Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Rhody .500

Lions Captain Matt Barsamian leads the team in celebration

Continuing now with the list of the greatest Columbia football games of the 2000's...

Game #2

Columbia 22 Brown 21

November 18, 2006

Brown Stadium

The 2006 season under new Head Coach Norries Wilson began with a bang. The Lions were 3-1 out of the gate with their only loss coming to eventual Ivy champ Princeton in a hard-fought Homecoming battle at Wien Stadium.

Then a bit of reality set in.

Columbia lost four in a row, all to Ivy opponents. In each of those loses, the Lion defense played well enough to win. But the Columbia offense just couldn't score points, the weak running game being a major reason why.

The Lions Ivy losing streak stood at 16 before Columbia edged Cornell, 21-14 in week 9 at home to put the their record at 4-5.

But the chances of finishing the season with the first .500 or better record seemed slim as Columbia would have to travel to Providence to achieve that against an always tought Brown team.

Sure, the Bears were 2-7, but this was still a Phil Estes-coached team with players like future NFL'ers Zak DeOssie and Colin Cloherty. And besides, Columbia hadn't defeated Brown on the road since 1971.

Four minutes into the second quarter, the Lions were showing little life as they trailed 14-0 and Brown was on another offensive drive and perched at the Bear 49 with a first and 10.

Then the defense decided to take the scoring issue into its own hands.

Adam Brekke sacked Bear QB Joe DiGiacomo and forced a fumble that Todd Abrams scooped up for a 30-yard TD. The PAT by Jon Rocholl was no good, making it 14-6. Rocholl bounced back for a 42 yard FG late in the quarter to push it to 14-9 at the half.

Brown came out charging in the second half, driving all the way down to the Lion 11, but Andy Shalbrack stopped the drive with an interception at the goal line.

QB Craig Hormann took over from there and got the Lions all the way to the Bear nine before Patrick Huston, subbing for Rocholl at that point, nailed a 27-yarder to make it 14-12.

But Brown seemed to grab the momentum back for good when the Bears marched 81 yards down the field, ending with a 13-yard TD catch by Cloherty.

The Lions answered back with a thrilling 80-yard drive on 11 plays, highlighted by a leaping 24-yard grab by freshman wide receiver Austin Knowlin. Hormann ended it with a six-yard scoring toss to RB Jordan Davis and it was 21-19. 10:06 remained in regulation.

Brown killed a huge amount of that time with the Bears next drive. But the Lion defense held strong and All Ivy kicker Steve Morgan missed a 45-yard field goal attempt to give the Lions a chance with 3:49 left.

Columbia then began a gutty 14-play drive that included a nail-biting 4th and 1 on the Brown 21 decision. The coaches decided to go for it, and in a year when the running game could hardly do anything right, Davis came through with a huge nine-yard scamper for the 1st down. That set up a short field goal attempt by re-insterted-into-the-game Jon Rocholl.

With ice in his veins, Rocholl nailed the winning kick and the Lions had their first non-losing season since 1996.

Hormann finished the game with 285 yards on 30-for-43 passing, one TD pass and no INT's. Davis had just 14 carries, but netted a very decent 59 yards. Knowlin had nine catches for 73 yards. And outgoing senior Nick DeGasperis grabbed five balls for 75 yards including a crucial 17-yard catch and run on the final drive.

It was the perfect end to the most uplifting season of the decade for Columbia.


At Wed Jan 27, 10:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how much the Cornell bloggers are now trashing Knowles and most of his staff. I htought Knowles was a pretty good guy and a decent coach, and his teams didn't quit on him. On another note, I am beginning to worry that we are lagging behind on posted "commits" on voyforums. Are our guys playinghtings close to the vest?


Post a Comment

<< Home