Rhode Island Falls to Brown, 24-21, in Governor's Cup

Rhode Island Falls to Brown, 24-21, in Governor's Cup

How It Happened
Rhode Island went into halftime with an 11-point lead, but Brown scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to rally and beat the Rams 24-21 in the annual Governor's Cup game Saturday night.

Following a three-and-out on its opening possession, Rhode Island (1-4) punted to midfleid. Linebacker Justin Hogan hit returner Scott Boylan to force a fumble that was recovered at the Brown 46-yard line by Momodou Mbye. On the next snap, Harold Cooper broke through the left side of the line for a 54-yard touchdown run, helping give Rhody a 7-0 lead at 11:24 of the first quarter.

Brown (2-1) got three points back on a 19-yard field goal by Ben Rosenblatt at 5:45 of the first.

Late in the second quarter, the Ram defense again came up big as L.B. Mack III had a strip sack of Brown quarterback Thomas Linta. Mike Ezrike recovered the fumble, setting up first down at the Bears 14-yard line. Following a false start, Tyler Harris hit Khayri Denny for a 19-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 14-3 with 4:02 left in the half.

Darius Daies started the Brown comeback, scoring on a 22-yard run early in the third quarter, helping trim the Rhode Island lead to 14-10. Linta then connected with Isaac Whitney on an 18-yard touchdown pass less than four minutes later, giving the Bears their first lead of the night at 17-14. A 7-yard touchdown run by Daies extended the lead to 24-14 at the 2:57 mark of the third.

Rhode Island stopped the bleeding with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Harris to Aaron Parker that capped a five-play, 59-yard drive. The touchdown – Parker's fifth in as many games this season – made the score 24-21. The Rams had a chance to tie the game with 5:31 to go, but a field goal attempt went wide.

Needing a final stop, Rhody's defense had Brown third-and-8 at the Brown 48-yard line with 1:39 to go. An incomplete pass went for naught when a pass interference gave Brown an automatic first down, enabling the Bears to run out the remainder of the clock for the win.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore wide receiver Aaron Parker tied a program record by catching a touchdown pass in seven consecutive games, matching the mark set by Bobby Apgar in 1984.
  • Parker set career highs with 10 catches and 128 receiving yards. He has topped 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games. He is the first Ram to catch 10 balls in one game since Robbie Jackson did so at William & Mary on Sept. 21, 2013, covering a span of 46 games.
  • Senior Harold Cooper continued his history of success against Brown, rushing for 80 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown was his sixth career score against Brown in four contests.
  • Redshirt junior quarterback Tyler Harris reached 1,000 passing yards in his fifth game with the Rams. The only QBs to reach the mark faster were Tom Ehrhardt (1984), Ken Mastrole (1999) and Derek Cassidy (2008), each of whom did so in their fourth game.
  • Harris finished the game 28-of-46 for 298 yards and two touchdowns. He has 1,259 passing yards on the year.
  • Redshirt junior Marven Beauvais had six catches for 67 yards.
  • Junior wide receiver Khayri Denny's touchdown catch was his first of the season. He finished with four catches for 31 yards.
  • Sophomore defensive end L.B. Mack III had a career-high 10 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack. He also forced a fumble that led to a turnover, broke up a pass and was credited with four quarterback hurries.
  • His 4.5 tackles for loss were the most by a Rhode Island player since Doug Johnson had 5.0 against Massachusetts on Nov. 23, 2011.
  • Junior linebacker Justin Hogan led the defense with 12 tackles, his second straight game with 10 or more stops. He also forced a fumble that helped lead to the first touchdown of the game.
  • Junior safety D.J. Stewart had 10 tackles and one pass break up.
  • Redshirt senior Mike Ezirike had four tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery.
  • Redshirt freshman Kwadir Brown had three pass break ups and two tackles.
  • Junior defensive end Tez Wilson recorded his second career interception.
  • The anchor bearer for Rhode Island was sophomore defensive tackle Brandon Ginnetti. Senior running back T.J. Anderson was the game captain.
  • Rhode Island's RECON-RAM Player of the Week were freshmen defensive back Michael A'Vant and freshman wide receiver Jarrell De Los Santos.

Stat of the Game
2-of-15 – Rhode Island was just 2-of-15 on third-down conversion attempts.

What's Next
Rhode Island heads into the bye week. The Rams are off until Saturday, Oct. 14, when they travel to Maine for a CAA Football contest. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.