Courtesy of David Schamis

The Yale football team (6–2, 4–1 Ivy) dominated the Brown University Bears (3–5, 1–4 Ivy) for four quarters on Saturday afternoon as they cruised to a 69–17 win. 

The 69 points were the most Yale has scored in a single game since their 89–0 win over the University of Vermont in 1929. The Bulldogs raced out to a 52–3 lead at half, controlling the game both on offense and defense before putting in many of their backups for the second half.

“It was an incredible effort for all four quarters,” head coach Tony Reno told Yale Athletics. “I thought we played a complete game. We were fortunate enough to make some plays in the first half that put us in a great position going into halftime.”

The Bulldogs established a 17–0 lead in the first quarter, setting the tone for the day. Less than five minutes into the period, quarterback Nolan Grooms ’24 threw a 15-yard pass to wide receiver David Pantelis ’25, who secured the Bulldogs’ first touchdown of many. Later in the quarter, running back Joshua Pitsenberger ’26 scampered 28 yards to the endzone to tally another touchdown for the Elis. To close out the first frame, Jack Bosman ’24 kicked a 42-yard field goal.

“They played very well and we played very poorly,” Brown head coach James Perry told Brown Athletics. “You can’t do [that] against a team like that.”

Just under three minutes into the second quarter, running back Tre Peterson ’24 ran for a 21-yard score to keep the Bulldogs’ momentum going.

To break the shutout, Brown marched down the field in 14 plays, but the Yale defense held strong at the six-yard line, forcing the Bears to settle for a 23-yard field goal.

Yale, however, was relentless. With under five minutes left in the half, Grooms tossed a 25-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jay Brunelle ’24 to raise the score to 31–3. 

A minute later, defensive lineman Reid Nickerson ’23 forced a fumble, which set up linebacker Hamilton Moore ’23 for a 19-yard scoop-and-score touchdown. 

[It was a] great team win against Brown this weekend,” center and captain Nick Gargiulo ’23 said. “The offense was able to establish both a solid rushing and passing attack.”

Following a long punt by Bosman, the Bears took over at their own 16-yard line with just over a minute left in the half, hoping for some momentum to bring into halftime. Instead, cornerback Sean Guyton ’25 stepped in front of a slant route and wrestled the ball from the Brown wide receiver, setting up the Yale offense deep in Brown territory. 

Just three plays later, Grooms hit tight end Jackson Hawes ’24 for a 13-yard touchdown. That pass marked the starting quarterback’s last play of the game, as he finished with an efficient 12-of-16 passing and threw three touchdowns.

But the Yale defense wasn’t done wreaking havoc. With 22 seconds left in the half, defensive lineman Alvin Gulley Jr. ’25 forced the Brown quarterback to rush a throw that linebacker Joseph Vaughn ’23 intercepted and returned 35 yards for the touchdown. The defensive score brought Yale’s advantage to 52–3. 

The trouble continued for the Bears offense when Kyle Ellis ’23 forced a Brown running back to fumble at the Bears 32-yard line just two plays later. However, the fumble came on the last play of the half, and the Bulldogs went into the locker room with a commanding 49 point lead. 

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs lineup featured many younger players, who still managed to tally more points in the contest. A six-yard rush by quarterback Austin Tutas ’25 capped off a 75-yard touchdown drive, and two minutes later, Peterson broke off a 53-yard rush to bring the score to 66–3. 

In the second half, we played a lot of our backups,” Reno said. “They got some really great experience and that will help us as we move forward this season.”

Brown, in a difficult position, attempted to decrease their deficit. The Bears scored two late touchdowns —one in the third quarter and one in the fourth — to bring the score to 66–17.

Bosman booted a 41-yard field goal with 7:05 left in the contest to put the finishing touch on the scoring for the day.

In total, Yale had 558 yards of total offense, in comparison to Brown’s 274. The Blue and White had 340 rushing yards, while the Bears tallied 108. 

The Elis defense also came up big as defensive linemen Nickerson, Adam Raine ’23 and Clay Patterson ’24 each had a sack and the team forced four turnovers.

Coming off of the historic win, the Bulldogs will have to prepare for their toughest conference foe all season — seventeenth-ranked Princeton is coming off a 17–14 win against Dartmouth and is now 8–0 in its regular season and 5–0 in Ivy play. A win would put Yale into a tie for first place in the league.

“We need as many people to get to the games as possible,” wide receiver David Pantelis ’25 said. “We need that extra spirit to lift the football team up. We are counting on the students to be there when we need them. Hope everyone can get there.”

The game will pit Princeton’s formidable defense against Yale’s high-flying offense. For the season, the Tigers surrender an average of only 11 points per game, second-best in FCS. However, the Bulldogs offense has averaged 55 points over their last two contests.

The Yale football team will play their last home game of the season against the undefeated Tigers at noon next Saturday at the Class of 1954 Field.

Amelia Lower covers football, men's ice hockey and men's lacrosse. She is a senior in Jonathan Edwards College from Rye, New York, double-majoring in Spanish and the History of Science, Medicine and Public Health.
Spencer King is an Editor for the Sports desk. He has covered the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams. He has also previously covered the Yale men's lacrosse team and most things Bulldogs sports. Spencer is a junior in Davenport College and is majoring in Political Science.