Georgetown lost 24-14 to Colgate on Saturday, putting their chances of finishing atop the Patriot League in serious jeopardy.
Georgetown (5-4, 1-3 Patriot League) entered the Nov. 2 game after a 27-24 loss to Lehigh (4-4, 3-1 Patriot League) on the road. The match was Georgetown’s third Patriot League game of the season, giving them a record of 1-2. In order to match their Patriot League record of 4-2 from last season, the Hoyas would have had to run the table.
Colgate (2-8, 1-3 Patriot League) entered the game at 1-8 in what has been a down year. Their poor record left the Raiders with nothing to lose, allowing them to experiment and run some unorthodox offensive sets that would eventually help lift them over the Blue and Gray.
Georgetown came out of the gates strong, forcing a three and out following a 9-yard sack on third down from junior linebacker George Ikott. The sack would be one of four first-half sacks for the Hoyas.
On the following possession, Georgetown ran a triple option on third and one, resulting in a 58-yard run for senior quarterback Gunther Johnson, but the play was called back because of a holding penalty. Georgetown continued to struggle with penalties throughout the game, racking up seven in total, with many of them coming at some of the worst possible times, negating long offensive plays and gifting the Colgate offense several first downs. After the game, Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said that the penalties were largely due to toughness and recognized that they did in fact consistently occur at inopportune times.
“Some of [the penalties] were toughness penalties. When you’re playing hard it happens,” Sgarlata said. “If you’re going to run the ball well you’re going to have some penalties. The issue is if you can overcome the first and 20 or if those turn into three and outs.”
After exchanging punts, Georgetown started its final drive of the first quarter in a great field position as a result of its outstanding pass rush. Starting from the Raiders’ 40-yard line, the Hoyas ran the ball three straight times, including running the same triple-option from earlier on third down, before failing to convert on fourth and five from the brink of field goal range.
Both offenses finally put points on the board in the second quarter. Colgate put together the first real drive of the game before missing a 41-yard field goal. Georgetown then drove down the field, spurred by a contested catch by senior tight end Isaac Schley on a throw that Johnson made moments before getting crushed by a defender who had made his way through the offensive line. Johnson scored the first touchdown of the game on a 28-yard quarterback draw.
Colgate came back to score a touchdown of their own. On a fourth and one from the Hoyas’ 27-yard line, the Raiders snapped the ball to tight end Nick Diaco out of the Wildcat who sprinted past the Georgetown linebacking core and through the secondary for a touchdown.
After the game, Sgarlata was proud of the drive his team was able to put together at the end of the first half despite the fact that it did not lead to any points due to a missed 48-yard field goal.
Subsequently, Colgate failed to get a drive going, leading to Georgetown’s taking a knee to go to half.
Colgate took control in the second half, forcing and recovering a fumble on Georgetown’s first possession. The Hoyas were able to force a turnover on downs, but the defense was right back on the field after another fumble; this time it resulted in three points for the Raiders. Sgarlata thought the turnover is what derailed the Hoyas’ chances of victory.
“Against a good football team, which is all you see in this league, you can’t turn the ball over,” Sgarlata said. “Otherwise, it’s a pretty even football game. Statistically, it was, but the results weren’t.”
Following a Georgetown three and out and a 39-yard punt return, Colgate scored another field goal, extending their lead to two possessions as the scoreboard read 17-7.
Both teams then had a few unsuccessful drives before Colgate started in great field position after another great punt return and a personal foul against Georgetown. Starting at the Hoyas’ 14, the Raiders scored a touchdown against a tired defense, making it a three-possession game.
Georgetown kept it interesting. Following a 64-yard catch by senior wide receiver Michael Dereus, it brought the final score to 24-14 on a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Georgetown has the next week off before facing Bucknell (1-7, 1-2 Patriot League) on the road in Lewisburg, Pa., on Nov. 16. The Hoyas are one win away from their first winning season since 2011, as two games remain on their 2019 slate.