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Georgetown Football: 2005 Season Recaps

Complied from HoyaSaxa.com coverage.

Game #1: Bucknell (September 3)

Take a good look at the top of the standings to the left. Georgetown University is right at the top.

A 33 yard field goal in overtime earned the Hoyas a wild and wholly unpredictable 19-16 win at Bucknell Saturday, a game replete with twists, turns, and defensive stops worthy of a highlight film.

 The first half was a repeat performance of the Hoyas' 2004 offensive woes. After the defense held the Bison on the first series, Georgetown advanced to the 49, but QB Nick Cangelosi fumbled the ball, which set up the Bison for an eight play, 51 yard drive to take the lead, 7-0. On the Hoyas' next series, Cangelosi was intercepted at the Georgetown 35, but the defense held and Bucknell missed a field goal.

On its next series, Georgetown was forced to punt, but fumbled the snap, giving Bucknell a short field for a 42 yard field goal, 10-0. The Bison added a late field goal to lead 13-0 at the half. The Bison held the ball nearly 18 minutes in the half, outgaining Georgetown 141-91.

Cangelosi started the second half poorly, throwing an interception on the first series, returned to the Georgetown 17. The defense held again, forcing a 25 yard field goal, 16-0. Georgetown answered with a strange play--a pass to Glenn Castergine was fumbled at the 45, but picked up by fellow receiver Ken Mitchell for a touchdown. The two point conversion failed, 16-6, but the tide had somehow turned.

In a brief moment, more fireworks followed. Bucknell fumbled on its first play of the next drive at the Georgetown 41. Cangelosi answered with a 59 yard pass to Kyle Van Fleet, and the 16-0 deficit was down to 16-13. Bucknell QB Terrance Wilson fumbled on the next series, giving the Hoyas the ball at its 43, but the Hoyas' drive stalled at the 10 and a 35 yard field goal fell short.

True to form, the defense held firm yet again. Aided by a long run and a late hit out of bounds penalty, Bucknell drove to the Georgetown 12 but was turned away on 4th and 2 at quarter's end.

Another Bucknell fumble gave the Hoyas an entry to their final score with 10:19 to play. A 63 yard drive took the Hoyas to the 14, where Bjornerud hit the tying field goal, 16-16. Georgetown held Bucknell three and out with 4:40 to play, and the Hoyas held the ball until punting away with 1:32 to play. The Bison looked to be out of options, but took advantage of a pass play to the Georgetown 24 with :07 to play to set up the game winning field goal attempt.

Then things got really interesting.

Georgetown coach Bob Benson called one, too, and three straight time outs to ice the kicker. The defense took the cue, crashing the line and blocking the field goal which was retrieved by Bucknell short of first down range. The Bucknell announcers, noting the kick was on first down, protested that the Bison were due another kick with :01 left, but the referees let the clock run out.

Once again, the defense rose to the occasion. In the OT period, Josh DeStefano fumbled on Bucknell's first series, and the Hoyas took over to set up Bjornerud's 33 yard field goal for the win.

While GU showed improvement throughout the game, the game was clearly a tale of two halves for Bucknell. After controlling the ball for nearly 18 minutes in the first half, Bucknell stalled in the second. The Bison put up 141 yards in the first but only 105 in the second. Four of the first six BU drives ended up in points, but four of last seven drives for ended in turnovers.

For the Hoyas, Nick Cangelosi led all rushers with 91 yards, passing 9 of 20 for 168 yards. Kyle Van Fleet led the receivers with 4 catches for 74 yards. Early stats had Georgetown averaging 5.1 yards per play versus only 3.8 for Bucknell.

Game statistics:

                     GEORGETOWN         BUCKNELL
First downs                  16               17
Rushed-yards             45-165           66-224
Passing yards               168               50
Sacked-yards lost           0-0              0-0
Return yards                 20               42
Passes                   9-20-2            3-6-0
Punts                    4-30.8           3-43.7
Fumbles-lost                6-1              6-4
Penalties-yards            6-68             4-40
Time of possession        27:00            33:00

Here are links to post-game coverage. Thumbs down to the daily Washington newspapers--none posted any stories of the game online.

Game #2: Holy Cross (September 10)

After a week of high hopes, the Georgetown Hoyas were run out of Fitton Field in a discouraging 48-6 loss at Worcester.

 Georgetown's veteran defense provided little resistance against the HC offense in the first half. The Crusaders scored on consecutive 13 play drives to open the game, adding a score midway through the second quarter, and added insult to injury with a pass in the final 20 seconds, 28-0. Holy Cross managed 19 first downs versus only two for the Hoyas, who had 21 total yards at the half and controlled the ball for only 6:38 of the first 30 minutes.

HC extended the lead to 42-0 in the third, playing first stringers well into the third quarter, until a 54 yard pass from QB Nick Cangelosi to Marcus Slayton set up the Hoyas' only score. A final drive did nothing for the outcome but kept the Holy Cross alumni happy, 48-6, setting up the Crusaders for its first 2-0 season in four seasons. RB Steve Silva became the first opponent ever to rush for over 100 yards three consecutive years on a Georgetown defense.

The Georgetown offense played better in the late stretches of the game but started out so slowly as to keep the Hoyas non-competitive on the scoreboard. Early post-game stats from the broadcast noted Georgetown managed only three plays over 20 yards, was 0-9 on third down, and crossed midfield only twice. Holy Cross only needed two punts for the entire game, was 11 of 15 on third down, and crossed midfield on nine of its ten possessions.

Game statistics:

                     GEORGETOWN       HOLY CROSS
First downs                  16               32
Rushed-yards             38-108           51-226
Passing yards               160              194
Sacked-yards lost           3-8              2-4
Return yards                  0                0
Passes                   9-17-0          22-32-0
Punts                    5-32.8             2-39
Fumbles-lost                4-2              0-0
Penalties-yards            5-36             2-15
Time of possession        23:14            36:46

Additional links follow below. For a second straight week, the three Washington dailies did not send reporters for coverage.

Game #3: Brown (September 17)

With 30 minutes to play, it was a game. Five minutes later, it was done.

A pair of mistakes in the first five minutes of the second half propelled Brown University to a comfortable 34-3 win over Georgetown Saturday, before a sellout crowd at the first new intercollegiate athletic facility built on the campus in 54 years.

Brown started off with ease in its first drive, driving in eight plays to the Georgetown 11 before settling for a field goal, 3-0. The Hoyas drove to the Brown 32 on its next series, but opted to go on 4th and three and were stopped a yard short. From that decision, Brown drove 70 yards in 12 plays for the score, aided by 39 yards coming from all-Ivy senior Nick Hartigan, 10-0.

Georgetown appeared to turn the tide by stopping Brown on a 4th down at its 38 yard line, whereupon Georgetown QB Nick Cangelosi broke through the Brown line with a 34 yard run that was stopped at the one yard line. The Hoyas' play calling went conservative as to be an easy read for Brown's defense, which stopped three straight interior handoffs for a net loss of one yard. On fourth down, Cangelosi fumbled the snap and settled for a loss of downs. A pair of fourth downs each could have led to a score, but instead the Hoyas remained scoreless.

"I think it definitely changed the momentum and set the stage for the rest of the game," said Brown defensive end James Frazier to the Brown Daily Herald. "It took the air out of [Georgetown]."

The GU defense stopped Hartigan in his tracks on the next series, forcing a punt from the five. The Hoyas had another chance for points in a crisp eight play drive that drove to a 4th and one at the Brown nine. Rather than risk a third drive with potentially no points, kicker Brad Scoffern was brought out for the chip-shot field goal. Off a bad snap, the 26 yard kick noticeably veered left.

A defensive stand in the final two minutes of the half set the Hoyas up yet again to tighten the game. With seconds remaining, a 19 yard pass to Kyle van Fleet and a nine yard run by Emir Davis drove the Hoyas to the Brown 22, but since GU had used up its time outs early in the half, the Hoyas settled for a 39 yard field goal with 1.3 seconds to play, 10-3.

A turning point at halftime was an apparent injury to Cangelosi, who did not play in the second half. It was a tailor-made opportunity for a veteran to take over the reins, but in a classic case of bad timing, Keith Allan had quit the team three days earlier, leaving Coach Benson to go with freshman Ben Hostetler in his first collegiate action. Hostetler performed capably and handled the situation as best as can be expected by a freshman. However, by the time he first touched the ball, the game was largely out of reach.

Brown took the opening kickoff at its 35 and proceeded to pick apart the GU secondary. QB Anthony DeGiacomo was 3-3 for 59 yards in the drive, with a 39 yard pass to receiver Jarrett Schrenk for the score, 17-3. On the ensuing kickoff, Georgetown's John Lancaster fumbled the ball away at the Georgetown 27, and the Bears answered with five rushes to the goal line, 24-3.

The second half Hoyas were not going to win with bad field position and conservative play calling, and got both. Excepting a final possession in the last few seconds, the Hoyas' average starting field position was its own 16 yard line. The play calls were favorable to Brown's experience on the defensive line, the offensive line could open no holes for the rushers, and the results proved predictable.

Brown added a field goal early in the fourth to go 27-3 and added a wholly unnecessary score via a 51 yard pass to extend the lead to 34-3. The Bears were again moving to score in the final minute when Mikey Blainefield recovered a Brown fumble at the Georgetown 16 and returned it the GU 44, giving the huge crowd which had loyally stayed through the game a final hope at a score.

With nothing to lose and a number of second stringers in Brown's secondary, fans looked to the skies. Instead, Georgetown opened the drive with a QB keeper for two yards. Second down, another keeper followed for two yards, and the clock ran out.

Cangelosi's status will be of concern this week as the Hoyas prepare to go back on the road Saturday against Stony Brook. The Seawolves were picked 7th in the NEC this season but have already defeated Bucknell and played Hofstra this past weekend.

Game statistics:

                        BROWN       GEORGETOWN
First downs                19               11
Rushed-yards           45-202           43-173
Passing yards             211               57
Sacked-yards lost         0-0             4-24
Return yards               24               36
Passes                14-22-0           7-17-0
Punts                  4-32.8           7-30.6
Fumbles-lost              3-1              3-1
Penalties-yards          7-68             4-37
Time of possession      31:46            28:14

Post game coverage follows below. The Providence Journal is a registration-only site and not included.

Game #4: Stony Brook (September 24)

A 25 yard pass from Nick Cangelosi to Harrison Beacher rescued the sluggish Hoya offense in a 10-7 win before 6,028 at Stony Brook Saturday.

 The two teams combined for nine punts in the first half, with a scoreless tie at intermission. The Seawolves moved quickly down the field in their first possession of the third quarter, marching 90 yards in 10 plays for a 7-0 lead. The defense promptly shut the Seawolves back down, allowing only two more first downs the entire game.

The Georgetown offense was stuck in neutral most of the game. After pinning Stony Brook back early in the 4th quarter, GU got the ball back at midfield and proceeded to the two yard line, settling for three instead of risking the drive on a failed touchdown attempt, 7-3. The field goal would prove crucial, when two series later GU got the ball on the Seawolves' 39 yard line and took only four plays for Cangelosi's pass to take the lead.

Stony Brook was forced to punt with less than three minutes to play, where the Hoyas ran out the clock thanks to a big 19 yard run by RB Marcus Slayton on a 3rd and 13.

In a game where stats were meager across the board, Cangelosi was the star of the game, leading the team in rushing with 53 yards and throwing for 118 yards. The defense held Stony Brook rusher Rod Williams to 49 yards on 19 carries and forced 10 punts, but in the end the Hoyas still needed the touchdown, ending a run of 11 straight quarters without a push into the end zone.

Georgetown returns to Patriot League action as Lafayette (3-1) makes a visit to The Yard Saturday. QB Brad Maurer threw for 222 yards and the Leopards scored 27 unanswered points in a 27-10 win over Fordham.

Game statistics:

                    GEORGETOWN      STONY BROOK
First downs                 17               13
Rushed-yards            45-139            33-72
Passing yards              118              156
Sacked-yards lost          0-0              2-7
Return yards                18               25
Passes                 14-24-1          15-29-0
Punts                   8-38.4          10-33.1
Fumbles-lost               2-0              3-0
Penalties-yards           5-45             6-44
Time of possession       30:08            29:52

Post game links follow below.

Game #5: Lafayette (October 1)

"It's our fault. We've got to start taking responsibility...It was our game to win."-Georgetown QB Nick Cangelosi in the Washington Post

Despite holding the conference leader to just one touchdown, the Georgetown offense offered little help in a 12-7 loss to Lafayette Saturday at The Yard.

 The Leopards (4-1, 2-0 PL) looked to take the game over on its first possession, driving quickly into Georgetown territory, but turned the ball over on downs at the GU 27. After the first of many three and outs by the GU offense, Lafayette drove 45 yards to the GU 19 for a field goal, 3-0.

The Hoyas did not manage a first down for the first 25 minutes of the half, and it was only because of the Georgetown defense that Lafayette did not turn it into a rout. The only lapse of the defense came midway in the 2nd quarter, where the defense sent an all-out blitz on 4th and 3 that was picked up by Leopard QB Brad Maurer, who floated a 28 yard pass over the head of Maurice Banks to receiver Brandon Stanford.

"I kind of knew the ball was going to [Stanford] when we were getting up to the line just because of the set they were in," said Maurer in the link to the Allentown Morning Call below. "I just tried not to stare at him and attract too much attention."

"I knew if I gave him a good outside move I could get [Banks] turned and beat him inside," said Stanford in the link to the Easton Express News below. "I really didn't think he could cover me one-on-one."

Rick Ziska's kick made it all the way over the netting, but sailed left, 9-0. Ziska added a field goal in its next series, 12-0.

The lone bright spot of the day followed for the Hoyas. QB Nick Cangelosi opened up the offense with a pair of passes to Matt Cooper and Harrison Beacher to break into the first down column and to enter Lafayette territory. On a 3rd and 1 at the Lafayette 39, senior marcus Slayton broke past the Lafayette line for a 39 yard touchdown, 12-7. It was the first rushing touchdown of the entire season, which speaks volumes about where the run-dominant Hoya offense is right now.

The second half was a battle of attrition. The teams traded five punts in the third quarter interrupted only by a missed field goal by the Leopards early in the 4th. Six of Georgetown's first seven possessions of the second half ended without a first down.

Gaining from their opponents' poor field position, Lafayette took over at midfield and drove to the GU 10, where the Hoya defense forced a 4th and inches. Maurer's QB sneak to extend the drive was stopped, and the Hoyas took over with 5:24 to play and the appearances of some late game momentum. Amidst the groans of the Multi-Sport crowd, the play calling went conservative yet again.

With the exception of a 23 yard run by Cangelosi, the offense was stuck in the trenches. The Hoyas went ten straight plays on the ground. Outside of Cangelosi's run, none netted more than four yards. With a second and six at midfield and time running short, the Hoyas opted for two runs which netted two yards. On fourth down, Lafayette smelled a QB run and sacked Cangelosi behind the line. The Leopards subsequently ran out the clock.

In its pre-game article, The HOYA cited the need for better field position. For the Lafayette game, the average starting position for the Hoyas was its own 20 versus Lafayette starting at its 35, with two in Georgetown territory.

Still, the defense did all they could. The Hoyas held Lafayette to the fewest points of any Patriot League opponent at home since Georgetown joined the league. Michael Ononibaku's 13 tackle, 2.5 sack effort was among the best in the nation on any level Saturday. Georgetown held Lafayette to only 5 of 17 on third down conversions.

"Our defense is good, and we want to be competitive," Georgetown Coach Bob Benson told the Post. "We're not just here to hang around and make it close."

Georgetown goes out of conference for the next two weeks, hosting Duquesne this Saturday.

Game statistics:

                  LAFAYETTE       GEORGETOWN
First downs              21                9
Rushed-yards         52-163           35-156
Passing yards           194               44
Sacked-yards lost      5-19             2-10
Return yards             40                8
Passes              18-25-0           5-15-0
Punts                4-39.3           9-37.8
Fumbles-lost            0-0              3-0
Penalties-yards        5-54             2-15
Time of possession    35:58            24:02

Here are links to post-game coverage.

Game #6: Duquesne (October 8)

A 25 yard Brad Scoffern kick in overtime rescued the Hoyas in the rain, giving Georgetown a 10-7 decision over Duquesne before a weather-beaten crowd of 1,342 at The Yard Saturday.

 Georgetown entered the game 113th of 116 Division I-AA teams in scoring, so the poor weather may have helped them against a Duquesne offense that had averaged 26 points a game in its two prior wins, including 30 on Fordham. But with heavy rain the order of the day, much of the game was an exercise in field position. By game's end, 22 punts were exchanged, 11 for each team.

After pinning Duquesne at its 14 on Scoffern's third punt, Duquesne was forced into its third punt, which was returned to the Dukes' 21. GU took only three plays for the score, 7-0, but managed only one first down for the rest of the half. The Dukes' best drive of the half was picked off at the Georgetown 20, the only Duke drive past midfield all half. In fact, the two teams combined for just 92 yards in the first half.

Georgetown looked to open up the game in its first possession of the third quarter, following a Duquesne fumble at its 19. On a first and goal at the four, QB Nick Cangelosi fumbled the ball and Duquesne took over. Each team traded possessions with punts before Duquesne took over near midfield with 12 seconds in the 3rd, driving nine plays in 56 yards to tie the score, 7-7.

Momentum had moved to the east stands of the Yard after the Hoyas went three and out with 10:28 to play, but the defense would not falter. On a Duquesne third and 1, Alex Buzbee forced a three yard loss and a Duke punt. With 8:20 to play, Georgetown's predictable offense went into action again, with eight straight running plays, with the last five netting four yards. Scoffern's punt set the Dukes at its one yard line.

Duquesne was held on three plays, and punted back to Georgetown with 1:01 to play. Georgetown ran the ball three times for one yard, forcing a punt back to Duquesne with :33 left. Following a return to midfield, Georgetown was tagged with a late hit that set up Duquesne with a first down at the GU 35, needing 10 or 15 yards to set up the game winner. Instead, Scott Knapp's opening pass was intercepted by Mehdi Hassan at the Georgetown 27 and returned to the Duquesne 39. The Hoyas' hope for a game winner in regulation fell aside after Scoffern's 50 yard attempt was short.

In the overtime, Duquesne was held on three plays and its 42 yard attempt sailed right, the first miss all season for Duquesne kicker Mark Troyan (6-6 to date). On its overtime drive, Georgetown drove seven plays to set up Scoffern for the win.

In poor weather, both teams were stuck in neutral through most of the game. The still-struggling Georgetown offense was held to just 165 yards all day and only eight yards passing on 4 for 13 passing, third fewest passing yards in school history.

Senior Marcus Slayton accounted for his second 100 yard rushing effort of the season, accounting for 115 of Georgetown's 165 total yards. But it was the defense and special teams which carried the day, none more so than Scoffern. Scoffern's 11 punts were the third most in GU history, but four were nailed inside the 20. Defensively, Michael Ononibaku collected a team high 13 tackles and 2.5 sacks.

The loss was Duquesne's third straight, following setbacks at Penn and Columbia. The loss marks the first three game losing streak for the Dukes in 11 years.

Georgetown's three wins have been by a total of only nine points, a margin that narrowly separates its 3-3 record versus a potential 0-6 start. With the offense limping along at nine points a game and a passing average below 90 yards a game, narrow wins are about to become a lot harder. The Hoyas return to the road Saturday at Cornell (2-2), where the Big Red ended #20 Harvard's nine game Ivy winning streak in a 27-13 win Saturday.

Game statistics:

                   DUQUESNE       GEORGETOWN
First downs              11                8
Rushed-yards          43-71           54-157
Passing yards            98                8
Sacked-yards lost      5-35             3-21
Return yards             18              104
Passes              10-23-2           4-13-0
Punts               11-39.2          11-36.2
Fumbles-lost            2-0              5-1
Penalties-yards        3-15             4-49
Time of possession    30:52            29:08

Here are links to post-game coverage.

Game #7: Cornell (October 15)

Albeit in Georgetown's worst effort of the season, three late touchdowns gave Cornell a 57-7 rout of Georgetown before 11,423 at the school's homecoming in Ithaca. Georgetown was without its starting QB and a number of key offensive players...and it showed, collecting 86 yards total offense.

 Cornell was expected to keep the game on the ground, and it certainly did on its opening possession, with six straight runs en route to a 38 yard field goal, 3-0. On Georgetown's first series, the Hoyas proceeded to fumble the ball at its 16, promptly cashed in by Cornell with a two play drive, 10-0. After the Hoyas went three and out, Cornell went on an eight play drive for the score, 17-0.

Georgetown crossed midfield early in the second quarter, but opted to go on a 4th and 1 and were cut short. The Big Red took the field position and marched eight plays for the drive, 24-0.

More trouble followed. With the Hoyas bottled up at their 11, a bad snap sailed away for a safety, 26-0. On its next series, the Hoyas were turned the ball over on downs following a loss of yards on 4th and 13, whereupon Cornell drove six plays to the Georgetown 17. The Big Red opted to go for a field goal to end the half, 29-0.

The early stages of the third quarter were at least competitive, with each team trading punts on its first two series. Special teams failed the Hoyas again, though. On Cornell's second punt, Brian Tandy fumbled the ball at the GU 15, and Cornell cashed it in for a 36-0 lead. The Hoyas' lone score came following a 64 yard kickoff return by Kenny Mitchell, where QB Ben Hostetler hit Harrison Beacher with a TD pass, 36-7. The breaking of the shutout appears to have stirred some bad blood, as Cornell responded with three unnecessary touchdowns in the fourth period.

The first of these touchdowns came off a strange 13 yard kickoff by Brad Scoffern that set up the Big Red at its own 48. A seven play drive followed for a 43-7 lead. On the next series, Georgetown fumbled the ball at its 11, whereby Cornell advanced to the two yard line on fourth down. Up 36 points, the Big Red passed on the field goal and went on fourth down for the unnecessary score, 50-7.

With the clock winding down following a Georgetown punt, Cornell went on a 10 play drive which appeared to end on a fourth down and goal. Without hesitation, Cornell went for six and rung up the scoreboard yet again, 57-7. If this was some sort of payback for losing to the Hoyas 42-20 in 2003, note that Georgetown scored all of seven points in the final 26 minutes of the 2003 game.

Georgetown entered the game with a freshman QB and significant injuries on its line and backfield; nonetheless, its performance was as poor as any Hoya team in the last four years. Three fumbles deep in its own territory proved easy scores for the opposition. The offense managed only one of 11 on third down conversions and held the ball less than seven minutes the entire second half. Each of Georgetown's failed fourth down conversions set up Cornell scores.

For its part, the tired defense gave up 411 yards and allowed Cornell to score in 8 for 8 drives that reached the Georgetown 20. But while the offense's average starting position was its 25 yard line. Cornell's average start was the Georgetown 46, and that doesn't give the defense much room to work.

The on-again, off-again special teams were definitely off today. A bad snap cost the Hoyas a safety, a fumbled punt return set up another score. Brad Scoffern's 13 yard kickoff set up a Cornell drive at midfield for a TD, and the Georgetown net kickoff average was only 29 yards.

When this game was 17-0, things were well in hand for a 2-2 Cornell team playing against a team averaging nine points a game. But running up 21 points in the 4th quarter? That's worth remembering when this Cornell team returns the series in Washington on Sept. 29, 2007.

Who knows? Maybe it should be a Homecoming game, too.

Game statistics:

                   GEORGETOWN          CORNELL
First downs                 5               22
Rushed-yards            29-23           71-323
Passing yards              63               88
Sacked-yards lost        2-12             1-12
Return yards                0               27
Passes                 5-13-0           9-11-0
Punts                  5-36.4           3-31.3
Fumbles-lost              4-3              2-0
Penalties-yards         5-115            10-80
Time of possession      21:38            38:22

Here are links to post-game coverage.

Game #8: Fordham (October 22)

“It was just such a turn of events, coming into halftime down and then all of a sudden. You’re down 21-3. Our heads were down, but we knew we’d have an uphill battle in the second half...We knew we could do it. It showed today. There’s a lot of poise on this team. Coach Benson says it all the time and he’s right.” -- Georgetown QB Nick Cangelosi

In one of the more improbable comebacks in the 118 year history of Hilltop football, the Georgetown Hoyas came back from an 18 point second half deficit to defeat Fordham, 24-21, before a Homecoming crowd of 3,000 at The Yard. Led by 192 yards from senior Marcus Slayton, Georgetown ended a long losing streak to Fordham and won a record sixth consecutive Homecoming game.

 The game started off inconspicuously for both clubs, as the first quarter featured five punts between each team but no points. Georgetown's first scoring drive started with 15 seconds to go in the 1st quarter and ended early in the second: a 12 play drive keyed by five rushes for 35 yards by Slayton. The drive stalled at the Fordham 30, where Brad Scoffern's 39 yard field goal attempt caromed off the goal post and into the scoring column, 3-0.

After a trade of punts with each team, the Rams began their most impressive drive of the day. On a 3rd and 12 at its 21, QB Derric Daniels threw a 41 yard pass to WR Rashawn Haynes that got the Rams' offense moving. From the Georgetown 30, Daniels found receiver Mike Melvin open for the score, 7-3, with 2:22 in the half.

Things soon turned from bad to beyond belief.

Georgetown took over at its 20 with 2:22 to play. One the second play in the series, quarterback Nick Cangelosi fumbled the ball to Fordham at the 27. Three plays later, Daniels found WR Jim Caffarello for the score, 14-3. On the ensuing kickoff, Jasper Ihezie fumbled at the Fordham 16. On the first play after the fumble, Daniels found Haynes alone for the score, 21-3, with 1:02 left in the half. Daniels, who had thrown one touchdown pass all season, had thrown three in 1:22.

Despite an outstanding first half by Slayton (122 yards), the passing game was held to 1 for 8 for four yards against the lowest-ranked defense in the league. A Georgetown team averaging less than nine points a game in scoring was suddenly down by 18, and Hoya fans were variously stunned, shocked, enraged, and, for many, deflated. Since defeating Bucknell, Georgetown had not scored more than 10 points in any single game, and entering the third quarter there was little evidence that a comeback was in the works.

Opening the half, Georgetown went three and out on two straight possessions. Backed up to the goal line, Brad Scoffern's punt set up Fordham at midfield to move in contention for a fourth score. On a third and three at the Georgetown 38, Fordham's Daniels fumbled the ball, and Jason Carter returned the ball to the Fordham 16. After Marcus Slayton's 9 yards brought Georgetown to the three, Cangelosi found Harrison Beacher for the Hoyas' first TD, 21-10.

The Georgetown defense had adjusted to Fordham's first half passing routes, and a pair of incompletions led Fordham to punt the ball back with 5:00 in the 3rd. The Hoyas went on a methodical nine play, 55 yard drive, all on the ground and led by Slayton, with 44 of the 55 yards and a three yard scoring run to cut the lead to 24-17 late in the third.

The game was back on, but some twists and turns were still to follow.

Fordham was held to a six play drive on its next series, and Georgetown marched again--this time an 11 play drive that pushed to the Fordham eight. On a third and two at the eight, Slayton fumbled to the Rams and injured his ankle. The Hoyas' only offensive weapon was out for the game.

Fordham's next series resulted in a punt to midfield, but the Hoyas could not capitalize, a four play drive that turned the ball back to Fordham with 4:53 to play. The Rams ran the ball five straight times to midfield, failing on a third and one. With a fourth and one with two minutes to play, Fordham coach Ed Foley had a decision: going for the first down wins the game, but a stop by the Georgetown defense gives the Hoyas a 50 yard field for a score. Foley opted for the punt, which set the Hoyas back at its 11 with 1:49 to play.

Three weeks earlier, Georgetown started at its 10 late in the game against Lafayette, rushed ten straight plays, largely ran out the clock, and never made it past midfield. Cangelosi had other ideas. On 1st and ten at the 11, Cangelosi floated the ball to receiver Sidney Baker, who streaked past the Fordham secondary for 47 yards to the Fordham 42. On a third and nine with 1:05 to play, Cangelosi found TE Glenn Castergine for ten yards and the first down. Now out of time outs, Cangelosi really had to go to the air. A short first down pass was incomplete, but a incompletion to Kenny Mitchell at the 10 was ruled as pass interference, moving the Hoyas to the Fordham 14 with :55 to play. On first down, Cangelosi found Castergine at the three, who pushed into the end zone for the improbable score with 0:48 remaining.

There's an old coaches saying about players acting in the end zone "like you've been there before", but that wasn't the case with these Hoyas, who were tagged with an excessive celebration penalty and forced to kick off from its 20, giving Fordham a great chance to get a short field. Despite Scoffern's long kick, returner Sylvester Clark returned the ball 17 yards to the Ram 44. With 43 seconds and two time outs, the Rams were back in business.

But not for long.

The Georgetown defense forced an incompletion on first down. On second down, en route to a sack, Daniels threw the ball away and was tagged for intentional grounding. The clock resumed play, and Fordham was slow in responding, not calling time until the clock had reached 16 seconds. On 3rd and 16, DE Alex Buzbee sacked Daniels with :10 to play.

On a 4th and 24 with 10 seconds left, fans expected a long pass for a TD attempt. Instead, Daniels threw over the middle to Mike Melvin, five yards short of the first down with a second to play. It was a puzzling call, for even if they had made the first down, the clock would have run out.

Slayton led all rushers with 29 carries and 192 yards, fourth most in GU history and the most at any Homecoming game. Cangelosi rushed for 54 yards and finished 6 for 17 for 94 yards, but completing four of his final 6 including three in the final drive. The game ball still rests with the defense, holding Fordham to just 57 yards net rushing and 161 yards passing--in the second half, Fordham netted just one first down and 56 yards total offense.

Slayton's stats, the defensive stops, and Cangelosi's persistence were all big in the game. And don't forget that Brad Scoffern field goal, either--this was Georgetown's fourth win this season by the margin of a field goal.

The 4-4 record is the Hoyas' best entering the month of November in six years, and the crowd of 3,000 boosted average attendance to 2,404 at the 2,500 seat Multi-Sport Field,a 24% increase over the first four games last season at what used to be Harbin Field.

The team gets a well deserved break this week before returning to action November 5 at #21-ranked Lehigh. Home games with Davidson and Colgate conclude the 2005 season next month.

“It was a great Homecoming Day," said coach Bob Benson, who has won six straight Homecoming games in the PL era. "We had a great group of recruits here and it was a great win for the program.”

Game statistics:

                   FORDHAM       GEORGETOWN
First downs              9               21
Rushed-yards         35-57           57-287
Passing yards          161               94
Sacked-yards lost     4-31              2-8
Return yards            19               46
Passes             13-19-0           6-17-0
Punts                 9-37           6-34.5
Fumbles-lost           2-1              3-3
Penalties-yards       7-55             6-50
Time of possession   26:44            33:16

Here are links to post-game coverage. The three local dailies were missing in action Saturday, posting Associated Press summaries of the game.

Also with coverage: the St. Petersburg Times, which noted it as the "Obscure Game Of The Day".

Game #9: Lehigh (November 5)

Around the nation, a few eyebrows might have been raised with this late second quarter score: Lehigh 12, Georgetown 7. But after three quarters, Lehigh pulled away, scoring 24 third quarter points in a 46-14 win before 13,071 at Murray Goodman Stadium. The turnout for Lehigh Family Weekend was the largest crowd at a Georgetown road game since 1970.

 Early on, Lehigh (7-2) threatened to make it a repeat of recent games, scoring on its first two drives, 10-0. The Hoyas didn't help things, fumbling an offensive snap 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage for a safety, 12-0. In the second quarter, the Hoya defense tightened and Georgetown took advantage of a fumble deep in Lehigh territory to set up Nick Cangelosi for a four yard run, 12-7.

Lehigh added a field goal to go up 15-7, then took advantage of a late drive to increase the lead to 22-7 with :44 left, setting the tone for the second half. Georgetown looked to have answered the score with a 53 yard TD pass in the final moments of the half, but Cangelosi's pass was ruled over the line of scrimmage, despite TV replays to the contrary.

The late score might have energized the Hoyas at the half, but without it Lehigh used the third quarter to put the game out of reach. The Engineers scored on four of its five third quarter possessions, thanks in part to Georgetown mistakes. Nick Cangelosi fumbled at the Georgetown 24, setting up a touchdown, while returner Brian Tandy went to catch a punt at the 10 yard line and coughed it up, setting up another. Georgetown's four third quarter drives went punt, fumble, punt, fumble, setting up 21 of Lehigh's 24 third quarter points.

With Lehigh emptying its bench, Cangelosi found Harrison Beacher for a score with 12:16 to play, and Ben Hostetler took over for the final two series.

Lehigh outgained Georgetown 437-159, and as much as 386-32 in the third quarter. The Hoyas managed just 44 rushing yards all afternoon, hampered by an injury to RB Marcus Slayton that did not allow him to play Saturday.

The game marked the fifth straight loss to Lehigh in the PL era, having given up 41 or more points to the Engineers in all five.

Game statistics:

                  GEORGETOWN           LEHIGH
First downs                9               22
Rushed-yards           42-44           52-332
Passing yards            115              105
Sacked-yards lost       2-13              2-6
Return yards               0               34
Passes               10-18-0          12-27-0
Punts                 8-36.5           3-44.3
Fumbles-lost             3-2              2-1
Penalties-yards         8-56             6-53
Time of possession     29:18            30:42

Here are links to post-game coverage. The Washington Post continues to rely on wire service reports for out of town games.

Game #10: Davidson (November 12)

Georgetown entered Saturday's game with Davidson ranked 115th of 116 NCAA Division I-AA teams in total offense. Still, fans had to expect some better results against a non-scholarship I-AA team that entered the game with two Division I wins all season and that last year's Georgetown team had defeated 21-0. Instead, it was the Davidson Wildcats that came to play, forcing five sacks and three turnovers in a 10-3 win at the Yard Saturday.

 Davidson (4-6) scored quickly on its first possession with a 39 yard field goal. Georgetown punted on each of its first three possessions and fumbled the ball at its 29, setting up Davidson's only touchdown late in the second quarter. For its part, Georgetown drove late and missed a 39 yard attempt at the end of the half.

The defense stopped Davidson cold in the second half, including a dominating stop on a fourth and inches at the Georgetown goal line. The offense did nothing with it, though. Two second half drives ended on turnovers, two on downs. A key fourth and inches at midfield late in the 3rd resulted in a baffling five yard loss.

Georgetown's best drive advanced to the Davidson 12, but on 4th and 3 the coaching staff opted to go for a field goal, 10-3. Davidson recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. It was the only drive inside the opponent 20 all afternoon.

Georgetown enters the season finale with 103 points in 10 games. Only Columbia has fewer (95), and they've played one less game. The 10.3 average is the lowest for a Georgetown team since 1984, which finished 0-7 but was awarded a forfeit in a 56-6 loss that involved an ineligible player for the opponent.

Georgetown netted just 57 rushing yards against an opponent which had averaged allowing 156 a game. Five of Georgetown's 13 series netted three yards or less, and was held to 3 for 15 (20%) on third down, consistent with a season average of less than four converted third downs a game.

Game statistics:

                   DAVIDSON       GEORGETOWN
First downs              11               16
Rushed-yards          33-66            37-57
Passing yards           165              190
Sacked-yards lost      2-11             5-43
Return yards             21               17
Passes              19-27-0          18-31-1
Punts                7-43.6             6-37
Fumbles-lost            1-1              4-2
Penalties-yards        5-50             3-19
Time of possession    30:28            29:32

Here are links to post-game coverage. The Washington Post covered a local home game with two sentences Saturday. Ask them about it.

Game #11: Colgate (November 19)

Freshman Jordan Scott set a Patriot League record with 47 carries as Colgate University won the PL title in a 34-7 win over Georgetown.

 The story line for Georgetown was much the same as it has been for much of the 2005 season, starting early when the offense went three and out deep in its territory and Colgate got the ball at midfield. The Red Raiders needed only five plays for the score, when Scott popped through the Hoya line on a fourth and inches for a 28 yard score, 7-0.

After each team exchanged punts, Georgetown was again deep in own territory when QB Nick Cangelosi was intercepted at the GU 15, returned for the Raider score, 14-0. Georgetown ended the first quarter without points, marking the 11th consecutive game this season Georgetown has not scored a point in the first quarter of play.

Georgetown caught its first break of the game early in the second as senior Maurice Banks intercepted a Mike Saraceno pass at midfield. A pass from Cangelosi to TE Glenn Castergine brought the Hoyas to the Colgate 36, but the poorly performing rushing offense netted four yards in three straight plays. A field goal attempt was blocked, and Colgate answered with a grueling 15 play drive, none of which were carried by Scott to build the lead to 24-0 by half. For the half, Georgetown managed 84 yards and two first downs, failing to convert on eight of nine third down opportunities.

Georgetown held Colgate on its first series of the third quarter, but the offense went three and out. Colgate then drove to the Georgetown three, but the defense held and forced a field goal, 27-0. Georgetown appeared to have its best drive to date when Cangelosi went to the air and found Steve Ekechuku for a 26 yard catch in Colgate territory. Ekechuku got up after the catch and signaled first down, but in a bizarre moment the officials flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The 26 yard gain was cut to 11, the Hoyas lost four yards on its next three plays, and punted.

Georgetown's defense then held Colgate deep in its territory and set the offense up at midfield, but Cangelosi's pass to Castergine was ruled a fumble and Colgate took over.The Hoya defense held, and on Colgate's next punt punt, punt returner Brian Tandy was leveled by a Colgate back while attempting to catch the punt and appeared injured, but returned to action late in the game. For its part, the Hoyas turned it over on the next play via Cangelosi's second interception. The Red Raiders than ran Scott nine straight plays for a 77 yard drive and the score, 34-0.

Despite the gathering shadows across the Yard, almost all the Georgetown fans had stayed, unwilling to walk away on a senior class which had worked so hard. Georgetown went three and out with 4:17 to play, and Colgate looked to run out the clock when DE Michael Ononibaku collected the final sack of his notable career with 2:02 left and gave the offense one last try.

And, clearly against everything that fans had come to expect this year, the offense came to life. After two rushing plays netted a yard, Cangelosi went to the air and found Matt Cooper for 25 yards for a first down. After an incompletion to stop the clock, Cangelosi connected on three straight passes to march the Hoyas down the field, the final being an eight yard pass to senior Glenn Castergine to avert the shutout, 34-7. (Georgetown had only been shut out in a season finale once since 1947, a 0-0 tie versus George Washington.)

Colgate ran out the remaining seconds, but not before head coach Bob Benson called a pair of brief timeouts to let his senior defensive stars be recognized upon leaving the game. For players like Maurice Banks, Sheldon Epps, Jason Abrams, Dan Cordisco, Joe Kuhns, Jackson Dismukes, Mehdi Hassan, and Michael Ononibaku, it was an opportunity for the nearly sold out crowd to say thanks, one more time.

Georgetown's offense managed just seven first downs in the game, four in the final drive. Colgate's defense keyed on the Hoyas' one-back setup, with senior Marcus Slayton ending his career with 18 rushes for 19 yards. A telling statistic of the game speaks again to the team's offense against the Red Raider line. In first down rushing plays, Georgetown netted 19 yards compared to 125 yards for Colgate. In third down rushes, Georgetown rushed for a net of -3 yards while Colgate rushed for 79 yards.

The game proved another bitter ending for a Georgetown team which ended the season with a three game losing streak. The Hoyas finished 2-4 in PL play, a fifth place in the Patriot League matching its finish in the 2002 season. On the other side of the field stood Colgate--after dropping two of its first three games of the year, including a loss to Central Connecticut State, Colgate won eight of its last nine and earned a share of the PL title, then received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs after Lafayette upset Lehigh. The Red Raiders play top ranked New Hampshire in next week's first round action.

Game statistics:

                     COLGATE       GEORGETOWN
First downs               22                7
Rushed-yards          58-309            27-39
Passing yards             84              156
Sacked-yards lost        1-3              0-0
Return yards              34               23
Passes               10-22-2          10-24-2
Punts                   6-34           9-36.2
Fumbles-lost             0-0              3-1
Penalties-yards         5-50             4-49
Time of possession     37:34            22:26

Here are links to post-game coverage.


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