Sports | Football

Lions drop final football contest of season at Brown

The football team closed its up-and-down season on Saturday by failing to capitalize on an early lead.

The Lions (3-7, 2-5 Ivy) struck first in Providence, but were unable to halt Brown’s counterattack, falling 22-6 to finish the season winless on the road. Brown (7-3, 4-3 Ivy) played well on both sides of the ball after some struggles early on, while the Light Blue offense had trouble executing in the end zone and the defense struggled to prevent the Bears from making big plays.

“Obviously, a disappointing outcome,” Columbia head coach Pete Mangurian said. “We had our opportunities. We couldn’t convert at the end of the game. We had our chances.”

Columbia’s first points of the game came on a field goal by junior kicker Luke Eddy, and the Light Blue opened up a 6-0 advantage after Eddy made a 30-yard try in the second. Eddy’s second field goal proved to be Columbia’s last score of the afternoon.

Down 6-0, Brown’s offense came to life. Led by quarterback Patrick Donnelly, the Bears’ offense put together a seven-play, 76-yard drive that culminated in a fourth-down touchdown pass from Donnelly to wide receiver Jonah Fay. That gave the home team a 7-6 lead following the extra point.

Later in the second quarter, the Lions’ defense gave up another big play on fourth down, as Donnelly hit wide receiver Jordan Evans with a 29-yard touchdown strike on fourth and 8, putting Brown up 14-6.

“They made plays when it counted—on fourth down,” Lions’ senior linebacker Ryan Murphy said. “The receivers got open and the quarterback put it on the money. And that’s what they were trying to do, and we were trying to stop them. And we just failed to do that.”

Donnelly had a great day for Brown, finishing with three touchdown passes and one interception on 16 of 23 passing for 225 yards.

Columbia caught a small break to start the second half, when a 10-yard illegal block penalty on the kickoff forced Brown to start at its own 11-yard line. But the Lions were once again unable to stop Brown’s offense. Donnelly found tight end Andrew Marks from 22 yards out, and Marks made a spectacular diving catch, capping off a nice drive and putting Brown up 20-6. The two-point conversion gave the Bears a 22-6 lead.

Columbia had a few chances to get back in it in the fourth, but ultimately came up short.

Following an interception by senior linebacker Mike Waller, Columbia drove the ball all the way to the Brown 2. But following a 2-yard loss on a first-down handoff, senior quarterback Sean Brackett’s apparent touchdown run on second down was called back after a hold. The Lions ultimately came away empty-handed.

Waller recovered a Brown fumble later in the fourth to give Columbia one more chance, but once again the Lions were again unable to put any points on the board, and Brown closed out the win.

sports@columbiaspectator.com

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