October 27, 2008

Ivy Leader Brown Shuts Down Cornell Attack

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The football team started Saturday afternoon’s contest against Brown on a positive note. It was what happened later that explains why the Red returned to Ithaca with its third consecutive loss of the season, losing 27-7.
Brown quarterback Michael Dougherty survived a shaky first quarter to lead his squad, accumulating 285 yards through the air to complement two touchdowns. Both scores went to wide reciever Bobby Sewall, who made 11 catches for 181 yards.
“I thought [Bobby Sewall] was good,” said head coach Jim Knowles ’87. “But I think we’ve faced better. “
“He was pretty good,” said sophomore defensive back Andy Wade. “They did what we thought they were going to do. He didn’t hurt us too bad. He had a couple big plays. They made big plays whenever they needed to. We just couldn’t step up and make stops.” [img_assist|nid=33031|title=Big time|desc=Brown receiver Bobby Sewall, seen here in the Red’s 38-31 win over Brown last year, had 181 yards Saturday.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
The first big play for the Bears provided momentum for the duration of the contest. It came with the Red threatening Brown, already up 7-0. After falling short on a third-and-two, the Red opted against a field goal and paid the price as Ford was stopped on a fake handoff, giving the Bears the ball back.
Dougherty would complete 20-of-37 passes and Sewall ran for a first on a fourth down to give the Bears an early field goal, 7-3. The next time he got a chance, Dougherty notched a touchdown after a 52-yard find to Sewall as he got behind the secondary, which had miscues throughout the contest.
“I think we need to just have more confidence in our secondary to break on the ball and make plays,” Knowles said. “We’re not playing with enough confidence.“
Brown added a 22-yard field goal with 3:19 left to go up 13-7 into halftime. The second half remained a tight contest until Brown exploded for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter compared with zero points for the Red.
“I’m not really sure what happened in the second half,” said senior defensive lineman Dario Areezo. “Things were going well for the first few series, but there was that penalty in the end zone and the game kind of changed after that. “
After senior wide receiver Stephen Liuzza fumbled just outside of the Cornell red zone, Dougherty drove Brown down the field. It was a drive that included a questionable pass interference call in the end zone against sophomore Emani Fenton, which led to a 2-yard running touchdown from Buddy Farnham which increased Brown’s lead to 13, 20-7.
“In my opinion, that was a terrible call,” Knowles said. “The official here didn’t call it. That was a great play by Emani. I thought it was a great play. But, it’s just one of those things.”
“Those things happen,” Areezo said. “You can’t blame anyone. Those calls go both ways in the game. You just have to move on from the play and put it behind you.”
After finding a whole in the secondary again, Sewall caught a 32-yard touchdown pass to push the Bears’ lead to 27-7 with 9:06 left in the fourth. The two touchdowns were a result of the defense being tired, according to Knowles.
“Number one, I think the defense definitely got worn out,” Knowles said, “That’s not an excuse. Number two, we started missing tackles, we gave up a bomb on a blitz when we should have had the guy covered — he threw it up and the guy caught it. I think the defense was making plays and keeping the team in the game. And then, there was a crack. And then, the flood came.”
“We weren’t tired at all,” Wade said. “But they made plays when they needed to. We have to tip our hats to them. They did a good job.”
The loss marks the Red’s third consecutive defeat.
“Something’s not clicking and we’ve got to fix this,” Knowles said. “We’re just not where we were three weeks ago. Now, we’re at a point where we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong. We’re going home three out of the next four weeks. We have to take a lot of pride in that and play hard. It’s just one thing here and one thing there that’s not going our way and we’re not responding.“