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Georgetown Football: 2003 Season Recaps

Complied from HoyaSaxa.com coverage.

Game #1: Colgate (September 6)

A touchdown pass with 5.6 seconds to play lifted the defending Patriot League co-champion Colgate (Red) Raiders to a 20-19 win over Georgetown in the season opener Saturday before a sold-out crowd at Harbin Field.

Colgate helmet Colgate opened strong with a 11 play, 61 yard drive to take the lead on the opening possession, capped by a 27 yard run on fourth down to set up the score. While the Hoya defense tightened up, the GU produced little, with negative yardage in the first quarter and five punts for the half. A 15 yard run late in the half got the Hoyas to the Colgate 31, but no further. Still, the GU defense held Colgate to seven first half points, giving Georgetown a chance if it could somehow add a spark to the game.

That spark came early in the second half. After a three and out series by starting QB Andrew Crawford, and a quick score by Colgate, 14-0, Coach Benson substituted freshman Alondzo Turner in at QB, who led an exciting 15 play, 80 yard drive. Turner was shaken up towards the end of the drive and Crawford returned, and when Georgetown faced a 4th down at the 2 yard line, Crawford found William Huisking in the end zone for the score, 14-7.

After a Colgate punt, Crawford returned to quarterback the team the rest of the game. Following the punt, he answered with a 35 yard TD pass to Luke McArdle for a touchdown. Rob Smith, making his first start at kicker in the wake of Michael Gillman's injury, had the PAT blocked, 14-13.

In the fourth, Colgate responded with an 11 play drive that stalled at the Georgetown 32. With 8:44 to play, the Hoyas went three and out and punted to Colgate at its 21, but the Raiders fumbled at the Georgetown 47 with 6:44 to play. Georgetown responded with a seven play drive highlighted by a 29 yard pass to TE Jordan Jarry to the Colgate 1, where Kim Sarin gave Georgetown the go-ahead score, 19-14. A try for two points failed thereafter.

In the race for the end, Colgate drove to the Georgetown 46, but a long pass was intercepted at the 25 with 1:28 to play. A penalty for excessive celebration hurt the Hoyas, sending them back to its 10 The team needed just one first down to put away the game, but instead combined for four yards in three plays. Opting to punt and not take a safety for field position, Colgate got the ball and returned it to the Georgetown 35 with 20 seconds to play. Narrowly averting another interception in the series, Colgate's Brown completed passes of 10 and 22 yards took the Raiders to the Georgetown 2 with under 10 seconds to play, where a direct snap to WR J.B Gerald found receiver DeWayne Long to seal the win, 20-19.

Game statistics:


                    COLGATE       GEORGETOWN
First downs              18               16
Rushed-yards         45-210           45-136
Passing yards           111              136
Sacked-yards lost      2-18             3-23
Return yards             26               20
Passes              12-26-1          11-22-1
Punts                6-29.8             9-31
Fumbles-lost            3-2              2-0
Penalties-yards        6-49             4-22
Time of possession    31:20            28:40

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #2: Holy Cross (September 13)

Despite a three touchdown comeback in the fourth quarter, the Georgetown Hoyas fell a touchdown short at Holy Cross in a 42-34 loss at Fitton Field. The game featured action on all sides of the ball, with the two teams combining for 867 yards of total offense and six passing touchdowns of over 40 yards each.

The Hoya defense started slowly, much as they did a week earlier versus Colgate. The Crusaders (1-0 PL, 1-1 overall) took less than three minutes for its first TD on a six play, 66 yard drive. After the teams exchanged punts, the Hoyas evened the count on a 68 yard pass from QB Andrew Crawford to WR Luke McArdle, one of four TD passes to McArdle for the day.

Much of the second quarter was a game of field position, but the Hoyas missed a number of chances for scores. A pair of touchdown-caliber passes were dropped by WR's McArdle and Walter Bowser, while midway in the second, the Hoyas drove to the 15 where a fake field goal run by QB Alondzo Turner fell a yard short of a first and goal.

Holy Cross helmetAfter Holy Cross took possession with just over seven minutes in the half, DB Maurice Banks dropped an interception that could have gone the distance. Instead, the Crusaders took a nine play drive into the end zone with a 10 yard pass from QB John O'Neill to WR Ari Confesor, 14-7. But as the half wound down, Crawford found McArdle with a 40 yard play to tie the score, 14-all. The game looked to be tied going into intermission, but HC caught the defense off-guard with passes of 19 and 47 yards and the Crusaders grabbed a Colgate-like late score to lead 21-14.

The defense sputtered into halftime and the hangover lasted most of the third quarter. To make matters worse, safety Matt Fronczke re-aggravated his separated shoulder and was out for the remainder of the game, and Holy Cross took advantage. After Georgetown went three and out on its first possession, O'Neill took the hoyas deep with a 72 yard TD pass to Nick Larsen, at the 12:30 mark, 28-14. A defensive turnover gave the Crusaders the ball back one minute later, where O'Neill tossed a 46 yard pass, 35-14. On the next series, after a long Crawford pass was intercepted, HC went on a 15 play, 7:32 drive to extend the lead to 42-14.

Over on the Georgetown sidelines, Coach Benson implored the downhearted defense not to give up, because the offense would get them back in the game, and that's just what happened. At the start of the fourth, reserve QB Alondzo Turner sparked the offense for a second consecutive week on a 66 yard drive in 3:01, scoring on a one yard run, 42-21. The Hoyas held on the next series, and after a long punt return, Crawford found McArdle for his third TD, 42-28. And after a third stop by the defense, Crawford and McArdle stunned the Fitton crowd once again, with passes of 23 and 55 yards, to cut what was a 28 point lead to six, 42-34, in a matter of ten minutes, with the point-after kick sailing low from safety Brian Golper, called into late action with continuing injuries to the kicking corps.

The Crusaders were able to run the clock down late but forced the Hoyas deep in their end of the field in the final three minutes. The Hoyas were not able to mount a drive and HC ran out the clock in the shadow of the Hoya end zone.

McArdle's 190 yards receiving was 5th best ever for a Hoya receiver, and Marcus Slayton rushed for 106 yards, which is the first Hoya to rush for 100 yards against a Patriot opponent since joining the league.

The defensive lapses notwithstanding, the Hoyas continue to show signs of improvement which will be further tested in a pair of non-conference games in the next two weeks.

Game statistics:


                 GEORGETOWN       HOLY CROSS
First downs             17               22
Rushed-yards        32-113           44-176
Passing yards          308              270
Sacked-yards lost     5-34             2-18
Return yards            61                5
Passes             18-30-1          14-23-0
Punts               5-30.8           8-34.5
Fumbles-lost           1-1              2-0
Penalties-yards       7-55             5-35
Time of possession   26:24            33:36

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #3: Monmouth (September 20)

Despite forcing five turnovers, Georgetown's defense lost a last minute lead for the second time in three weeks, losing 12-10 to Monmouth at Harbin Field. The loss to the Hawks, picked 7th in the Northeast Conference at the start of the season, is the most disturbing non-conference loss by the Hoyas in at least eight seasons, maybe more.

Monmouth helmetGeorgetown expected a defensive struggle against the highly ranked Monmouth defense, but many of its early miscues were self-inflicted. The Hoyas stalled on their first drive and opted for a fake punt, but like many fake plays this season, the opponent sniffed out the ruse and stopped the Hoyas on 4th and 1. After a pair of series, Georgetown held the Hawks to the 38, but committed an offside penalty which extended the drive and gave Monmouth the yardage for a field goal, 3-0.

On the next series, Georgetown drove 43 yards to the Monmouth 37, but QB Andrew Crawford threw the first of his three interceptions. The defense forced a Monmouth fumble on the next possession, but Georgetown made nothing of the second chance, thanks to a sack, an incomplete pass, and a fumble. The defense held a third time to give the Hoyas a chance, but Crawford threw another interception.

The Hawks picked up a second field goal midway through the second quarter. But for the third straight week, a spark from reserve QB Alondzo Turner got the Hoya offense going, with Turner's 30 yards of rushing allowing Andrew Crawford to come back in to find WR Luke McArdle open for the score near the close of the half, 7-6.

The second half began a series of missed opportunities for the Hoyas. Here's the rundown:

  • First GU series: After a Jesse Patterson interception gave the Hoyas the ball at their 41, the offense advanced to the Monmouth 20, but Michael Gillman's field goal attempt sailed right.
  • Next series: The Hoyas go eight plays to the Monmouth 40, then see Rob Smith connect on a three yard punt.
  • Next series: Three plays, followed by Crawford's third interception.
  • Next series: After the Hoyas stop Monmouth at the Georgetown 12, the Hoyas drive to its 47, punt, but recover on the punt return and keep the drive alive. The Hoyas drive to the Monmouth 2, but Michael Gillman's 19 yard field goal is low and is blocked.
  • Next series: The defense forces yet another turnover, whereupon Turner returns as QB and drives to the Monmouth 14, but the drive stalls. This time, Gillman's field goal is good, 10-6 with 7:33 to play.

The Hawks responded with a 11 play 55 yard drive to the GU 9, but the Hawks' field goal sails wide. With 5:01 to play, all the Hoyas need is two downs to put the game away, but the offense goes nowhere. Crawford is sacked on consecutive plays and the Hoyas punt away with 2:25 to play.

The defense was asked yet again to bail out the anemic offense but began to make mistakes. The Hoyas held Monmouth on 3rd and 7 at its 34, but a pass interference penalty gave the Hawks new hope at midfield with under two minutes to play. On a 4th and 17, Monmouth QB Brian Boland passed for 25 to the GU 36, then 21 more to the Georgetown 15. A five yard pass advanced to the 10, and with 18 seconds left, Boland found WR Pete Rapitzi for the score, 12-10.

While the defensive lapse will get the headlines, the offensive execution was a major factor. Crawford's poor performance (14-29 for 161 yards, three interceptions, 5 sacks) kept the Hoyas in check, while the kicking game cost the Hoyas all day. But when five turnovers nets all of three points...three points...it's a team-wide problem.

It will be a long week heading to Lexington for VMI next week, as the Hoyas look to avoid going 0-4 for the first time in the Division I-AA era.

For its part Saturday, VMI defeated Norfolk State, 34-9.

Game statistics:


                     MONMOUTH       GEORGETOWN
First downs                14               15
Rushed-yards            23-21           44-116
Passing yards             204              172
Sacked-yards lost        5-32             4-20
Return yards               19               27
Passes                23-39-2          15-30-3
Punts                  5-45.8           6-30.8
Fumbles-lost              5-3              2-0
Penalties-yards          3-25             7-62
Time of possession      25:07            34:53

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #4: VMI (September 27)

A balanced offensive attack with 529 yards of total offense powered Virginia Military Institute to a 42-14 win over Georgetown Saturday at Lexington, VA, dropping the Hoyas to 0-4 for the first time since 1989.

 For the third time in four weeks, the defense gave up a touchdown on the opponent's opening drive. After a three and out series for the Hoyas to open the game, VMI went on an eight play, 98 yard drive, capped by a 42 yard TD pass for the score, 7-0.

The Hoyas first serious drive came early in the first. A fake punt by freshman Keith Allan helped maintain an 11 play, 68 yard drive, whereupon QB Andrew Crawford was sacked and fumbled the ball at the VMI 15 and returned to midfield. VMI took quick advantage, with a four play drive aided by a pass interference penalty that set up the Keydets' second score, 14-0. That's nothing new--in its last 15 games, Georgetown has been outscored 106-25 in the first quarter of play.

The Hoyas entered the second with another long drive that was nearly identical to the first, with a second Crawford fumble deep in VMI territory. This time, GU recovered, and brought in reserve QB Alondzo Turner to rush for 12 yards in four straight plays for the score, 14-7.

The defense failed to hold VMI on its next series, with the Keydets marching 68 yards for the score, 21-7. On its last series of the half, the Hoyas marched to the VMI 22, but Michael Gillman's field goal was blocked. Gillman is only 1 of 5 on FG attempts this season and two of the four misses were blocked.

The Keydets opened strong in the second, advancing to the GU 28 before William Skultety pulled off a key interception which set up the Hoyas at midfield, but the offense stalled without a first down. VMI went on a long drive, led by the pinpoint passing of QB Jonathan Wilson, who was 4-4 in the series and scored the TD on 3rd and 11 at the 13 for the TD pass, 28-7.

The Hoyas made another run in the third with both quarterbacks seeing action. It was Crawford who found a gap in the VMI secondary to connect with Walter Bowser from 46 yards, and the Hoyas closed to 28-14 with 3:07 in the third. On the next series, RB Sean Mizzer tore through the line for 45 yards, setting up 1 VMI TD to open the 4th, 35-14. Georgetown drove down the field, but Gillman missed his second straight field goal attempt, and VMI answered with a 57 yard pass from Wilson to Mizzer, 42-14.

The Hoyas continued to waste chances, advancing to the VMI 10 before Crawford threw and interception at the VMI one yard line with 3:51 to play, and another interception at game's end. For the afternoon, Crawford was 17 of 28 for 268 yards, but with three sacks and three turnovers. WR Luke McArdle collected 108 receiving yards and 125 yards off kickoffs. For the Keydets, Jonathan Wilson was outstanding at quarterback, ending the game 17 of 22 for 250 yards and two TD's. Sean Mizzer finished with 110 yards rushing, his fourth consecutive 100 yard afternoon.

The Hoyas continue to be their own worst enemy in not taking advantage of opportunities. Despite an advantage in time of possession, one stat is all you need for this game--in the red zone, GU was 1-4 with two missed field goals and two interceptions, while VMI was 4-5 with 4 TD's. The only VMI red zone possession not turned into a score was an interception return in the final minute where VMI simply ran out the clock.

Georgetown is the only winless team to date in the 2003 PL race. Next up: Lafayette, following a big win over Princeton Saturday.

Game statistics:


                   GEORGETOWN              VMI
First downs                21               25
Rushed-yards           40-109           41-193
Passing yards             279              321
Sacked-yards lost        3-15             3-28
Return yards               21               46
Passes                18-30-2          21-26-1
Punts                    3-44           2-40.5
Fumbles-lost              3-1              0-0
Penalties-yards          2-15             3-35
Time of possession      32:28            27:32

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #5: Lafayette (October 4)

"This is the third time in five weeks I've had my 'kill the clock' chart out, the third time I could say, 'Get one first down and we win."--Bob Benson, quoted in the Allentown Morning Call

This time, they got it.

After four weeks of inconsistent play, the Georgetown Hoyas earned its first victory of the 2003 campaign with a hard-fought 17-10 win at Lafayette Saturday, a win against the #5-ranked defense in Division I-AA. With improved play in all facets of the game, Georgetown enters a two week non-conference stretch with much needed confidence and room for a little momentum as well.

Lafayette helmetIn its past two meetings with Lafayette, the Hoyas had been outscored 21-3 in the first period. This year, the Hoyas set the tone. Boosted by a 33 yard kickoff return to start the game, the Hoyas marched into Lafayette territory on a nine play drive to the LC 26, but missed a field goal. Instead of a quick retreat, the Hoyas kept Lafayette bottled up, forcing two punts and two fumbles in its first four drives. Following a LC turnover at the end of the first quarter, quarterbacks Alondzo Turner and Andrew Crawford brought the Hoyas to the Leopards 20, where Crawford found Craig Agnello with a 20 yard TD pass and a 7-0 lead.

The teams traded punts in the second, where Lafayette drove to the Georgetown 19 and settled for a field goal, 7-3. The Hoyas drove right back down the field, failing to advance the ball after a first and goal at the two, but saw an easy field goal as the outcome. Instead, PK Michael Gillman missed a 19 yard chip shot, his sixth miss in seven attempts since returning from a hip injury.

The second half saw Lafayette move quickly to take the lead, taking the kickoff to midfield. Lafayette posted with 33 yards on the ground before senior QB Marco Glavic found WR John Weyrauch alone for a 17 yard TD pass, 10-7. The Hoyas answered back with a drive to the LC 20, but no further. On his third attempt, Gillman hit a 40-yard field goal to tie the game midway in the third.

The two teams traded punts into the fourth in the wet conditions of Fisher Field. With 10:20 to play, backed up to its five, Georgetown began its game winning drive, with a veteran making the move--running back John Sims. Sims, who had seen very little time this season behind running backs Slayton, Huisking, and Sarin, took over the drive. He rushed five of the first six plays of the drive, allowing Crawford to look for help in the receiver corps.

A little help also came into play. After an apparent Georgetown fumble was ruled down by contact, the Hoyas caught a break on when a Lafayette defender's face mask penalty nullified a 10 yard Crawford sack on third down, extending the drive. On the very next play, Crawford found Luke McArdle for 26 yards to the LC 4. Sims pushed up the middle for a four yard score, 17-10. The drive consumed 14 plays and over six minutes of the quarter.

Once again, Georgetown had a lead, but its opponent would have the ball late in the game. After a kick return to midfield and a pair of passes to the GU 28, the secondary stuffed Glavic's passing thereafter. Glavic threw incompletions on first and second down, was sacked on third down, and threw an incompletion on fourth down. But Georgetown still had to hold on to the ball, and they did so with the strength of Sims. Sims rushed on three straight downs for a first down with 1:25 to play, then blew open the Lafayette line with a 22 yard run to put the game out of reach.

Sims finished with 10 carries and 63 yards. Crawford turned in a solid effort, going 20 of 28 passes for 203 yards. The Hoyas had no turnovers compared with three for Lafayette and thoroughly controlled time of possession. Lafayette running back Joe McCourt was held under 100 yards after averaging nearly 150 yards a game against the Hoyas in 2001 and 2002.

"Anyone who saw Georgetown on film knows they are a good team, and the reason they won today was because they outplayed us," said McCourt.

This site's Pre-Game Report feature asked four questions in advance of the game. Could Georgetown stay competitive in the first quarter? Could they force turnovers, given that Lafayette had not turned the ball over to GU in each of the last two games between the schools? Could the Hoyas establish a running game, especially on the outside? Could the Hoyas help maintain field position with its special teams?

With a "yes" on the first three, the Hoyas earned the win. With a little more special teams help, there's room for even more success.

Game statistics:


                 GEORGETOWN        LAFAYETTE
First downs              20               16
Rushed-yards         41-101            27-88
Passing yards           219              166
Sacked-yards lost      4-22              1-6
Return yards             29               13
Passes              21-29-0          15-33-1
Punts                5-32.8           5-34.2
Fumbles-lost            0-0              2-2
Penalties-yards        6-50             6-50
Time of possession    35:36            24:24

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #6: Stony Brook (October 11)

Luke McArdle caught three touchdowns as the Georgetown Hoyas carried a 49-21 win over Stony Brook in the 65th Homecoming Game before a near sellout at Harbin Field.

 The game opened inauspiciously for Stony Brook--an illegal procedure on the kickoff was a sign of things to come. After each team exchanged punts, RB Marcus Slayton rushed three carries for 26 yards and QB Andrew Crawford followed it up with a 36 yard pass to McArdle for the Hoyas, 7-0. Stony brook answered with a no-huddle, option drive that went nine plays in 76 yards to tie the game. From that point, however, the defense shut down SBU's option and early turnovers set the course of the game.

Georgetown's offensive line opened up huge holes for Slayton, with rushes of 30 and 13 yards on the Hoyas' next series. Taking Slayton's cue, QB Alondzo Turner took a quarterback sneak 16 yards for the Hoyas second score, but the point after was no good, 13-7.

On the next series, Stony Brook QB T.J. Moriarty was intercepted at its 34, and Crawford wasted no time in finding McArdle for another TD, 20-7. After a Stony Brook punt, the Hoyas scored on its fourth consecutive drive, a seven play drive that saw a fumble at the goal line saved by Craig Agnello for the score, 27-7.

Moriarty was picked off a second time on the Seawolves' next series at its 21, but penalties and a bizarre negative yardage punt spared the Seawolves another score. On its next series, SBU drove six plays before another crippling turnover, which was converted into a 39 yard pass to MCArdle for the score, 34-7. After the SBU defense forced a Crawford fumble deep in georgetown territory, the Seawolves ran out the clock and scored on the half's final possession, 34-13. Any chance at ending the half with some momentum failed when Derrick Deese blocked the Stony Brook PAT and Matt Fronczke ran the fumble back for two points, 36-13.

The 36 halftime points is the most scored by a Georgetown team in a first half in seven years.

The second half started much the same for the visitors. After a six play, 13 yard drive, SBU punted away to Georgetown, where Crawford was 3 for 3 for 45 yards, connecting with RB Kim Sarin for an 18 yard TD, 43-13. Stony Brook answered with a quick strike to close to 43-21 midway in the the third, but no closer. The Hoyas' final TD after another SBU interception and a 32 yard pass to McArdle that set up a John Sims TD, 49-21. Defense took over in the fourth, with the Seawolves' deepest drive being stopped by a Jim Goranson fumble recovery with 1:45 to play.

Lots of positives will come out of the game, including the offensive line, the running game, the efficient use of the dual quarterback options, defensive adjustments, and all purpose yardage. One glaring problem continues to be kicking. PK Michael Gillman missed two PAT's and a field goal attempt, bringing his season total on field goals to 2 for 9. Thanks to that negative yardage kick in the second quarter, Keith Allan averaged only 25 yards a punt.

Stony Brook had few answers, however. Its defensive unit had not given up a first half touchdown all season and gave up four in a matter of six minutes. The Seawolves were 4 of 13 on third downs, coughed up five turnovers, and surrendered 82 yards in penalties, obscuring an otherwise productive afternoon for Moriarty (23-34, 282 yards) and his offense. And the Seawolves' coaching staff may be scratching their heads over one statistic--despite holding the ball over 10:00 in the first quarter, the Seawolves gave up 20 points to a team that scored one first quarter touchdown in its previous five games.

Game statistics:


                  STONY BROOK    GEORGETOWN
First downs                15            25
Rushed-yards           27-118        50-230
Passing yards             282           260
Sacked-yards lost        3-10          2-25
Return yards                6            57
Passes                23-34-3       10-18-0
Punts                  5-35.2          4-25
Fumbles-lost              3-2           3-1
Penalties-yards         10-82         10-99
Time of possession      27:34         32:26

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #7: Cornell (October 18)

 "The win over Cornell is the first in a new era of Hoya football where we build a tradition of competing against the schools with which we are aligned academically. One reason Hoya football failed to gain an audience was because a game versus Iona or Duquesne elicited a response somewhere between "Who are they?" and "Who cares?" amongst students. The move to the Patriot League solved this to an extent but we still needed to start playing the Ivies. We compete with them for admissions, many of our students have siblings and relatives who attended these schools, and we have many students attending graduate and professional schools at these institutions.

"With Yale, Brown, Cornell, and especially our admissions recruiting counterpart Penn on the schedule in coming years, Georgetown football has made a concerted effort to make football a more integral part of our tradition. With a new stadium coming and the new slate of opponents I am excited about this development for my alma mater, which honestly could use more on-campus activities around which to foster a sense of community."--A post from the football message board

With the possible exception of its inaugural game in 1964, there may not have been a bigger win in the modern era of Georgetown football than Saturday's 42-20 win at Cornell. For a program which has focused on the need to compete alongside Ivy football programs, Saturday's convincing win speaks volumes about the progress of the program, and a blueprint for its future.

Game Program After each team exchanged punts to begin the game, the Hoyas launched a six play scoring drive which saw RB Marcus Slayton break past the Cornell line for 35 yards for the score, 7-0. Cornell answered right back to tie the score at 7-7. D.J. Busch, making his first start in place of injured Cornell QB Mick Razzano, led the 76 yard drive.

After the Hoyas went three and out on its next series, Cornell marched to the Hoya 21, where the drive stalled and the Big Red missed a 38 yard field goal, only to gain new life when the Hoyas were tagged for roughing the kicker. Colgate advanced to the Georgetown nine before the defense held on the first of three goal line stands during the game, and the Big Red settled for a second field goal attempt, 10-7.

Georgetown got its first break midway in the second quarter. On a 3rd and 17 at its 24, Busch was hit in the backfield by Georgetown DE Michael Ononibaku, forcing a fumble recovered by GU's Alex Buzbee at the 18. Driving to the goal, quarterback Alondzo Turner scored from one yard out to take the lead, and GU caught a break when a missed PAT was reversed over a Cornell penalty. On the second try, PK Michael Gillman's kick was good, 14-10.

After the next Cornell drive stalled at midfield, the Big Red punted to the GU ten, where Luke McArdle stunned the Schoellkopf Field crowd with an 88 yard return to the Cornell two, where Slayton gave the Hoyas a 21-10 lead. On the next series, Cornell punted back to McArdle, who sprinted down the field for 56 yards, setting up a nine yard pass from Andrew Crawford to Walter Bowser, 28-10. In a seven minute period, Cornell had given up more touchdowns than it had surrendered in a half all season .

The Big Red opened up the second half with another crucial turnover, fumbling at its 39. A pair of Slayton runs put the Hoyas at the Cornell nine, where Turner carried the ball for the TD, 35-10.

Still, Cornell had a number of runs left. Its next drive advanced to the Georgetown 27, but the Big Red opted to go on fourth down and WR Carlos Hill dropped what could have been a touchdown catch. The Hoyas went nowhere, however, and after a 16 yard Keith Allan punt, the Big Red employed a flea-flicker for 56 yards to gain new life, setting up a eight yard TD run, 35-17. Cornell then forced a Georgetown fumble at midfield and appeared to be turning the momentum, advancing to the Hoyas' four line where the Hoya defense held its ground, with the Big Red settling for a field goal at 35-20.

The goal line stand gave the Hoya offense a second wind. Crawford led the Hoyas on a crisp nine play drive that found McArdle wide open for a 37 yard pass, 42-20, and Cornell's hopes began to deflate. The Big Red drove quickly down the field, but Hill dropped a second chance at a touchdown on fourth down at the Georgetown four, with 10:06 to play. After the Hoya offense was contained, a final long drive stalled at the Georgetown 16 with 6:57 to play. At that point, the Cornell fans began their exit, while a large number of sea gulls from nearby Cayuga Lake took refuge in the emptying seats.

The Georgetown fans were going nowhere, though. Hoya fans could be heard loudly counting down the scoreboard clock en route to the final score, the first Georgetown win over an Ivy opponent since a 10-0 win over Dartmouth in 1916. Fans along the east stands were joined by the team at game's end to sing the Georgetown fight songs, with the age-old line "We've heard the Navy yell, we've listened to Cornell" that had its own special meaning for one Saturday in October.

For Georgetown, Marcus Slayton rushed for 109 yards to lead all rushers and remains on pace for 1,000 yards by season's end, a feat never accomplished by a Hoya rusher in the modern era. Quarterbacks Crawford and Turner combined for just 104 passing yards between them, but Turner picked up 63 big rushing yards. Cornell's D.J. Busch, filling in for Mick Razzano at quarterback, was 18 for 41 for 272 yards. The Big Red's two fumbles and a pair of special teams plays on punt coverage proved critical in the game.

Game statistics:


                 GEORGETOWN          CORNELL
First downs             14               21
Rushed-yards        47-189           41-113
Passing yards          104              272
Sacked-yards lost      1-3             2-15
Return yards           182                8
Passes              7-16-0          18-41-0
Punts               7-27.9             5-46
Fumbles-lost           2-1              2-2
Penalties-yards       9-61             5-35
Time of possession   28:28            31:32

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #8: Lehigh (October 25)

Kyle Keating threw for six touchdowns as the Lehigh Engineers withstood a Georgetown comeback for a 45-24 win at Harbin Field Saturday.

Two weeks ago, quarterback Andrew Crawford told The HOYA that "Itís good that the [Homecoming] game started at 2 [p.m.]. Thatís usually when we get going.Ē True to form, the Hoyas started this 1:00 game as if it were a 2:00 pm start, falling behind early in a big way.

The tone was set early, when RB Marcus Slayton fumbled the ball on the second play of the game, setting up a three play drive for Lehigh's first score, two minutes into the game. Following two ineffective Georgetown series and resultant poor punts thereafter, the Engineers converted each into easy scores, and the Hoyas were quickly down 21-0.

The coaching staff changed QB's and Alondzo Turner responded again. Turner led the Hoyas on an eight play, 77 yard drive, finding WR Luke McArdle for the touchdown, 21-7. However, Lehigh continued to dominate the passing game, adding ten points on its next two possessions, 31-7.

Turner brought the Hoyas back on a seven play, 75 yard drive that was stopped inside the ten, where the Hoyas added a field goal, 38-10. The Hoya defense tightened towards the end of the half, forcing two Lehigh punts and picking up a key score when DB Jason Carter intercepted a Keating pass to close the score to 31-17. The miscue was probably the only one in the half for QB Kyle Keating, who was 18 for 24 for 214 yards and four TD's.

The Hoyas picked up another break on a fumble recovery at midfield early in the third quarter, whereupon Turner responded with a 36 yard pass to McArdle, 31-24. Despite holding Lehigh at its 11 on third down, the Engineers escaped the trap and constructed a well executed 14 play, 85 yard drive to build the lead to 38-24.

Lehigh's next drive was another long one, keyed by a 10 yard pass on a 4th and three at the Georgetown 36 to extend the drive. Two plays later, Keating found Adam Bergen open for a 32 yard score, his third, for a 45-24 count. The two Lehigh drives consumed almost 13 minutes of the third quarter.

Entering the fourth quarter, Georgetown drove back into Lehigh territory but a key holding penalty pushed the Hoyas back and Turner was hurt on a third down play which was picked off at the 10. On the next series, LB William Skultety picked off a Keating pass at the Lehigh 30, but the Hoyas offense could do no better than six yards in four plays and turned the ball over on downs.

Georgetown's last major drive crossed into Lehigh territory at its 48, but Turner was intercepted at the Lehigh 31. Following its touchdown early in the third, the Hoyas managed only two first downs and finished its final five drives with a punt, two interceptions, and two failed fourth down attempts.

For the game, Turner finished 7-15 for 141 yards, but with thee interceptions. Crawford was 5-8 but for only 19 yards. Turner led all Georgetown rushers with 94 yards. For Lehigh, Keating was 32 of 43 for 344 yards, tying a school record with the six TD's.The Hoya defense held Jermaine Pugh to 50 yards, but Lehigh's attack focused instead on the pass, with Adam Bergen picking up 156 yards on 14 catches.

Game statistics:


                      LEHIGH       GEORGETOWN
First downs               23               12
Rushed-yards          38-112           34-132
Passing yards            344              160
Sacked-yards lost       2-14              4-7
Return yards              44               62
Passes               32-43-2          12-23-3
Punts                 4-37.3           4-31.5
Fumbles-lost             2-1              1-1
Penalties-yards         6-44             7-65
Time of possession     33:50            26:10

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #9: Fordham (November 1)

Kirwan Watson rushed for five touchdowns as the Fordham Rams shut down the Georgetown Hoyas, 34-10, at Jack Coffey Field Saturday.

The Hoyas' effort to end an eight game losing steak to Fordham started off inauspiciously, as the Hoyas failed on a fake punt off its first series. Fordham drove down the field, but missed a short field goal. The Rams (7-2) would not make the same mistake twice, following up on its next series with an eight play, 83 yard drive that saw Watson carry the ball 22 yards for the touchdown.

Fordham helmetFollowing the Fordham score, the Hoyas tied the score when QB Alondzo Turner found Walter Bowser alone on a broken defensive play for a 64 yard TD pass, 7-7. It was the major bright spot for an offense which picked up only three first down in the half and went 0-7 on third downs, putting a lot of time on the field for the defense. Watson picked up a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second period, allowing Fordham to build a 21-7 lead, which the Hoyas were able to narrow late in the half with a nine play drive that stalled at the Fordham nine yard line. Michael Gillman added a 28 yard field goal, 21-10.

The second half opened with promise for Georgetown, when Michael Ononibaku intercepted a Fordham pass deep in Georgetown territory, but the Hoyas went three and out. After each team exchanged punts, Andrew Crawford replaced Turner at QB and led the Hoyas on an eight play drive to the Fordham 12, but an apparent touchdown pass to Luke McArdle was nullified on a pass interference penalty. To make matters worse, Michael Gillman missed the subsequent 44 yard field goal attempt.

Fordham drove right back where the Hoyas caught another break when William Skultety blocked a Micah Cluckey field goal attempt. Once again, the Hoyas went three and out, and when Keith Allan's punt traveled only 29 yards to the Georgetown 45, Watson took off for a 45 yard run off first down, 28-10. After the Hoyas turned the ball over on downs on the next series, Watson went for 50 more yards to close out the scoring, 34-10. Watson carried 34 times for 200 yards to lead the Rams in the game.

A key to the Hoyas troubles was the ground game. Georgetown rushed 35 times for a season low 79 yards. Setting aside three double-digit runs by running backs Marcus Slayton, Kim Sarin, and William Huisking, the rest of the game saw the Hoyas rush 32 times for 44 yards against a Fordham team averaging 222.9 rushing yards allowed a game.

Penalties hurt the Hoyas all day. A roughing the kicker penalty in the second quarter led to a Fordham touchdown, while an offensive pass interference play nullified a Georgetown touchdown which would have narrowed the gap to four late in the third. A face mask penalty while receiving a kickoff set the Hoyas back even further. Nine penalties for 75 yards was the second highest of the season.

Neither Turner nor Crawford fared well in the game. The two QB's combined for only 181 yards on 12-27 passing, half of which was gained on one play. The offensive line gave up six sacks while the Hoyas' defense managed just one coverage sack on Fordham's Kevin Eakin, who was 20-34 for 268 yards.

Game statistics:


                GEORGETOWN          FORDHAM
First downs             12               23
Rushed-yards         35-79           45-250
Passing yards          181              258
Sacked-yards lost     6-39              1-8
Return yards            80               36
Passes             12-27-1          20-34-1
Punts               8-39.9           5-39.6
Fumbles-lost           1-0              2-0
Penalties-yards       9-75             8-64
Time of possession   27:24            32:36

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #10: Towson (November 8)

Five Georgetown turnovers and three fourth quarter touchdowns led Towson to a 27-6 win at Harbin Field Saturday, its first PL win on the road in six games.

Towson helmetBoth teams struggled to run its offenses in the game. After teams exchanged punts, Matt Fronczke intercepted an Anthony Melzi pass and returned it for a touchdown, 6-0. Michael Gillman's kick was low and blocked, the first of two crucial missteps by the Hoyas' kicker.

The interception return was about all the offense Georgetown (3-7) could muster, with only 10 total yards in the first quarter and one first down in the first 28 minutes of the half. On its final possession of the half, Towson took a 11 play 55 yard drive to take the lead, 7-6.

On its final series of the first half, the game may have turned away from Georgetown. After an energetic drive led the Hoyas into Towson territory, QB Andrew Crawford found Luke McArdle on a long pass to the Towson 1, but McArdle was injured on the play. Out of time outs, a one yard Alondzo Turner run was stopped short of the goal line, and the coaching staff had no choice but to spike the ball with :04 left. Settling for three points in s defensive struggle instead of a possible six, Georgetown got neither when Gillman's kick was blocked. Gillman is now only 4 of 13 in field goals this season, 0 for 3 from 20 yards or less.

The Hoyas fumbled on its first possession of the second half, while Towson went on a 17 play drive that consumed most of the third quarter, but the Tigers stumbled as well with a missed field goal. Without a running game against the Towson defense, the Hoyas punted on each of its next four series, but the defense still kept the Hoyas close. With 2:27 left in the fourth, the Hoyas were still one within score at 14-6. On consecutive series, however, passes by Andrew Crawford were intercepted and returned for touchdowns of 40 and 95 yards, respectively, in the final two minutes of play.

For the Tigers, RB Matt Romeo reprised his 157 yard effort against the Hoyas last season with 40 carries and 185 yards. On the other side of the line, Marcus Slayton rushed for only 26 yards before being sidelined with injuries. QB Andrew Crawford finished with just 139 yards passing and three INT's. Georgetown has now been held under 200 yards passing in four consecutive games and has scored just two offensive touchdowns in the last three games. That's led to a lot of on-field time for the defense of late. Georgetown had only 24:25 of possession against Towson, a season low.

Game statistics:


                    TOWSON       GEORGETOWN
First downs             16               13
Rushed-yards        59-200            32-95
Passing yards          113              139
Sacked-yards lost     4-23             5-34
Return yards           170               78
Passes              7-14-2          11-25-3
Punts               4-36.8           7-34.4
Fumbles-lost           2-1              3-2
Penalties-yards       4-29             2-10
Time of possession   35:35            24:25

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #11: Davidson (November 15)

Running back John Sims set a Georgetown single game rushing record in a 30-10 win over Davidson College at Harbin Field.

The efforts by Sims and others came in the wake of injuries to three key starters. Running back Marcus Slayton, fullback William Huisking, and wide receiver Luke McArdle were all out of action.

"Luke McArdle is a super player, but it is a team game and you've got to compensate", Coach Benson told the Washington Post in the link below. "Guys like Glenn Castergine and John Sims and Walt Bowser, everyone's got to step up and they did."

 The Hoyas opened with a bang, with two runs by Sims for 64 yards and a quick touchdown, but Michael Gillman missed his second straight extra point in two games, 6-0. The two teams exchanged punts before Davidson drove inside the Georgetown 10 and settled for a 21 yard field goal to trail 6-3. The Hoyas answered with a 12 play drive to the Davidson 16, but Gillman missed the field goal.

The Hoyas' next scores came at the end of one half and the beginning of another. With 2:32 in the first half, Georgetown went on a crisp six play, 69 yard drive, keyed by a long pass play to TE Glenn Castergine that set up a Alondzo Turner run, 13-3. The Hoyas opened the third quarter with an eight play drive that ended with a Gillman field goal, 16-3.

Georgetown scored again with John Sims reprised his two-play touchdown series of the first half. After Kim Sarin returned the ball to the Georgetown 40, Sims carried for runs of 23 and 37 for the score, 23-3.

Davidson got back into the game early in the fourth, knocking the ball loose from Sarin on a punt return at the Georgetown 24, and scoring on a 24 yard run, 23-10. But Sims answered with his third two-play drive, with consecutive runs totalling 76 yards and the score, 30-10. Sims finished with a 25 carries, 268 yards. His previous career high was 87 yards, set at Davidson last year.

On the next series, Davidson drove into Georgetown territory, but a Tom Cook pass was picked off by Andrew Clarke at the Georgetown 30. At this point, the Hoyas went on a long, 18 play drive that allowed many seniors to get into the game. The Hoyas went on fourth down three times in the series, converting two, before Davidson stopped the drive on downs at the Georgetown 16 with 2:42 to play.

Georgetown's defense was strong throughout the game. The Hoyas held Davidson to 21 yards rushing and forced five sacks. Six of Davidson's nine second half series ended with a punt, two others by interception. The Georgetown offensive line helped lead the way for a season-high 395 yards rushing, not allowing a single quarterback sack.

Game statistics:


                    DAVIDSON       GEORGETOWN
First downs               16               24
Rushed-yards           27-21           55-395
Passing yards            210              111
Sacked-yards lost       5-37              0-0
Return yards               0              202
Passes               16-42-3           8-19-1
Punts                10-42.3             3-32
Fumbles-lost             1-0              1-1
Penalties-yards         2-20             3-96
Time of possession     26:12            33:48

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Game #12: Bucknell (November 22)

The Bucknell Bison gained a season high 326 rushing yards in a 45-16 win over Georgetown in Lewisburg, PA, ending the Hoyas' 2003 season at 4-8.

After the Hoyas first possession ended with three plays and a punt, Bucknell went to work. Six straight Bison rushes gained 66 yards and the first score, 7-0. The Hoyas answered right back, thanks to a 42 yard run by RB John Sims to the Bucknell 13. A pass to Walter Bowser advanced Georgetown to the BU 6, but the drive stalled and Michael Gillman added a 24 yard field goal, 7-3.

BucknellBucknell wasted no time in its response. Three rushes and a pass led the Bison into Georgetown territory, where the Bison ran a flea-flicker to catch the defense off-guard, a 38 pass play to WR Arthur Marquardt, 14-3. After Georgetown went three and out, Bucknell answered with an eight play, 82 yard drive for a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter. Two Hoya drives into Bucknell territory ended in fumbles, and the Bison added a 41 yard field goal on Bucknell's last series to send the halftime score to 24-3.

Bucknell put the game out of reach on the opening drive of the second half, a six play, 71 yard drive led by a 54 yard run by RB Blamah Sarnor to the GU 16. Reserve QB John Jackson found Marquardt with a nine yard touchdown pass, 31-3. Georgetown answered next after holding Bucknell deep in the end, scoring on a 21 yard run by QB Alondzo Turner, 31-10. After holding the Bison, Georgetown moved the ball to the Bucknell 32, but RB Kim Sarin was stopped for a one yard loss on 4th and 1. The Bison then proceeded to go an 11 play, 67 yard drive for its next score, 38-10, effectively taking the game out of reach. Each team added a touchdown in the fourth for the final score.

Bucknell finished with 528 yards of total offense, the most given up by the Hoyas in a game since the 2002 season opener at Lehigh. The Bison picked up three turnovers which led to 10 Bucknell points. Georgetown was outrushed 326-118, and gave up five sacks to the Bucknell defense. By contrast, the Georgetown defensive line did not register a single sack after nine sacks in the prior two games.

While the defense played a poor game overall, the Hoya offense continued a month of struggling to put points on the board. In its last three PL games, the offense managed an average of 97 yards rushing a game and combined for only three touchdowns against 16 sacks allowed.

Game statistics:


                GEORGETOWN         BUCKNELL
First downs             19               26
Rushed-yards        38-118           53-326
Passing yards          224              206
Sacked-yards lost     5-40              0-0
Return yards            32               62
Passes             19-37-1          11-19-0
Punts               4-41.5           3-26.7
Fumbles-lost           3-2              3-2
Penalties-yards       3-26             5-62
Time of possession   30:49            29:11

Here are links to post-game coverage:

 

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