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

Georgetown Falls to No. 25 Holy Cross in Opener

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Junior slot-back Keerome Lawrence scored the only Georgetown touchdown on Saturday at Holy Cross

A first-quarter touchdown and timely defense had Georgetown on the verge of an upset over Patriot League favorite Holy Cross. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, the Crusaders (1-0, 1-0 Patriot League) broke through in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns to notch a 20-7 victory.

“We came out of the gates, they were really excited about the game,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “We had a great first drive, 12-play drive, scored a touchdown and then after that we sputtered.”

Sophomore quarterback James Brady capped a 65-yard opening drive by hooking up with junior slot back Keerome Lawrence for a 33-yard touchdown. The drive gave the Hoyas a 7-0 lead and it was the first of three Georgetown ventures into Holy Cross territory.

On the opposite side of the ball, Georgetown (0-1, 0-1 Patriot League) held the Holy Cross offense, particularly two-time Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year senior quarterback Dominic Randolph, in check for much of the game. The Crusaders only first-half score came following an interception at the Georgetown 15-yard line, and the Hoyas carried a 7-3 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Crusaders began racking up yardage, but the Hoya defense made a pair of goal-line stands to maintain the lead. Midway through the third quarter, a 23-yard pass from Randolph put Holy Cross at the Georgetown 3-yard line, but the Crusaders failed to punch it in for the touchdown, instead settling for a field goal.

On the next drive, sophomore running back Francis Camara caught a 10-yard pass from Randolph before fumbling the ball on the 1-yard line, and Georgetown jumped on it to preserve the 7-6 lead as the third quarter came to a close.

“[The Holy Cross] offense is very explosive,” Kelly said. “[We] gave some yards up, but when [we] had to stop them, the bottom line is to hold them out of the end zone and after three quarters they only had six points.”

Holy Cross outgained Georgetown 519 to 169 for the game and possessed the ball for nearly 40 minutes. As a result, at the beginning of the fourth quarter the Hoya defense began to falter. On the second play of the quarter, Randolph – who completed 36-of-56 passes for 414 yards – hit senior tight end Paul Nielsen for an 18-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead.

“We weren’t on the field very long on offense, and we had played a lot of snaps on defense,” Kelly said. “When that happens eventually they’re going to wear you down.”

Georgetown followed with three consecutive three-and-outs as Holy Cross extended the lead to 20-7 and ran the clock down. On their final drive of the game, the Hoyas crossed midfield to the Crusaders’ 47, but an incomplete pass on 4th-and-12 with 4:01 remaining gave the ball back to Holy Cross. The Crusaders then mounted a long drive until the clock expired.

Georgetown rushed for only 38 yards on 19 carries and earned only five first downs, and that inability to consistently move the ball eventually led to the defense wearing down.

After a first quarter which saw the teams split possession nearly evenly, the Crusaders held a 31:57-13:03 possession advantage. The Hoya passing game did not fare much better, as Brady and fellow sophomore quarterback Scott Darby combined for only 131 yards through the air.

The Georgetown defense showed that it can keep the Hoyas in close games, but if they are to improve upon last year’s two-win season, the offense must improve. Kelly, however, suggested that his team is not too far away from playing very good football and stated confidently that his team has the ability to beat any team on the schedule.

“We talked about playing toe-to-toe with supposedly the best team in the league, top-25 in the country, and we know that we can beat a team like that,” Kelly said. “We didn’t give them our best performance and it was really close.”

Georgetown returns to the gridiron on Saturday when it opens its home slate with a 6 p.m. showdown with Lafayette.

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