After nearly two years since the team’s last game, Georgetown football is back in business. Junior running back Joshua Stakely ran in the game-winning touchdown in overtime to beat the Delaware State Hornets 20-14.
Neither team was able to get much going offensively early in the game. After a long return on senior kicker Davis Walker’s opening kickoff, the Georgetown (1-0, 1-0 Patriot League) defense shut down Delaware State (1-1, 0-0 Mid Eastern) on three consecutive plays, forcing the Hornets to punt the ball away. The Georgetown offense came out rusty, struggling to advance the ball more than three downs and giving the ball right back.
The Hoyas’ defense continued to step up, swallowing up two rushing attempts for only three yards. The Hornets’ punter tried a fake punt, but saw the Georgetown pressure coming and attempted to kick the ball away rugby-style. Senior defensive back Ahmad Wilson got a hand on the punt and sent it out of bounds.
Fifth-year quarterback Joseph Brunell completed a 20-yard pass to senior wide receiver Joshua Thomas but turned the ball over with an interception in Delaware State territory. The Hornets capitalized on the Hoya turnover, going on a seven-play, 66-yard drive that finished in an 11-yard touchdown run.
Delaware State began to establish its rhythm; on their next drive, the Hornets connected on a 14-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0. Georgetown continued to struggle offensively. The teams exchanged three-and-outs until senior linebacker Justin Fonteneaux picked off a Hornet pass and ran it back down the sideline, setting the Hoyas up on the Delaware State 46-yard line. Fonteneaux’s play proved to be a turning point in the game.
With only 38 seconds remaining in the half, Brunell went to work. On 3rd-and-10, he found sophomore wideout Asante Das for a 29-yard gain. Then, with only four seconds to play, he floated a 17-yard pass up to senior tight end Sergio Portobanco. Portobanco fought off a defensive back and came down with the ball for his first touchdown as a Hoya. The team went to halftime down 14-7.
Georgetown took the second half kickoff but was again forced to punt. The Hoya defense stood its ground and earned a three-and-out, giving the ball back to Brunell and the offense.
On this drive, the Hoyas wasted no time. Brunell rolled out of the pocket and connected with Thomas for a 17-yard pickup. Three plays later, senior wideout Cameron Crayton burned a Hornet defensive back and Brunell found him in stride for a 36-yard touchdown pass. Just like that, the Hoyas had pulled even, 14-14.
Momentum was all on the Georgetown side, and the defense came up big once again. First-year linebacker Stephen Sergio made a tackle for a loss, and Wilson found his way into the backfield to thwart a long third down attempt.
The offense stalled, but Hunt’s ninth punt of the day may have been his best, locking the Hornets in on their own six-yard line at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Senior defensive lineman Quincy Chinwuko forced a fumble, and the Hoyas recovered in their own territory.
Brunell and Crayton connected on another long pass, giving Georgetown the chance to go ahead with a field goal. Hunt missed left from 35 yards, and Delaware State took over with only 5:26 remaining in regulation. The defense came up big again with another stop, giving Brunell and the offense another chance to win the game. The Hoyas struggled to put anything together and Brunell was sacked as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Delaware State had the first scoring chance in overtime, trying a field goal from 37 yards. Fonteneaux rose up to block the field goal in his second huge play of the game. Georgetown took over and let Stakely pound his way down the field, handing him the ball for gains of five, four and 11 yards, respectively. On first-and-goal, he fought through a scrum of defenders to score the game-winning touchdown.
Saturday’s matchup was an exciting return to play for Georgetown football. The Hoyas will look to keep it going at Cooper Field on Saturday, when the Harvard Crimson (0-0, 0-0 Ivy League) come to play at 12:30 p.m.