With roaring crowds in a fan-filled stadium on Saturday, Georgetown football hosted its first home game at Cooper Field since 2019. Coming off of an overtime win against the Delaware State Hornets (1-2), the Hoyas suffered a tough 44-9 loss to the Harvard Crimson.
In the first minutes of the game, the Georgetown (1-1) defense held Harvard (1-0) to its 44-yard line before giving up a 56-yard touchdown from running back Aidan Borguet on a three-play drive. The Hoyas looked to recover from this rough start for the rest of the game but ultimately proved unsuccessful.
In Georgetown’s first drive, fifth-year quarterback Joseph Brunell connected several times with senior wide receiver Joshua Tomas. The Hoyas made some yardage gains but failed to enter Crimson territory and instead punted the ball off.
On the next drive, Harvard ended with another touchdown to set the score to 13-0, forcing Georgetownto step up its game. As the Crimson made an attempt for the extra point kick, senior defensive lineman Isaiah Byrd made a well-timed leap to block the kick. A frenzy of Harvard and Georgetown players fought for possession, but junior defensive back Jovone Campbell won out. Campbell grabbed the ball and returned it to the endzone, putting up two points on the board with a safety for the Hoyas.
Gaining some momentum, the Hoyas made steady advances on their next drive, pushing their way to the Crimson 15-yard line. On third-and-10, Brunell passed to Tomas for Georgetown’s first touchdown of the game. Harvard running back Aaron Shampklin quickly responded with a 36-yard rushing touchdown. Shampklin’s drive ended the first quarter with a score of 20-9, with Georgetown down.
The second quarter proved to be slower than the first. On the opening drive, the Hoya defense kept Harvard from scoring a touchdown. On fourth-and-9, Harvard kicker Jonah Lipel made a 42-yard field goal.
Senior running back Herman Moultrie III made small advances on Georgetown’s next drive, but the Hoyas were still forced to punt. Harvard took advantage of this opportunity and completed a 59-yard touchdown run, increasing its lead to 30-9.
Attempting to put some points up, Brunell hit senior wide receiver Cameron Crayton for 33 yards to the Harvard 31-yard line. The Harvard defense stood strong, thwarting Georgetown’s 13-play attempt to score.
Though they had some good looks in the first half, the second half of the game saw the Hoyas struggle to keep up with Harvard’s running game.
The beginning of the third quarter didn’t see much action, with a series of back-and-forth drives between the two teams. While Brunell and the Hoyas added many passing yards with a continual effort, they failed to convert any into touchdowns.
Picking up the pace later in the third quarter, Harvard saw two back-to-back touchdowns. On third-and-nine, Brunell’s pass was intercepted. Harvard Quarterback Charlie Dean passed to tight end Adam West for a 5-yard touchdown.
With Georgetown’s subsequent four-play drive, the ball returned to Harvard hands. The Hoyas’ defense resisted Harvard’s touchdown attempt toward the end of the third quarter, taking the 12-play drive into the fourth quarter. But this effort proved insufficient. Capitalizing on Shampklin’s successful runs that helped bring the Crimson to Georgetown’s 6-yard line, quarterback Luke Emge, who entered the game in the third quarter, made a short run into the endzone for the last touchdown of the game. Emge’s touchdown secured the Harvard win, putting the final score at 44-9.
Georgetown junior quarterback Tyler Knoop saw some playing time toward the latter half of the fourth quarter. He was sacked in the backfield but weathered through it.
With the exception of the rushing yards from Moultrie and first-year running back Naieem Kearney, the Hoyas mainly played a passing game led by Brunell and Crayton. But Georgetown’s effort was no match for Harvard’s running-oriented strategy, as the Crimson accumulated a total of 335 rushing yards.
Georgetown football Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said Harvard’s running game was the most challenging aspect of the Georgetown-Harvard match.
“Their two running backs were really good players,” Sgarlata said in a postgame interview with The Hoya. “Our defense isn’t used to giving up big runs like that, so we’ll go back and take a look and regroup.”
Sgarlata said that even in a loss, the game was a good starting point to look for improvements for the rest of the season.
“This is a good gauge for us,” Sgarlata said. “I wish we played a bit better in some of the crunch time moments, but our kids kept coming back. I was proud of the effort overall.”
The Hoyas are not letting this defeat put them down as they continue their season. They prepare to travel to New York City to face off against the Columbia Lions (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1:00 p.m.