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

Crusaders Defeat Hoyas in Opener

Hoya Staff Writer Friday, September 8, 2006 Andreas Jeninga/The Hoya Freshman running back Charlie Houghton advances the ball against Holy Cross. On the day, he had two carries for five yards.

New coach, new faces, new attitude. Same result.

After the ribbon was cut on game one of the Kevin Kelly era, Holy Cross made it clear that the Hoya rebuilding process is still in its infancy en route to a 26-13 win Saturday afternoon at the Multi-Sport Facility. For Georgetown (0-1, 0-1 Patriot League), its history of disappointment against the Crusaders continued as the loss marked the team’s seventh straight to Holy Cross (1-0, 1-0 Patriot League).

Georgetown’s well-publicized shift to the spread option under Head Coach Kevin Kelly produced mixed results. Coming into the season, the objective was to increase time of possession and rushing totals. On Saturday, however, the Crusaders defeated the Hoyas in time of possession, and Georgetown’s 80 yards rushing were 28 fewer than last year’s total against Holy Cross.

More positively, the offense, which ranked the most inept in Division I football last season with ten points per game, still managed to put two touchdowns on the board.

“I told the guys that we let one slip away,” Kelly said. “Holy Cross is a well-coached team, but we made some mistakes. We had some chances in the third quarter to get back into the ball game.”

The game began with a defensive stop by Georgetown. Two of the first three plays from scrimmage saw sophomore quarterback Ben Hostetler fire strikes of twenty and twelve yards. The drive stalled at the Holy Cross 45 yard-line, however. From then on, the Hoyas failed to cross midfield until midway through the third quarter.

The game’s first score came shortly after one of the game’s most curious and controversial plays. Holy Cross sophomore quarterback Dominic Randolph rolled right towards the Hoya sideline. As junior defensive tackle Nnamdi Obiako hit him, he lobbed a jump ball into the back of the endzone intended for junior wide receiver Ryan Maher. Officials ruled that defensive pass interference had prevented a touchdown, placing the ball at the Georgetown six yard-line. Randolph was injured on the play, and missed the remainder of the game.

The injury provided the Crusaders a sense of urgency lacking throughout the first quarter. Two plays later, sophomore running back Terrance Gass took a two-yard plunge into the endzone to give Holy Cross a 7-0 cushion.

The Hoyas could muster no response in the second quarter after damaging offensive holding calls prevented Hostetler’s offense from gaining any rhythm.

With 1:45 left in the first half, Georgetown’s drive failed on its own 28 yard-line. On fourth down with two yards to go, junior punter Eric Bjonerud had his punt partially blocked, leaving Holy Cross with excellent field position. Junior quarterback Brian McSharry, who came in for Randolph, completed consecutive passes of 23 and 25 yards to cap a six play, 43 yard touchdown drive with 2.3 seconds remaining in the first half. A blocked extra point left the Crusader’s lead at 13-0.

Hoya miscues continued into the second half. Freshman running back Charlie Houghton muffed the opening possession at Georgetown’s 33 yard-line. Holy Cross converted the turnover into a field goal to increase the lead to 16-0.

The next possession by the Hoyas finally provided a glimpse into what Kelly hopes to bring to Georgetown. Timely third-down conversions with the Option and a spread passing attack which converted fourth and nine led the Hoyas to the two yard line. From there, Hostetler called his own number on a bootleg to the right for the touchdown. A failed two-point conversion narrowed the margin to 16-6.

“It was just a boot[leg] off a fake handoff,” Hostetler said. “The D[efensive] end bit, and the right side was open.”

Just as the crowd of nearly 2,000 spectators at the Multi-Sport Facility was finally getting excited about the game, a painstaking 19 play, 80 yard drive by the Holy Cross offense promptly shut things down. A 26-yard field goal lengthened the deficit to 19-6.

Georgetown’s faint hopes of a comeback were shattered by a Hostetler interception, which the Crusaders capitalized upon to drive 55 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown. The Hoyas scored a touchdown with 2:31 remaining in the game to cap what became a hope-inspiring offensive second half. The 66-yard drive closed with a nine-yard lob to the corner of the end-zone for junior wide receiver Charlie Curtis for the final score of 26-16.

For the Hoyas, junior defensive back Darren Craft led with eight tackles. Hostetler finished 20-34 for 168 yards and one touchdown.

On the Crusaders’ side of the ball, senior linebacker Dan Adams, who led division 1-AA football last year with 97 solo tackles, lived up to the hype racking up eight tackles including three for a loss. Despite the injury, Holy Cross quarterbacks threw collectively for 260 yards and a touchdown.

“Right now, the situation is this, and you tend to see the most improvement from the first game to the second,” Kelly said. “Now we know where we’re at and what we have and we’re going to go out there and try to win our next game.”

Kickoff is set for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the ulti-Sport Facility.

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