Bulldogs upset Brown, preserving hopes for conference title

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Today’s football game between Yale and Brown proved yet again that defense is the name of the game.

The Bulldogs held an explosive Brown team to a lone field goal and got just enough offense to leave this city with a hard-fought 13-3 victory, keeping their hopes for an Ivy League title alive.

The Bulldogs celebrate their upset win at Brown on Saturday.
The Bulldogs celebrate their upset win at Brown on Saturday.

“It was the kind of game we wanted it to be,” head coach Jack Siedlecki said. “They had to go a long way to score and our defense made play after play after play.”

The typical veterans performed for the Elis (5-3, 4-2 Ivy), but it was the play of a few sophomores that shined on a gloomy afternoon.

On offense, quarterback Brook Hart ’11 went 22 of 32 for 292 yards and a touchdown, a 78-yard bomb to a wide-open Peter Balsam ’11 on a beautifully executed play-action pass.

“I just didn’t want to overthrow him,” Hart said of his pass to the wide-open Balsam. “I just put some extra air under it and make sure he can handle it pretty easily.”

Balsam cut back as a defender for Brown (5-3, 4-1) closed in on him and received a downfield block from A.J. Hasse ’10 before finally diving into the end zone.

After breaking through last weekend against Columbia with 35 receiving yards and a punt block, Balsam finished today’s game with 5 catches for 181 yards.

Tailback Mike McLeod ’09 may not have had the most impressive numbers (24 carries for 63 yards) but when given room to maneuver, the standout was able to burst through holes to keep the chains moving.

Defensively, cornerback Adam Money ’11 stepped in for injured starter Paul Rice ’10 to record a game-high 9 tackles.

“We’re expecting [Balsam, Money and Hart] to go out and make plays like that,” captain and linebacker Bobby Abare ’09 said. “We know they’re capable of it. They’re great athletes and they did a great job today. I can’t say enough about these guys. You need guys like that to step and they’re doing a great job.”

The Elis were able to hold a one-dimensional Brown offense to just three points despite allowing over 300 yards of offense. Bear quarterback Michael Doughtery was out of his element all game long, completing just 21 of his 54 pass attempts for 275 yards and no touchdowns.

Doughtery didn’t have much of a running game to lean on. The Bears mustered just 55 rushing yards and seemed to give up on running the ball as the game went on.

Yale’s win knocked Brown out of its position in sole possession of first place in the Ivy League. With Harvard’s win over Columbia and Penn’s victory against Princeton on Saturday, the Bears, the Crimson and the Quakers now share first place with 4-1 conference records.

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