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

Ninth Loss Sets GU Single Season Record

The Hoyas are officially relegated to the Patriot League basement.

In a match that pitted the only two teams without a Patriot League win against one another Saturday, it was the Fordham Rams (3-8, 1-5) who overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to post a 38-30 victory. The loss was the Hoyas’ (2-9, 0-6) ninth of the season – the most in Georgetown history, dating back to 1887. It was the Hoyas’ 12th-consecutive game dropped away from home, and their 10th-straight Patriot League loss dating back to last season.

“This one hurt, but we can’t let that stop where we are going with this program,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “This gives us motivation for the off-season. We’ll have a chip on our shoulders in 2007.”

The game showcased impressive freshmen on both teams who created big plays in a rare shoot-out for the Hoyas. The first half was the Charlie Houghton show, as Georgetown’s freshman running back highlighted the half with an electrifying 18-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.

“There were some talented young players on both sides,” Kelly said. “It gives both programs a whole lot of optimism heading into the future.”

Fordham signal-caller John Skelton was not to be outdone. Mired in a 21-10 hole at the start of the second half, Skelton went to work. On Fordham’s first drive of the third quarter, the freshman led the Rams down a short field, completing three passes for 33 of the drive’s 38 yards, including a four-yard strike to senior wide receiver Ty Hogan. The drive sparked an enormous quarter for the emerging first-year, as he threw for 119 yards during a 21-0 third-quarter run.

But Skelton was not the only rookie standout for the Rams on their Senior Day. Freshman running back Larry Dortch collected two scores in the third quarter.

Throughout the game, Dortch exposed what has been a recurring weakness for the Hoyas: an inability to stop the run. He racked up 127 yards and three touchdowns.

It was blunders down the stretch that foiled another fourth-quarter comeback. After a touchdown strike to junior wide receiver Kyle Van Fleet made the score 31-27, the extra point was botched. Then, during a fourth-quarter drive that would have given Georgetown the lead, Houghton lost the handle on the football, resulting in a key turnover.

There was some offensive firepower to be found, especially in the opening half. After recovering a Fordham fumble on the second play of the afternoon, Houghton immediately capitalized with an 18-yard scamper. Then, after the Rams evened the score, the Blue and Gray showed their big-play potential, piecing together a 74-yard drive punctuated by a 33-yard reception by junior wide receiver Kenny Mitchell.

“We executed the plays called very well,” Kelly said. “Coach [Jim] Miceli called in a good game plan. The most important thing was that we didn’t turn the ball over.”

After the Rams cut into their deficit to make it 14-10, Bassuener orchestrated another synchronized series. Fitting with the day’s theme, it was yet another freshman – running back Matthew Burgner – who got into the end zone for the Hoyas. A 20-yard run by Mitchell and a 33-yard reception by junior wide receiver Brent Craft set up the short score.

Despite this sudden offensive outbursts, Georgetown’s inconsistency and blunders still permitted the Rams to take the lead. In the first half, a fumble by Bassuener at Fordham’s five-yard line took a seven point chance away from Georgetown. In the third quarter, the Hoyas mustered only 19 yards of offense against Fordham’s 173. Seven of the Rams’ points came off a Bassuener interception on the half’s opening drive.

“Turnovers killed us in that second half,” Kelly said. “That interception changed the momentum coming out in the second half. It gave them life. It seems like we gave the ball away at the wrong time, and that leads to bad things.”

This season, Georgetown has surrendered more than 26 points per game. With freshman scattered about the offense, the Hoyas have continually struggled to make up the difference, scoring fewer than 15 points per game. The trend continued on Saturday, as Georgetown could not make the stops during the third quarter to protect the lead.

“[Fordham]’s front seven kind of wore us down toward the end there,” Kelly said. “We’re playing a lot of younger players, and they are making freshman mistakes. It hasn’t been one thing. It has been a whole bunch of mistakes and missed assignments.”

From here, Kelly’s crew goes right back to work – recruiting, training, lifting and preparing for the 2007 campaign. Until then, the team will be left to brood on one of the worst seasons in Hoya football history. If one positive can be carried into the off-season, it is the promise that freshmen like Houghton displayed down the stretch.

“One thing we are going to research thoroughly in the off-season is turnovers,” Kelly said. “We have to stop the momentum swings and living game-to-game and play-to-play like a roller coaster.”

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