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

Hoyas Fall in Final Seconds

This time, the Hoya defense fell one clutch stop short.

After Georgetown blocked two previous kicks, Yale (1-0) passed up a game-winning field goal in the final seconds, and Patrick Witt plunged over the goal line as time expired to earn a 40-35 victory over the Hoyas (2-1, 1-0 Patriot League).

“I don’t think they had a lot of confidence in their protection team and their kicker,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “I think [Yale Coach Tom Williams] was thinking all along, `Let’s try to score a touchdown and not have to line up for a field goal.'”

Unfortunately for the Blue and Gray, that’s exactly what the Bulldogs did. After taking over at their own 36 with 1:27 remaining, the Bulldogs marched right down the field. On third-and-6 from the 10, tailback Alex Thomas ran for nine yards, but his outstretched arm fell just short of the end zone. As the clock ticked below 10 seconds, and despite still holding a timeout, Yale quickly moved up to the line and got a great push on the sneak, allowing Witt to easily get into the end zone for the score.

Yale’s previous possession had seen Georgetown make a goal line stand – culminating in the Hoyas’ second field goal block of the day – after having first-and-goal from the one. The Blue and Gray were unable to ice the game, managing only one first down, and a 38-yard punt gave the Bulldogs good field position for their final drive.

“We had several chances,” Kelly said. “We had the football, if we got a first down I think we could have run the clock out. Then we punted, a poor punt, and our defense let them score.We had plenty of opportunities to close the game out.”

A lackluster first half had Georgetown in a 27-14 hole, but sophomore defensive back Jeremy Moore gave the Hoyas a much needed boost at the start of the third quarter when he fielded the opening kickoff at the 15 and took it to the house, swinging the momentum squarely into Georgetown’s corner.

oore’s return, combined with excellent defensive play that included four pass breakups, earned him Division I FCS special teams player of the week – the second national award won by a Hoya in as many weeks. Last week junior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke was named FCS Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the 28-24 victory over Lafayette.

“We played a horrible first half,” Kelly said. “Execution fuels emotion, and that obviously got us going right from the get-go. Obviously on the first play of the second half when you score like that, it gets the sidelines jumpstarted again.”

Two plays later, junior defensive back Jayah Kaisamba intercepted Witt – the Bulldogs’ only turnover of the game. Scott Darby hit senior receiver Keerome Lawrence for 29 yards to move the ball to the Yale seven yard line, and Lawrence’s two-yard run on the third-and-goal gave the Blue and Gray their first lead.

After another defensive stop, the Hoyas drove down the field for another touchdown. Darby completed all five of his passes on the drive, which ended with a four-yard touchdown completion to junior wide receiver John O’Leary that extended the lead to 35-27.

Yale closed the gap to one point on the ensuing possession, but both offenses then struggled to move the ball until midway through the fourth quarter.

The Hoyas, meanwhile, committed two turnovers, and both proved to be very costly.

Junior running back Chance Logan fumbled a pitch near his own goal line in the first quarter, and Yale fell on it in the end zone to take a 7-0 lead. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Georgetown looked ready to extend its 35-34 lead when Darby’s pass was picked off at the three yard line.

The one interception notwithstanding, Darby had another fine outing, completing 24-of-47 passes for 340 yards and two scores. He found Jamal Davis, a sophomore transfer from Florida Atlantic, for a 40-yard touchdown to open the Hoyas’ scoring in the first quarter. Darby looked particularly comfortable throwing to Lawrence, who grabbed eight receptions for 129 yards and displayed an explosive burst, picking up much of his yardage after the catch.

On the other side of the ball, Georgetown surrendered a great deal of yardage through the air for the second week in a row.

A weak pass rush gave Witt plenty of time in the pocket, and the transfer from Nebraska picked the Blue and Gray secondary apart to the tune of 407 yards on 35-for-55 passing.

“We’ve got to tighten our secondary up a little bit, and we didn’t get much of a pass rush either,” Kelly said. “Both those two things combined really hurt us.”

The Hoyas will look to rebound Saturday against Holy Cross (1-2) for the home opener that doubles as the homecoming game. After their adventurous road trip, the Blue and Gray are eager to return to Georgetown.

“Our guys are excited,” Kelly said. “It’s another Patriot League game, it’s Holy Cross, it’s homecoming, it’s the first home game, all those things combined make for an exciting week.”

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