Saturday’s Senior Day football game against Colgate was a microcosm of the season. Georgetown started the game strong with an early 10-0 lead, but the team lost control of the game, allowing 35 consecutive points to lose 35-10. Similarly, the Hoyas started their season strong by winning the first game, then they dropped 10 consecutive games to finish the season winless in conference play.
On the first play of the game, Colgate (7-4, 5-1 Patriot League) freshman quarterback Grant Breneman looked to dump the ball down for a short gain, but sophomore defensive lineman Khristian Tate read the play. Tate intercepted the pass and returned it 29 yards for his second defensive touchdown of the season. Just nine seconds into the game, the Hoyas led 7-0.
Georgetown’s (1-10, 0-6 Patriot League) early dominance continued into the next drive as Tate and senior defensive back David Akere smothered a Colgate running back at the line of scrimmage on a 4th-and-2 from the Georgetown 44-yard line.
The Hoyas took over and drove 25 yards before sophomore kicker Brad Hurst nailed a field goal from 36 yards out to increase the lead to double digits. Up 10-0, the game looked like it was completely in the Hoyas’ control — but the success was short-lived.
On the ensuing drive, the Raiders ran 13 plays and shaved eight minutes off the clock before senior running back James Holland Jr. punched the ball into the end zone from 5 yards away for a touchdown. At the end of the first, the Hoyas led 10-7, but the Raiders seemed to be dominating. They ran 21 plays to the Hoyas’ 7-yard line and held the Hoyas to negative 1 rushing yards.
A few plays after a 52-yard punt return by the Raiders to begin the drive at the Hoyas’ 22-yard-line, Breneman completed a pass to junior wide receiver Thomas Ives for his first touchdown of the day. The Raiders got their first lead of the day at 14-10.
After Colgate jumped in front, Georgetown sophomore quarterback Gunther Johnson relieved fifth-year quarterback Tim Barnes, who started the game after an eight-week injury. The Hoyas and Raiders traded punts on the next drives before Johnson threw an interception, which the Raiders turned into seven after Ives’ second touchdown of the day. At halftime, the Raiders led 21-10, and the momentum completely shifted.
The third quarter told a story similar to that of the second quarter as the Hoyas failed to muster anything offensively and the Raiders continued to score. The Hoyas opened the half with a three-and-out, and the Raiders responded with a 17-play drive that culminated in a rushing touchdown to go up 28-10. The cycle repeated itself as the Hoyas went three-and-out again before Ives caught his third touchdown of the game to bring the lead to 25.
Neither team added any points to the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, but Tate secured his second takeaway early in the quarter after Breneman fumbled on a scramble. A Georgetown punt and turnover on downs, along with a Colgate missed field goal, sealed the deal as the clock ticked down to zero on the season and the seniors’ collegiate careers.
Colgate earned a share of the Patriot League title along with Lehigh (5-6, 5-1 Patriot League), but the tiebreaker went to Lehigh, giving it an automatic bid to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Colgate failed to earn an at-large bid to the tournament.
Barnes, an offensive captain, completed just eight of 20 passes for 72 yards and no touchdowns in his last game for the Hoyas, and defensive standout Akere finished with 14 tackles to lead the defense.
Akere finished fifth in Georgetown history in tackles after his performance Saturday.
“It’s an incredible honor. It’s an incredible experience. I enjoyed my time here at Georgetown. Finishing fifth is fantastic,” Akere said.
Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said one of the biggest takeaways for next year is the contributions of the freshmen this year.
“If you go down through the stat sheet, we have 27 freshmen. I would venture to say that probably 18 of them played, with 10 of them playing significant roles throughout the season. That’s a huge positive for us,” Sgarlata said.
Overall, Sgarlata also said that Senior Day was emotional both for him and the seniors.
“We talk about four for 40. At the end of the four years, set them up for the next 40 years of their life. But it’s hard. Win or lose, in the locker room afterwards, it’s difficult. It’s really emotional. We’re really close to the guys. It’s one of our bigger senior classes, and we’re really proud of those guys,” Sgarlata said.