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

GU Falls Just Short of NCAA Tourney

When Georgetown returned home to play a severely undersized Davidson Saturday afternoon, indications were that the Wildcats would face an improved passing attack and an in-synch offense.

Indeed, the Hoyas passed for 190 yards and outgained their opponent, but what they could not do was get the win, instead succumbing to their Pioneer League opponent, 10-3.

Crucial turnovers were the theme of the day, as one costly momentum swing after another sunk Georgetown (4-6, 2-3 Patriot) beneath Davidson (4-6, 1-3 Pioneer). Disrupting the Georgetown attack with four fumbles and an interception, the Wildcats capitalized on Hoya blunders.

“Turnovers are always frustrating,” junior quarterback Nick Cangelosi said. “They are part of the game. They are something we work on that you have to overcome.”

Characterized as a “must-win” by Head Coach Bob Benson after last week’s defeat at Lehigh, the loss ensured Georgetown’s sixth straight losing season.

“We just struggled offensively,” Benson said. “It was a tight game, but in the end [Davidson] just made more plays than we did.”

Georgetown’s struggles with the ball are statistically the worst in Division I-AA – the Hoyas rank dead last in the country in total offense.

Outscored 63-0 this season in the first quarter, Georgetown started the game off in typical fashion. Marching 63 yards in eight plays, Davidson took a quick 3-0 lead. The Hoyas found themselves unable to answer throughout the first half.

With the two defenses locked in a stalemate in what became a battle between the punters, one play defined the game. Running the option to the right, Cangelosi was hit, jostling the ball free and leading to a Wildcat recovery. Beginning at Georgetown’s 29-yard line, sophomore quarterback Ryan Alexander made the Hoyas pay on a 10-yard slant pattern to make the score 10-0 with 1:03 remaining in the first half.

“Davidson won the turnover battle and that won them the game,” Benson said.

Desperately in need of points before the break, senior kicker Brad Scoffern pushed a 38-yard field goal attempt to the right as time expired.

“We had ample opportunities to hit,” Benson said. “We just blew a lot of opportunities.”

Coming out of the half, the Hoyas searched for a play that would spark another comeback. While the offense began with two three-and-outs, the defense picked up where it left off in the first half. Midway through the third quarter, Georgetown got the break it needed as the Wildcats’ 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

But the momentum swing was fleeting for the Georgetown attack. After advancing down to Davidson’s 34-yard line, senior running back Marcus Slayton was stuffed on fourth-and-2.

Foiled by another turnover, the defense quickly returned the ball to Cangelosi’s hands. Just before the end of the third quarter, however, the turnover bug bit the Blue and Gray again. On the third play of the drive, freshman wide receiver Sidney Baker fumbled his first-down reception, surrendering the ball to Davidson at Georgetown’s 18-yard line.

In what served as a microcosm of the afternoon, the defense cleaned up offensive miscues, outmuscling the Wildcats at the goal line to keep the score 10-0. On the first play of Georgetown’s drive, Cangelosi went back to Baker for 43 yards. The encouraging drive stalled at Davidson’s 40-yard line as Cangelosi met the heart of the Davidson line on the fourth-down quarterback draw.

The maddening cycle of fourth-down futility finally ended with 2:51 remaining in the game as Scoffern connected on a 26-yard attempt to make the tally 10-3. After failing to come up with the onside kick, however, the “comeback kids” fell short in the fourth quarter.

“We always say [that we had opportunities downfield],” Cangelosi said. “What happened was what happened. I don’t look back on that.”

Cangelosi completed 18 of 31 passing attempts for a season-high 190 yards. However, taking five sacks, the most in his career, truncated several Georgetown drives. Slayton, in his first game back from a shoulder injury, amassed 88 yards on 20 carries.

For the defense, junior defensive tackle Julius Griauzde continued what has been a breakout second half to the season, adding a sack and a forced fumble to his eight tackles. Senior defensive end Michael Ononibaku also added another sack to his total of 7.5, making him among the league leaders in the category.

For Davidson, Alexander aired out 19 completions for 165 yards, solidifying a 2,000-yard season. Freshman punter Jonathon Thrasher won the field position war for the Wildcats, averaging 44 yards per punt with a 67-yard high. Senior linebacker Alex Arinsmier stuffed the Georgetown run with 16 tackles and a sack.

“It’s always frustrating to lose,” Ononibaku said. “We win as a team and lose as a team and unfortunately we came out on the losing end.”

In its matchup with Colgate on Saturday at the Multi-Sport Facility, Georgetown will make a bid for its most Patriot League wins in a season since joining the conference in 2001. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m.

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