Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

FOOTBALL | Hoyas Weather Storm, Blow Away Sacred Heart

It was anything but a normal victory for the Georgetown University football team as they faced off against the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Sept. 9 at Cooper Field. 

Severe thunderstorms in the Washington, D.C. area forced a nearly two-hour weather delay at halftime. While the two teams were able to resume play in the third quarter, a second wave of severe weather forced officials to call for an early end to the game in the beginning of the fourth quarter. 

The Hoyas were leading 27-10 at the time and thus received their second victory of the season, following their victory against Marist.

Georgetown (2-0) certainly carried over momentum from its dominant 49-7 victory against Marist to start the game. On the first play of the match, sophomore safety Jaden Dugger intercepted a deep pass attempt by Sacred Heart (0-2) graduate quarterback Cade Pribula. Despite pass completions of 17 and 22 yards by fifth-year quarterback Tyler Knoop on the ensuing offensive drive, the Hoyas did not capitalize on the turnover as they missed a field goal attempt. 

The Georgetown defense, led in part by sophomore tackle John Caramanico, continued to stifle Sacred Heart. Caramanico recorded one of his two tackles for loss with a huge sack for 10 yards on the Pioneers’ next offensive play, ultimately forcing a punt. A short 29-yarder, combined with a 10-yard Hoya return, set up Georgetown with an excellent field position on the Sacred Heart 45-yard line with 8:27 left on the clock in the first quarter.

This time, Georgetown was able to capitalize. On the first play of the new drive, Knoop found sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Kibble down the middle of the field for a 45-yard touchdown. The successful extra point attempt by senior kicker Richard Abood II gave Georgetown an early 7-0 lead.

Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata expressed high praise for his starting quarterback over the first two games of the season during a post-game interview.

“He’s done a great job of doing exactly what we’ve asked him to do,” Sgarlata told Georgetown Athletics. “He’s protected the football, he’s gotten us in and out of some really good plays and done a good job throwing the ball.”

After Georgetown’s touchdown, Sacred Heart completed an 11-play, 41-yard drive that resulted in a successful field goal attempt to make the score 7-3 with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.

The Hoyas quickly responded with their own long drive. A 48-yard kickoff return by senior wide receiver Tyler Smith set up the Hoyas with excellent field position. Eight plays later, graduate running back Joshua Stakely scored a touchdown on a five-yard rush to give the Hoyas a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Stakely’s performance, which included 17 rushing attempts for 116 yards and a touchdown as well as two catches for eight yards, earned him the Patriot League weekly honorable mention award.

GUHoyas | Hoya football battled through tough weather to snatch a 27-10 victory from Sacred Heart behind a stifling defense and blazing running game.

Midway through the second quarter, Sacred Heart scored their lone touchdown of the afternoon when senior running back Jalen Madison cut through Georgetown’s defense on a 27-yard rush. The touchdown cut the Hoyas’ lead to 14-10 with 6:20 remaining in the first half.

However, Georgetown’s offense responded once again on the ensuing offensive drive. 

An 18-yard pass completion to junior wide receiver Brock Biestek and a 19-yard rush by Stakely were the two key plays of a nine-play, 75-yard drive. The Hoyas scored on a goal-line rush by junior running back Naieem Kearney to make it 21-10 with 1:18 remaining in the first half. Kearney finished with an excellent stat line, rushing 15 times for 142 yards and a touchdown.

Sgarlata praised Georgetown’s offensive line for dominating against the Pioneers en route to 445 yards of total offense.

“Any time you have two backs over 100 yards, you’re really happy. We controlled the game up front throughout,” he said to Georgetown Athletics.

Georgetown ended the half with another field goal by Abood to make the score 24-10 after the special teams forced a fumble on Sacred Heart’s kick return.

The normally 20-minute halftime stretched into a near two-hour intermission as lightning was spotted in the area. These unprecedented circumstances caused a lot of uncertainty about whether the game would resume at all. However, Sgarlata noted that his team’s leadership did an excellent job of keeping the team engaged and focused during the extended break.

When the teams finally resumed the game after halftime, heavy rain stagnated both offenses. The only points of the second half came off of a 22-yard Georgetown field goal attempt with 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter. 

A second weather delay was called with 7:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, when it became clear that the weather would not improve, the officials awarded Georgetown a rain-shortened 27-10 victory.

Georgetown will look to remain undefeated as they host Stonehill College on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m. on Cooper Field.

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