Rhody Defeats Brown, 28-13; Regains the Governor's Cup

Rhody Defeats Brown, 28-13; Regains the Governor's Cup

How it Happened
Harold Cooper scored on a pair of long fourth quarter touchdown runs to lift Rhode Island (1-4) to a 28-13 victory over Brown in the 35th rendition of the annual Governor's Cup battle Saturday afternoon.

Brown (1-2) scored on its opening possession of the game, but a botched snap caused the extra point to fail, leaving the Bears with a 6-0 lead. In the closing minutes of the first quarter, Rhody drove down the field. A 34-yard run by Cooper set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Vazzano to Charlie McKeeman with 45 second left in the first quarter. Justin Rohrwasswer's extra point gave Rhody its first lead of the season. 

The two teams were keeping each other in check throughout the second quarter. Then, with a little over a minute left in the half, Vazzano's pass was picked off and returned 30 yards for a touchdown by the Bears' William Twyman, giving Brown a 13-7 halftime lead.

The beginning of the third quarter treated the Rams well. Freshman cornerback Momodou Mbye recovered a fumble at the Brown 5 yard line. Rhody converted the turnover into points when T.J. Anderson punched in his third rushing touchdown of the season to give the Rams a 14-13 lead. 

In the fourth quarter, Cooper took over. With touchdown runs of 36 yards 42 yards he put the game away, giving Rhody its first win over Brown since 2011. 

Inside the Box Score

  • Junior Harold Cooper had a breakout game, rushing for a career-high 133 yards and two touchdowns. It was the third 100-yard rushing game of his career.
  • Cooper had three rushes of 34 yards or longer. He entered the game with 54 rushing yards through the first four games as he recovered from an injury.
  • Freshman defensive end William Mack III had three tackles-for-loss and his first two career sacks.
  • Junior defensive back Isaiah Hill had three total tackles, one tackle-for-loss and his second career interception.
  • With two rushing touchdowns from Harold Cooper and one from T.J. Anderson, the Rams have eight touchdowns on the ground this season. In 2015, Rhody had five for the season. 
  • Junior D.J. Stewart led the team with 12 tackles, while senior Adam Parker added nine, including the 250th of his career.
  • Redshirt freshman Momodou Mbye had seven tackles, three pass break-ups and a key fumble recovery.
  • Junior Derrick Holmes had a big play in the fourth quarter when he stripped the ball away from Brown's Anton Casey following a reception. Two plays later, Cooper ran for a 36-yard touchdown.
  • Rhode Island's defense had six tackles for loss, five pass break-ups, four quarterback hurries, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
  • Freshman Oliver Graybar had a 67-yard punt. It was the longest punt since Tim Edger had a 68-yard boot against William & Mary on Oct. 31, 2010. 
  • Freshman quarterback Jordan Vazzano and redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Monte Sinisi both made their first career starts Saturday.
  • Vazzano passed for 42 yards and recorded his first career touchdown pass: a 10-yard pass to Charlie McKeeman in the first quarter.
  • Attendance was 5,102.
  • Senior Paul Mroz served as the game captain, while running back Harold Cooper was the anchor bearer.
  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo visited the press box in the second half and spent time on the air with Rhody play-by-play man Steve McDonald.
  • Prior to today's meeting, the play clocks at the practice field were frozen on 39 in honor of Leo Vagias, a former Rhody punter who passed away during the summer. The number will remain there for the entire weekend.

Stat of the Game
17 - This is the 17th time Rhode Island has captured the Governor's Cup since the series inception in 1981.

What's Next
Rhode Island travels to Villanova on Oct. 8. Kickoff is at noon and the game will be on the American Sports Network.