November 3, 2012

Bulldogs Fall at Brown

Varga Runs for 104 Yards, Cargill Adds 87

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A banged-up Yale offense was facing its second straight game with a quarterback situation jumbled by injuries Saturday at Brown Stadium, and that showed in the results. With freshman starter Eric Williams limited by a variety of injuries, the Bulldogs were held to 22 passing yards. While sophomore tailback Tyler Varga once again filled in admirably at quarterback and rushed for 104 yards, ultimately the Brown defense kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard and the Bears came away with a 20-0 win.

Yale (2-6, 1-4 Ivy League) played without Williams, senior quarterback Derek Russell and freshman quarterback Logan Scott last Saturday in a loss at Columbia. Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach of Football, had no other quarterbacks available, so Varga -- the Ivy League's leading rusher -- remained the team's best option when Williams was forced to the sideline at multiple points in Saturday's game. Williams finished 4-for-15 with two interceptions while playing through obvious pain.

"We're a little banged-up at quarterback," Reno said. "Eric, he's a battler. He tried to go today, but we couldn't run our entire offense."

Brown (5-3, 2-3 Ivy League), meanwhile, played largely mistake-free football to take advantage of the situation. Quarterback Patrick Donnelly threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns, completing 24 of 38 passes with no interceptions. Seven different players had at least one run for Brown -- which has had injury problems of its own at the running back spot -- and they combined for 164 yards on 36 carries with no fumbles.

"Brown played a heck of a football game," said Reno. "They didn't make mistakes. They were efficient on offense, and they were efficient on defense."

It was obvious from the start that injuries would continue to be a factor in Yale's offense. After keeping the ball on an option run that gained nine yards on the second play of the first drive, Williams headed back to the sideline and Varga moved to quarterback as the drive eventually ended with a missed field goal. Williams was back at the helm of the offense on the next drive, only to be intercepted on the first play.

Senior defensive back John Powers, playing with a cast on his arm, made a tackle for loss on the ensuing Brown drive. But the Bears regrouped and drove to the Yale three for a third-and-goal, with Donnelly capping the drive with a toss to a wide-open fullback Cody Taulbee in the end zone with five minutes left in the first.

Brown tacked on a 37-yard field goal by Alex Norocea at 10:32 of the second. A 62-yard punt by sophomore punter Kyle Cazzetta pinned the Bears back at their own three on the next drive.

When senior linebacker Will McHale made a tackle on third down to force a Brown punt, the Yale offense got the ball at the Bear 48. But after a penalty set the Bulldogs back five yards, Williams limped off after second down and Yale eventually punted the ball away again. Brown took a 10-0 lead into halftime.

Norocea added a 46-yard field goal at 8:52 of the third, and Brown went up 20-0 on a 25-yard pass from Donnelly to wide receiver Jordan Evans with 4:26 left in the third. On the first play of Yale's ensuing drive, Williams got up slowly after pitching the ball, and once again he headed to the sideline. On the very next play, senior tailback Mordecai Cargill broke off a 39-yard run to get the ball to the Brown 32. But a chop block call set Yale back 15 yards, and the Bulldogs eventually punted from the Brown 43.

Yale got no closer than the Brown 33 in the fourth quarter. The Bears finished off the win by running out the clock with a 10-play, 40-yard drive that ate up the final 5:17.

Yale hosts Princeton next Saturday.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity

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