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Georgetown Football: 2012 Season Recaps
Game #1: Davidson (Sep. 1)
A season after scorching the Davidson Wildcats for three touchdowns in a 40-16 win to open the 2011 season, junior RB Nick Campanella did one better, with four touchdowns in the Georgetown Hoyas' 35-14 season opener before 4,011 fans at Davidson's Richardson Stadium.
The game was delayed 81 minutes by weather delays, but Georgetown's game plan changed markedly after its first series. Following a Davidson punt, the Hoyas' fifth play of the opening drive was marred when an 18 yard run by QB Isaiah Kempf was ended with a helmet-to-helmet collision by Davidson cornerback Adam Dulberger. Dulberger was flagged for a personal foul but it was Kempf that was the worse for it--he was helped off the field and was later taken by ambulance to a local hospital for observation. As of Sunday, Georgetown had made no comment as to his condition nor a timeline for his clearance to return to the lineup.
The teams traded punts over the next five possessions entering the fourth quarter, with only one drive between the two schools ranging more than nine yards. Davidson then mounted its most successful drive of the game with 6:20 remaining, an eight play, 77 yard drive to close to 35-14, but fell short on the ensuing onside kick. This set up the Hoyas with a short field--and a hungry runner. Two plays in, Campanella went 45 yards to the Hoyas' final score, 35-14.
In last season's game, Davidson rushed just 19 times for a -7 yards; in 2012, 21 times for -18. Jonathan Carkhuff, which had passed for 364 yards in the 2011 opener, was held in check, passing 32 for 53 for 228 yards. Neither were numbers that could stall a strong and consistent Georgetown effort, made even more promising by Aiken's efforts in the absence of Kempf.
Both Campanella (12-127) and Aiken (21-109) rushed for over 100 yards in the game, marking the first game the Hoyas had two 100+ yard rushers since a 33-19 win over Siena on Nov. 4, 1995. Campanella's four touchdowns were the most by a GU player since Gharun Hester in 2000. Of the 12 touchdowns earned by Campanella in his Georgetown career, seven have come against the Wildcats.
Defensively, senior LB Robert McCabe had some numbers of his own, completing a career high 17 tackles, seventh best in the school's modern era (1964-present). The defense combined for nine tackles for loss and five sacks, severely limiting a Davidson offense which was ranked eighth nationally in the pass at the end of last season.
“I thought our effort was good on both sides of the ball,” said Davidson coach Tripp Merritt. “That might be the best team we play all year. They have great size on both sides of the ball. If we were able to connect on one more play in the first half, it would have been a different football game.”
Georgetown returns to Washington for its home opener versus Wagner on Saturday. The Seahawks (0-1) battled Sun Belt school Florida Atlantic in a narrow 7-3 loss.
GEORGETOWN DAVIDSON First downs 19 16 Rushed-yards 52-280 21--18 Passing yards 128 226 Sacked-yards lost 0-0 5-37 Return yards 38 54 Passes 8-23-1 32-53-0 Punts 8-34.5 10-36.3 Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0 Penalties-yards 6-40 7-117 Time of possession 31:24 28:44
Game #2: Wagner (Sep. 8)
A 35 yard field goal by Matt MacZura with 1:42 to play was the difference in a 13-10 Georgetown win over Wagner before 2,147 at Multi-Sport Field Saturday.
As was the case against Davidson, Georgetown saw its opponent strike early. Following a Georgetown punt to open the game, the Seahawks (0-2) drove 66 yards in 11 plays, with QB Nick Doscher or RB Dominique Williams gaining on nine of the 11 plays. On a third and ten at the Georgetown 12, Doscher found WR Bryant Watts with his only catch of the game, giving Wagner the early 7-0 lead.
The Hoyas answered with one of its longest drives in years: a 19 play drive which ate up most of the remainder of the first quarter, with plays rotated between QB Aaron Aiken and RB Nick Campanella. Behind Campanella's 42 yards rushing, the Hoyas drove into the red zone and had a first and goal at the Wagner three yard line, only to see the drive stall and settle for the short Matt MacZura field goal, 7-3.
Georgetown's defense successfully adapted to the Doscher-Williams combination and began to lock down the Seahawks in the second quarter. On a third and five at midfield, Richard Shankle forced a fumble which set the Hoyas at midfield. Aiken found WR Mac Waizenegger for 21 yards to drive the Hoyas into Seahawks territory and four consecutive rushes by Wilburn Logan drove the Hoyas inside the 10. The drive stalled again, and on fourth and goal at the four, Aiken fumbled the ball and Wagner escaped a second scoring opportunity by the Hoyas. Wagner's next drive was closed at midfield thanks to a pair of tackles for loss by DB Jeremy Moore and LB Robert McCabe, forcing he Seahawks to put the ball back late in the quarter. Georgetown drove to the Wagner 33, but with under 20 seconds in the half, Aiken was sacked out of field goal range and the 7-3 score held at halftime.
On the penalty, "it was a situation where our guy jumped up in the air — you’re not supposed to dive over anybody on the punt block team,” Wagner coach Walt Hameline told the Staten Island Advance. “I don’t know, I thought he got hit forward.”
"[They] actually did it last week [against Florida Atlantic], and [officials] didn't call it,” Georgetown coach Kevin Kelly told the Washington Post. “I’m glad they did this week.”
Wagner took over with 1:31 to play, but penalties proved trouble as well. With 43 seconds to play, a fourth down pass resulted in a first down, but a lateral by receiver Anthony Carrington was ruled an illegal forward pass, resulting in a loss of down and a turnover on downs. One knee to the ground by Aiken ended the game.
Aiken finished the game 18 for 38 for 146 yards, and was one of four runners to split a 46 carry, 166 yard effort. Doscher was 10-16 for 124 yards, as neither team made much headway against the other.
"I couldn't have asked for a more exhilarating win," Aiken told GUHoyas.com following the game. "Wagner has a very athletic defense and they were coming with a lot of pressure, but up front we were able to sustain the pressure and move the ball."
The Hoyas remain home this week for a meeting with Yale, which has won of each of the last five meetings between the schools. Game time is 1:00 pm.
WAGNER GEORGETOWN First downs 16 27 Rushed-yards 33-94 46-166 Passing yards 150 146 Sacked-yards lost 1-8 2-14 Return yards 14 33 Passes 15-24-0 18-38-1 Punts 5-36.2 3-33.7 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 13-84 4-15 Time of possession 32:13 27:31
Game #3: Yale (Sep. 15)
Yale University took its sixth consecutive game against Georgetown in as many games, 24-21, before an oversold Multi-Sport Field Saturday. Well, "took" may not be the best word. "Given away" may be more appropriate, given a run of offensive miscues not seen in three seasons.
For Georgetown, two missed field goals, three fumbles, a defensive lapse at halftime, and a hasty interception with the game winning touchdown in sight were all in evidence as the inexperienced Bulldogs returned to New Haven with the final win in this six year series.
Both teams opened shakily. It took Yale just four plays to give up the first turnover of the game, which set up the Hoyas at midfield. Three straight rushes by Brandon Durham brought the Hoyas to the Yale 22, and on second down, junior RB Nick Campanella coughed up the ball at the Yale 10, the first of four major mistakes inside the red zone by Georgetown this afternoon.
Freshman Eric Williams then led the Eli on its best drive of the day, a 14 play drive that reached third down only twice, before RB Tyler Varga broke the tie with a one yard run, 7-0. Georgetown answered with a long drive of its own, a 16 play, 96 yard drive, aided by two personal fouls on Yale. The Hoyas drove to the Yale two before the drive fizzled, and kicker Matt MacZura hit the upright and missed the 19 yard field goal. Two drives, no points.
The Hoyas managed two first downs in its next four series, as neither team returned to an offensive rhythm. With 2:23 to play, the Hoyas took over and Aiken went to work, converting on three third downs to push the Hoyas to the Yale 17 with 40 seconds to play. On first down, Aiken appeared to hurry the pass, lobbing it into the end zone where it was picked off. Georgetown ended the day 0-4 in the red zone, with four turnovers.
Two missed field goals from close range did not help. But kicking did not lose this game, the offense did, an offense that must regroup for Friday's game at Princeton, where the Tigers held Lehigh to a 17-14 finish.
YALE GEORGETOWN First downs 25 21 Rushed-yards 49-187 50-260 Passing yards 250 94 Sacked-yards lost 4-13 1-5 Return yards 0 157 Passes 19-30-3 11-25-1 Punts 5-40.6 3-26.7 Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-3 Penalties-yards 11-106 5-42 Time of possession 33:56 26:04
Game #4: Princeton (Sep. 21)
In the midst of the pennant races, ESPN's cut-in from a Baylor football game may have caught sports fans off guard. It wasn't C.C. Sabathia or Bryce Harper on the screen with the game on the line, but a kicker from Georgetown University setting up for the field goal attempt of his college career.
Matt MacZura's kick with 14 seconds remaining led the Georgetown Hoyas to a boisterous 21-20 win at Princeton University friday night, entertaining a nationally televised audience with a games that held more twists and turns than a roller coaster.
Georgetown's opening drive was among its best of the season. Quarterback Aaron Aiken was 5 for 5 passing as the Hoyas crisply moved from its 25 inside the Princeton 10. The miscues that surrounded the Hoyas' drives against Yale appeared to have made the bus trip to Princeton, however, as Georgetown picked up a costly penalty--12 men on the field-- that scuttled a drive inside the Princeton four. Taking a delay of game penalty to help MacZura avoid the awkward angle that hurt him in a similar situation a week ago, MacZura nailed the 25 yard field goal to put the Hoyas ahead, 3-0.
Princeton took over, employing a no-huddle offense that appeared to give trouble to the Georgetown defenses. The Tigers moved to midfield where QB Conor Michelsen found receiver Roman Wilson cutting across the middle, with a 34 yard pass to the Georgetown 18. The defense held the Tigers at the Georgetown 10, but the Tigers stung the Hoyas by converting a bad snap into a pass from snapper Tom Moak to receiver Mark Hayes, delighting the home crowd and earning a place on ESPN's top plays of the day, 7-0.
Princeton opened the second half in its no-huddle and the quick plays proved effective. Four consecutive rushes quickly moved the Tigers to midfield, whereupon Michelsen again found Wilson with a 28 yard pass play to the GU 23. The defense needed a stop and got it, as Duston Wharton pinned Michelsen with an seven yard sack at the 32 yard line, forcing a 49 yard attempt that went left and saw the Tigers fail to score on consecutive possessions.
The teams traded punts over the next four series adn the defenses began to limit the respective quarterbacks to short yardage running plays. To his credit, Skon showed to be settling into the demands of the quarterback, and when he took over late in the third, three straight passes got the Hoyas into Princeton territory. The Hoyas had lacked a big play run for most of the game but got it when RB Dalen Claytor popped through the line for 28 yards to the Princeton seven. On this series, the Hoyas would not settle for three, as Nick Campanella drove into the end zone on the next play. Up four, the Hoyas opted for two but the pass was broken up, giving georgetown an 18-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
As the Hoyas had relied on a big run to break through the defensive seals, Princeton returned the favor. At 32 seconds into the fourth quarter, freshman RB DiAndre Wharton picked up a block at the line and raced 53 yards for the touchdown. In another key stop for the special teams, Dustin Wharton blocked the PAT and the margin stood at two, 20-18.
The Tigers got the ball back with 12:12 to play, up two, and eager to extend its lead. Atwater's running and Michelsen's passing moved the Tigers to a fourth down and six at the GU 29, but opting to go for the first down after two previous errant field goal tries. Georgetown appeared to have stopped the drive when the Hoyas were called for off sides, and on the ensuing fourth and one Michelsen completed a short pass play to set up the Tigers at the Georgetown 21. Any scoring play may have been fatal, but the Hoyas again came up big, halting the drive at the 18. For a third time, Bieck came out for the field goal and for a third time, his kick sailed wide and the Hoyas were still breathing.
Georgetown took over with 7:55 to play but could do nothing, reluctantly kicking it back to Princeton with 7:03 left. If the Tigers had hoped to run clock on the drive, it failed, as GU led the Tigers to two yards in a drive that totaled 1:29. A 41 yard pinned the Hoyas at its 12 with 5:29 to ply in hat would likely be its last drive of the game.
The early plays of the drive were a struggled. On third and three at the 19, Skon's pass to Zack Wilke sailed wide, but the Tigers gave the Hoyas new life with a roughing the passer penalty. The Hoyas moved to midfield but faced a fourth and three at the Princeton 48 with 2:55 to play. With the game on the line, the Hoyas went to the run, as Claytor went for six yards before limping out of the game. A first down QB run went nowhere, From there, Skon went to the air.
Seeing an opening in the middle, Skon found WR Kevin Macari with a 14 yard pass to the 28. On the next series, he found Macari open again at the 18. A four yard run by Nick Campanella got the ball in line for a field goal attempt, and Princeton called time out with 1:09 to play. Opting to settle for three rather than go into the end zone may have been inspired by the Hoyas' late game troubles against Yale, but it was also a recognition that this was MacZura's to win. Two running plays essentially set up distance, and Georgetown's timeout with :19 set up MacZura for the kick, which sailed through the uprights to the roar of a large and supportive Georgetown cheering section on the east side of the stadium.
Out of time outs, Princeton took over at its 16 with 0:12 remaining. An eight yard gain was quickly converted into two laterals and a cross field pass which appeared to give its receiver room down the GU sidelines until he was corralled near midfield. An illegal forward pass play negated the late game fireworks, and the win was secured.
A number of individual and team superlatives follow from the game. Offensively, Skon was 14-24 for 121 yards, with a great finish in the game's crucial drive. Sacked twice, with one interception, he was never rattled and provided the leadership to carry the Hoyas to victory. Skon was ably supported by running backs Dalen Claytor and Nick Campanella with a combined 133 yards in 22 carries. Macari's 76 yards led all receivers. Defensively, four Hoyas combined for 44 tackles and seven tackles for loss: Dustin Wharton (12), Jeremy Grasso (12), Robert McCabe (10), and Jeremy Moore (10).
For the Tigers, Michelsen was 11-22 for 143 yards, with Atwater's 92 yards leading all rushers. Though the three missed field goals were crucial in the loss, Princeton failed to control its own momentum, going 4 of 16 on third down conversions and managing just 6:15 of possession in the fourth quarter when holding the lead.
As late game finishes go, it's among the most exciting in the modern era of the sport at Georgetown, national TV or no; but, as all games are, the memories are fleeting as the next challenge awaits. Georgetown must return to form next week against a more experienced Brown team that arrives at Multi-Sport Field for Homecoming. The Bears (1-1) had their own national TV moment this past weekend, falling to Harvard 45-31 on an NBC Sports Network broadcast.
GEORGETOWN PRINCETON First downs 17 15 Rushed-yards 38-139 44-133 Passing yards 189 153 Sacked-yards lost 4-27 3-16 Return yards -1 20 Passes 22-33-1 12-24-0 Punts 6-38.2 6-38.7 Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-2 Penalties-yards 10-85 7-70 Time of possession 32:38 27:22
Game #5: Brown (Sep. 29)
From a 10-10 tie midway through the second quarter, a punchless Georgetown offense managed just 36 yards for the final 41 minutes of the game in a 37-10 loss to Brown before a Homecoming crowd of 3,215 at the unfinished Multi-Sport Field.
After an eight yard pass to open the game, Stephen Skon's debut as a starting quarterback had an inauspicious start, as the Hoyas gained only two yards on the drive and Matt MacZura's punt fought the wind for just 22 yards, setting up Brown at midfield. The Bears moved swiftly down the field in a five play, 41 yard drive to take the lead, 7-0. In a statistical replay of the previous drive, the Hoyas next drive went two yards, and MacZura's punt went 22 more, setting up Brown at the Georgetown 41. Two plays later, the Bears were inside the Georgetown 15, but the Hoya defense held and the Bears added a field goal, 10-0.
Well, not exactly.
"They didn’t block the punt. He dropped it,” Kelly told The HOYA. “He bobbled a couple balls, and obviously he dropped this one — good things don’t happen when that occurs.”
Skon finished the game 17-31 for 147 yards. Of that total, he was 12-20 for 126 yards in the first, just 5-11 for 21 in the second. Skon was sacked five times and was intercepted three times.
The rushing game fared little better. With no consistency out of a rotation of Dalen Claytor, Nick Campanella, and Wilburn Logan, Georgetown managed just 12 yards in 33 attempts, its fewest rushing yards in a home game since a Nov. 2001 game against Lafayette in its opening season in the Patriot League.
Next up for the Hoyas: a resurgent Fordham team, whose days as a 1-10 team in 2011 are ancient history after a 34-31 loss to PL favorite Lehigh on Saturday.
BROWN GEORGETOWN First downs 20 11 Rushed-yards 33-173 33-12 Passing yards 188 147 Sacked-yards lost 0-0 5-33 Return yards 59 2 Passes 20-32-0 17-31-3 Punts 6-40.7 9-29.3 Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0 Penalties-yards 8-79 3-30 Time of possession 28:59 31:01
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Game #6: Fordham (Oct. 6)
With first and goal at the Fordham two yard line with under two minutes remaining, the Georgetown Hoyas failed to convert opportunity into points, falling 38-31 at Fordham before 3,639 at Jack Coffey Field.
Punting figured to be a contrast in this game, and it was early. Patrick Murray entered the game with a 45 yard per kick average and opened with a 52 yard kick that pinned Georgetown in its own territory. On its ensuing punt, Matt MacZura's punt went only 16 yards and set up the Rams at midfield, where they drive in five plays for an early field goal, 3-0.
With the wind as a factor, Georgetown helped keep Fordham on its side of the field, and took advantage of a short field three series later. On the drive, QB Stephen Skon found WR Kevin macari open down the field, where Macari fought off his defender and collected the pass at the Fordham four yard line, then ran it in on the next play, 7-3. Georgetown's lead was brief, as the Rams drove 69 yards in nine plays, with QB Ryan Higgins going 5-5 for 63, the last of which was a 19 yard pass to WR Greg Wilson for the score and the 10-7 lead.
The teams traded field goals early in the second before Georgetown committed its first turnover. Freshman RB Jo'el Kimpela made his first appearance of the season, but Skon's pitch went wide and the Rams took over at its 36. The defense held, but two series later, Skon was picked off at the Fordham 29 and the Rams drove 45 yards in the final 1:36 of the half to add a 43 yard field goal on the final play of the half, 16-10. GU managed just 28 yards in the second quarter.
First down: a handoff to Campanella, straight ahead, one yard.
On fourth down, in the shotgun, either Skon hesitated finding a receiver or was supposed to run it in himself, but the Rams sniffed it out and forced a two yard loss, shutting down the Hoyas' best chance to tie the score. The Rams were forced to punt it back to GU with 51 seconds left, but three plays later Skon threw an INT at midfield to end any further suspense.
Skon was 18-34 for 216 yards, but with two INT's and four sacks. The Hoyas rushed 55 times for 196 yards, but Skon had more carries (19) than any other runner, and eventually Fordham took notice, as his seven carries of the fourth quarter totaled a net -16 yards, including three of the four sacks he suffered in the game.
Ryan Higgins was the star for the Rams. At one point in the second quarter he was 17 for 21 en route to a 29 for 38, 305 yard game, with two TD's. Fordham punter Patrick Murray was impressive in his own right, punting eight times for a 47.8 yard average and a long of 59 yards in the final minute to keep the Hoyas well away from contention in the series leading to Skon's final interception. Following his short punt early in the game, Georgetown's Matt MacZura turned in a stronger effort in punting, with a 38.3 yard average.
GEORGETOWN FORDHAM First downs 25 19 Rushed-yards 54-196 33-101 Passing yards 216 318 Sacked-yards lost 4-40 2-14 Return yards 2 11 Passes 18-34-2 30-39-0 Punts 7-38.3 8-47.8 Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-1 Penalties-yards 3-15 10-84 Time of possession 32:47 27:13
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Game #7: Lehigh (Oct. 13)
In its 19 years at the Division I-AA level, the Georgetown Hoyas had never defeated a ranked team, nor defeated Lehigh University in eleven tries. About to enter the brave new world of Patriot League scholarships, neither seems a given in the near term, either. As such, the Hoyas never had a better opportunity to do both than in Saturday's 17-14 loss to the Engineers.
Despite forcing seven defensive turnovers, Georgetown's offense scored just once, while Matt MacZura missed three field goals, including a 37 yarder with eight seconds left as Lehigh prevailed in a game that defies simple description. It was best said by Lehigh receiver Josh Parris: "We definitely got away with one."
The game was defined by turnovers, and it struck Lehigh early. On the second play of its opening possession, a bad snap bounced off the leg of a Lehigh running back and was recovered by the Hoyas, setting up a four play, 31 yard drive that was capped by a two yard TD from RB Nick Campanella. It was the only offensive points of the game for Georgetown, despite numerous opportunities.
After a trade of punts, the Engineers mounted their best drive to date in the game. Led by pass plays of 11 and 18 yards, QB Michael Colvin drove the Engineers to the Georgetown 29. On a second and six, Colvin's pass was picked off by Jeremy Moore at the 13. The teams traded punts again before the Hoyas took advantage of field position and a 27 yard punt to set up a drive in Lehigh territory. On first down, QB Stephen Skon was slow in his delivery and was sacked for seven yards. On second down, he fumbled the ball and Lehigh recovered at the Georgetown 31. Lehigh drove eight plays for the tying score, 7-7.
Georgetown's conservative play calling was sniffed out in the next series, holding the Hoyas to three and out. Lehigh took over at its 19 and began what must be the three most unlikely series in Lehigh football.
Georgetown advanced to midfield when Skon appeared to be injured in a tackle. In came Aaron Aiken, who was not listed in the depth chart and had not seen action since the Princeton game. He drove the Hoyas 12 yards in five plays, with Georgetown facing a 4th and 3 from the Lehigh 33. Again, Marino opted not to go with MacZura, and again, the Hoyas squandered a conversion that might have been the difference. On fourth down, Aiken fumbled the snap and lost six yards.
The Engineers took charge on its next drive. Opening with a 42 yard pass play to the Georgetown 19, Lehigh drove to the Georgetown 12, where the defense held and Lehigh settled for a 29 yard field goal, 17-14.
Aiken was back in for the next drive, opening with a 28 yard pass to WR Kevin Macari to advance to midfield. Twenty yards from the potential tying field goal, the Hoyas stumbled yet again, as Aiken's pass at the 16 was intercepted with 9:34 to play.
After being publicly challenged last week by head coach Kevin Kelly, the defense stepped up yet again in the late minutes of the game. An eleven play Lehigh drive was halted at midfield, and Georgetown took over with 3:41 to play. Skon was back in, but the drive was three and out, and Lehigh took back possession with 2:27 to play. With time fleeting, Georgetown held Lehigh to three and out and the offense took back over with 1:22 to play, without time outs.
The drive, absent the finish, may have been the best for Skon since the winning drive three weeks ago versus Princeton. Skon converted four of his first five passes to drive to midfield, then ran twice for 10 yards to drive the Hoyas into field goal range at the 23 with under 30 seconds to play. With time to go to the end zone, Georgetown instead went conservative, with a running play to set up a kick and a spike to stop the clock.
Matt MacZura entered the field with a 37 yard attempt to send the game into overtime. It wasn't even close, veering hard left. After hitting five straight over the prior three games, MacZura left nine points off the scoreboard with three missed kicks.
Skon finished the game 16-27 for 176 yards, but his only rushing yards of the game (10) came in the final drive. Nick Campanella managed just 48 yards, Dalen Claytor 44, with Claytor injured late in the third quarter. Colvin led the Engineers with 266 passing yards, while Zach Barket led all rushers with 123 yards on 28 carries. Georgetown was 5 of 16 on third down conversions, 0 for 2 on fourth down.
The season's not over but it is worth noting that no Georgetown team in the last 17 years has earned a winning record with as many as four losses in mid October. With a two game road trip awaiting it, 2012 is beginning to look like ominously like the 2010 campaign, where the Hoyas started 3-1 and dropped its next six. The lack of execution in scoring proximity should give no one the false impression that Georgetown is on the verge of turning things around in any short order.
This one will not soon be forgotten, nor should it. An opportunity lost like this will not soon repeat itself.
LEHIGH GEORGETOWN First downs 20 19 Rushed-yards 43-162 41-121 Passing yards 272 208 Sacked-yards lost 1-2 4-28 Return yards 14 108 Passes 19-34-4 18-33-1 Punts 4-33.8 6-38.3 Fumbles-lost 4-3 3-1 Penalties-yards 2-25 4-26 Time of possession 31:52 28:08
Game #8: Colgate (Oct. 20)
Georgetown lost a game but may have found a quarterback.
Playing in his first college game, freshman Kyle Nolan threw for 264 yards and three touchdowns, while Kevin Macari had four touchdowns for the Hoyas. In the end, it wasn't enough as the Colgate Red Raiders set a record with 707 yards total offense, 500 of it through QB Gavin McCarney, in a 57-36 win before a sparse crowd of just 1,832 at Andy Kerr Stadium.
McCarney entered the game the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week and it did not take long for him to stake his claim for a second weekly award. On the second play of the game, McCarney opened the offense with a 25 yard pass, and ran for 19 more on the next play. Two plays later, Colgate was in the end zone. A missed extra point (one of three for CU today) left the score 6-0.
The injury to Skon suffered last week was not well publicized and Skon was first on the depth chart as late as Friday. Nonetheless, Nolan would make his college debut needing to answer McCarney's charge, and he did just that. Following a 34 yard kickoff return by Jeremy Moore, Nolan led the Hoyas in nine plays to the Colgate 25, where on 4th and eight the staff opted to go for it rather than test a 42 yard field goal from Matt MacZura. With the Red Raiders expecting a pass over the middle for a first down, Nolan went for broke and found WR Kevin Macari across the end zone for the touchdown, 7-6.
Colgate needed to reassert its prowess on the field, and did so on a 14 play, 80 yard drive that focused on the run and wore down the Georgetown defense. McCarney and McCord accounted for 10 carries and 55 yards on the ground, with McCord plowing through on a third and two at the two for the score, 43-29. After a three and out from the Hoyas, McCarney went to the air again, driving 65 yards in eight plays, with passes of 24 and 41 yards to add to the lead, 50-29.
Nolan continued to reap rewards finding Macari. A 45 yard pass brought the Hoyas into scoring territory, where RB Joel Kimpela went across from three yards to close to 50-36. The defense successfully stopped Colgate on consecutive possessions, but Nolan threw the first of three interceptions to close the game, the second of which was sealed with a 30 yard McCarney run to go up 57-36, and which narrowly averted another when Nolan's third INT was picked off by Mike Armiento, who narrowly missed a pick-six and was brought out of bounds.
Colgate finished the game with a whopping 707 yards, 330 on the ground and 377 in the air. McCarney combined for 500 total yards--133 on the ground, with two touchdowns, and 377 in the air, with three more touchdowns. The 377 yards was the most of any opposing QB in the Patriot League era (2001-present). Colgate's 707 yards breaks a total yardage allowed record held by St. John's, who put up 688 on the Blue and Gray on Nov. 7, 1992.
For a freshman with no prior game experience at the college level, Nolan passed the test. He finished 16-39 for 260 yards, with three late interceptions. His 260 yards passing was the second most of any rookie starting QB for Georgetown since 2002, and the most for any freshman quarterback in his first game over that same period. Kevin Macari caught eight passes for 181 yards, a career high and tenth best in school history since 1964.
With his third tackle, senior LB Robert McCabe overtook Nick Parrish for the school record in career tackles. With 17 tackles Saturday, McCabe's current mark of 360 leads all Hoyas who ever played the game, past and present.
The 36 points was a season high for Georgetown (3-5), who have now lost four straight and travels to Lafayette, where the Leopards aim to stay within distance of Colgate and Lehigh in the race for the PL title.
Georgetown's title hopes are gone, but Nolan's initial effort gives its fans hope for a promising finish to the 2012 season.
GEORGETOWN COLGATE First downs 17 31 Rushed-yards 21-60 55-330 Passing yards 260 377 Sacked-yards lost 2-4 1-7 Return yards 7 60 Passes 16-39-3 22-28-1 Punts 5-34.8 1-50.0 Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0 Penalties-yards 5-27 14-143 Time of possession 18:52 41:08
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Game #9: Lafayette (Oct. 27)
"They deserved to win. We deserved to lose."--Lafayette coach Frank Tavani
Georgetown forced seven Lafayette turnovers in a 20-17 win at Easton, PA Saturday night, ending a four game losing streak.
The turnovers began at the onset of the game, as Spencer Ball forced a fumble on the opening kickoff at midfield, but the offense could not convert and punted it back. On its next Stephen Atwater picked off a pass at the Lafayette 37 and set up the offense in the red zone at the 18. An offensive penalty at the six stalled the drive, and Matt MacZura got the Hoyas on the board with a 26 yard field goal, 3-0.
A third consecutive Lafayette possession yielded a third consecutive turnover, leaving the most of the 6,817 at Fisher Stadium speechless. After a 17 yard pass and defensive penalty moved the Leopards to the Georgetown 41, the Leopards gave up consecutive false starts before DL Alec May sacked QB Andrew Shoop and forced a fumble, recovered by Sean Campbell at the Georgetown 41. Georgetown's offense took no advantage, going three and out.
The second half of this game marked a subtle but important change in the Georgetown offensive strategy. Instead of relying on quick passes and option runs, the Hoyas began driving the ball straight up the line. In its next drive, with 11:50 remaining, Georgetown ran the ball seven straight times and advanced to the Lafayette 27. On the eight play, however, Nolan was intercepted at the Lafayette 18 and returned to the Georgetown 35, setting up an opportunity for Lafayette to close the door with 8:58 left. On the second play of the drive, DB Jeremy Moore forced a fumble on a pass to WR Rodney Gould which opened the door back for Georgetown.
Back came the run, as RB Nick Campanella rushed three straight and Nolan rushed eight yards on third down and ten to advance to midfield. For a second critical moment of the game, Georgetown faced fourth down, and for a second time the Hoyas stung the Lafayette secondary. In the first half, Nolan found Waizenegger on his first catch of the game, and for this one, Nolan went for 25 yards to WR Jamal Davis to set the Hoyas up in scoring range, capped by a one yard run by Nick Campanella with 5:00 to play, 20-17.
The defense stood up Lafayette at midfield with just over three minutes to play, and Lafayette opted to punt and take its chances with a freshman quarterback deep in his own territory. Staying with the run, Nick Campanella rushed three times for 16 yards to gain an important first down, and the Hoyas punted the ball back with jsut 48 seconds remaining. With no time outs remaining, the seventh and final Lafayette followed with a Cameron Gamble interception at the Georgetown 30 to close out the big win.
Nolan finished the game 15-32 for 193 yards, with 114 yards in passing to Kevin Macari. The running game also came up big when it counted. Joel Kimpela and Nick Campanella combined for 39 carries and 158 yards; Kimpela's 80 yards in his third game as a Hoya was more than Lafayette's top two rushers combined.
After two weeks of critical comments by Coach Kelly on the state of the Georgetown defense, it came through in a big way, particularly on third downs, where Lafayette was held to 2-10 conversion. Of the 349 total yards surrendered to Lafayette in the game, the Hoya defense held the Leopards to a net 20 yards in the final three drives of the game and just 5:41 overall in the fourth quarter.
The outcome did not go over well in Easton, where the Leopards dropped its third straight to Georgetown by four points or less and are now on the outside looking in for the Patriot League title. For the Hoyas, the win comes at an opportune time, as it will enjoy an open week to rest and recharge its batteries for a two game homestand to end the season, raising hopes the 2012 Hoyas can win out and earn a winning season.
GEORGETOWN LAFAYETTE First downs 19 19 Rushed-yards 49-160 32-163 Passing yards 193 186 Sacked-yards lost 4-13 1-6 Return yards 18 99 Passes 15-32-1 17-34-3 Punts 9-40.4 6-37.2 Fumbles-lost 3-1 5-4 Penalties-yards 8-67 10-77 Time of possession 30:52 29:08
Additional coverage follows below.
Game #10: Bucknell (Nov. 10)
Defense was the order of the day in a 10-3 Georgetown win over Bucknell before a crowd of just 1,934 at Multi-Sport Field Saturday.
Bucknell entered the game averaging just 15 points a game, and would not come close in this one. The Bison managed just two first downs in the first half and punted on each of five possessions of the half.
Following a 28 yard punt return by Kevin macari on the first Bucknell punt of the afternoon, Georgetown drove 28 yards to the Bucknell four before settling for a 20 yard field goal, 3-0. On its next series, QB Kyle Nolan was injured and was replaced by Stephen Skon, who took the hoyas to the Bucknell 22 before Matt MacZura's field goal attempt was blocked and returned to the Bucknell 43. The Bison made no advance and the teams went three and out over the next three possessions until Georgetown took over with 10:47 in the half. Keyed by a 25 yard pass from Skon to Zack Wilke on a 3rd and 16 at the Georgetown 47, the Hoyas collected on an eight play, 80 yard drive with a 28 yard touchdown pass to Kevin Macari, 10-0.
Georgetown outgained Bucknell 356-168. The Bison ended the game with as many first downs as punts (seven).
Georgetown remains home for its season finale Saturday against Holy Cross (1-9), who fell to Wagner, 31-30 in the final 18 seconds of that game.
BUCKNELL GEORGETOWN First downs 7 22 Rushed-yards 33-73 40-105 Passing yards 95 251 Sacked-yards lost 3-14 3-23 Return yards 71 39 Passes 9-14-0 21-34-1 Punts 7-40.7 6-35.7 Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0 Penalties-yards 7-65 8-52 Time of possession 24:53 32:56
Additional coverage follows below:
Senior Day (Nov. 17)
"Our staff put a great deal of time and effort into this process and these young men, along with the returning players, should help us this season." --Kevin Kelly, May 27, 2009
It's safe to say that the 28 members of the Class of 2013 arrived a low point in recent Georgetown football history. By the end of its first season, the Hoyas had lost all 11 games, and 12 of the 28 left the team after the first season.
Those that stayed, those that rededicated themselves to improving every week, every year, have been part of a remarkable transformation on the program. In the first four years of football under Kevin Kelly, the Hoyas had won just five games. In the past three years, this year's senior class has been a part of 17 wins. From 2006 through 2009, the Hoyas won just one Patriot League game. In the past three years, this year's senior class have won eight. They have accomplished what many outside Washington believed simply could not be done--they made Georgetown a competitive Patriot League program despite the gap in resources that has long been a part of the program.
Saturday's game marks the end of the college careers of 14 members of the Class of 2013. These 14 seniors, along with fourth year junior Jamal Davis and fifth year seniors Wilburn Logan and Tucker Stafford, will be honored for their contributions to the team and to their University. It's been a rough road, but one which these young men can look back with pride on the legacy they leave to the teams of the future.
Two players competed for two seasons, and are on course to graduate with their class:
Twelve players were on the team only one season; of these, three saw game action. Eight are still enrolled at Georgetown and on course to graduate with their class.
Game #11: Holy Cross (Nov. 17)
The Georgetown offense fell flat in the season finale, punting on each of its first 11 possessions in a listless 24-0 loss to Holy Cross before an announced crowd of 1,789 at Multi-Sport Field Saturday. The win ended a five game losing streak for the Crusaders, who finished the season 2-9.
The game was only 7-0 at halftime, but no closer. Georgetown had no red zone possessions in the entire game and held the ball just 4:05 in the fourth quarter. The only thing that prevented punter Matt MacZura from tying a modern record for punts in a game was an interception in the final minute.
Georgetown's first drive netted 23 yards to the Holy Cross 39 yard line, which was as close as the Hoyas came all day inside HC territory. On Holy Cross' next possession, the Crusaders drive 80 yards in nine plays, with QB Ryan Laughlin hitting WR Gerald Mistretta for 29 yards and the opening score, 7-0.
Aaron Aiken, who had not started a game since Sep. 20, was 2-3 for 16 yards in the first drive and 2-2 for 11 yards in the second, but would pass for only 7 yards thereafter as the Hoyas' play calling turned inward in a battle of punts the rest of the half. The play-calling from offensive coordinator Vinny Marino began to follow a predictable pattern last seen in the days of former signal caller Jim Miceli:
The Crusaders countered with sophomore QB Steven Elder, who led the Crusaders on a seven play, 45 yard drive that also found Mistretta for 22 yards to the GU 12 and which Mistretta took in from two yards out, 14-0. If Georgetown were to mount a comeback, now was the time. The response?
A 35 yard punt was further complicated by a Georgetown penalty which set up HC at the Georgetown 38. Elder led the Crusaders inside the Georgetown five before DB Stephen Atwater stopped Holy Cross RB Eddie Houghton at the three, and HC settled for the field goal, 17-0.
Back came the Hoyas. In what amounted to a change, the next drive had the same result:
By the opening of the fourth quarter, Georgetown had completed its ninth consecutive punt when it set up the Crusaders at its own 34. Elder led the Crusaders on a 10 play, 66 yard drive that reached third down only twice, whereupon he found Mistretta open for 20 yards and the score, 24-0.
The Georgetown rotation under center continued, with Stephen Skon next taking the Hoyas on a four play, 10 yard drive. The Crusaders took off four minutes in its next drive despite only gaining 17 yards, and on the final drive of the day Skon was picked off at the Holy Cross 43. The nine play drive, totalling 43 yards with HC playing reserves, gained more yards than six prior GU drives combined.
Defensively, seniors Robert McCabe and Jeremy Moore ended their college careers in the Georgetown record books. McCabe's 15 tackles ended his college run with 407 tackles, eclipsing the former record of Nick Parrish (2006-09) with 326. Moore's four kickoff returns for 79 yards ended his career with an average of 23.2 yards per return, passing the 22.9 yards of Luke McArdle (2000-03).
Holy Cross entered the game last in the Patriot League and 99th nationally in rushing defense, allowing nearly 200 yards a game. Georgetown managed just 101 yards on 32 carries, of which 15 were rushes from two previously injured QB's (Aiken, Skon) and one from a quarterback seeing his first ever action (MacPherson) Joel Kimpela and Wilburn Logan combined for 48 yards on 11 carries. For his part, Kimpela rushed on consecutive plays for 26 yards in the third qtr., yet never got a handoff the rest of the game.
Holy Cross entered the game fifth in the Patriot League in passing defense, allowing nearly 240 yards a game. Georgetown managed just 95 yards, 33 of which were in the final drive. Aiken finished 5-11 for 33 yards (1-4 for nine yards in the second), Skon 5-12 for 52, and MacPherson 1-2 for ten yards.
Holy Cross entered the game last in the Patriot League in scoring defense, allowing 31.7 points per game. It was the first shutout by the Crusaders since Sep. 22, 2007 (HC 55, Georgetown 0) and its first against a Patriot League opponent on the road dating back to the 1990 season.
The loss marks Georgetown's first shutout since this year's senior class were freshmen, a 27-0 loss at Lehigh on Oct. 10, 2009. This is the first home shutout since Nov. 15, 1997 (Fordham), when the 1997 MAAC champion Hoyas stepped up to play a veteran Fordham team in a 42-0 loss on windswept Kehoe Field. Through all the trials and tribulations the last 15 seasons, the Hoyas had not surrendered a shutout on its home field until this predictably poor offensive effort.
With the loss of up to 17 seniors (two of whom could be eligible for redshirt status) Georgetown will return seven starters on offense and seven on defense in 2013, the first season where all Patriot League teams except Georgetown will field up to 15 scholarship athletes on its teams towards an eventual total of 60 by the 2016 season. Fordham, who will reach 60 by next fall, remains ineligible for the PL title through 2014.
HOLY CROSS GEORGETOWN First downs 19 12 Rushed-yards 45-181 32-101 Passing yards 164 95 Sacked-yards lost 2-9 5-37 Return yards 25 6 Passes 19-25-0 11-25-1 Punts 8-43.3 11-37.1 Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-0 Penalties-yards 4-27 4-44 Time of possession 34:14 25:46
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