigers in both rushing and receiving yards with 61 yards on the ground and eight catches for 115 yards.
Jette electrified the Parent’s Day crowd of 6,481 when he took the opening kickoff 99myards for a touchdown. Doles took the kickoff, ran to his right and handed off to Jette, who found a seam in the defense.
Jette then cut back to his left and got a late block from Doles at midfield, scampering down the home sideline into the end zone for the fourth longest kick-off return in Brown football history, 13th best in the Ivy League record book. It was the longest kick-off return at Brown in the modern era, when P.P. Chase ran 105 yards against WPI in 1905.
Princeton tied the game, 7-7, late in the first quarter on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Lovett, who plowed into end zone to cap an 88-yard scoring drive.
Brown extended its lead to 21-7 when Fuller tossed a 55-yard pass to Doles, who caught the ball in stride at the 15-yard line and outran the Tigers’ defense into the end zone.
The Tigers came right back with a little razzle-dazzle, scoring on a wide receiver option with Kendric Bostic taking the handoff and throwing a 42-yard pass to a wide-open Lovett in the end zone. Bears’ junior Tom Kutschke blocked the extra point to make the score, 21-13.
Brown responded immediately on its next possession, driving 89 yards in 11 plays to take a 14-7 advantage, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Coke with 13:11 to play in the second quarter.
A 30-yard field goal by Princeton’s Nolan Bieck early in the third quarter cut the Bears’ lead to 21-16.
Brown responded with a 20-yard field goal by senior Grant Senne (Winter Park, FL) to go back up by eight points, 24-16, with 8:23 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers needed a touchdown and extra point to tie that game and that’s just what they got. Lovett scored on a two yard run and Kanoff threw the conversion pass to Scott Carpenter to tie the score, 24-24, heading into the final quarter.
Fuller’s 15-yard touchdown strike to senior Strachan in the back of the end zone with 13:42 left in the game lifted the Bears to a 31-24 advantage.
Undaunted, the Tigers came back once again to tie the game, 31-31, on a 10-yard Kanoff to Carpenter pass play at the 10:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Rizek stopped a Princeton drive at the 6:55 mark with his second interception of the season at the Bears’ five-yard line.
Brown travels to Ithaca, New York to battle the Cornell Big Red on Saturday, October 24. Kick-off is 12:30 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field.