On a chilly day in Worcester, Mass., 16 seniors took the field for the final time as Georgetown Hoyas (4-7, 2-4 Patriot League). In the season finale, the Hoyas fell 45-7 to the Holy Cross Crusaders (6-5, 3-3 Patriot League), a familiar foe whom the Hoyas had beaten in their past two matchups.
On a day that was dominated by the Crusaders, senior quarterback Kyle Nolan passed J.J. Mont (COL ’00) as Georgetown’s career leader in total yards with 6,269. Nolan connected on 25-of-42 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown. Junior tight end Matthew Buckman had five catches on the day for 36 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receivers Harrison Glor and Jake DeCicco collected 48 and 38 receiving yards, respectively, while standout junior wide receiver Justin Hill was sidelined for the season finale due to a high ankle sprain.
Holy Cross started fast Saturday with three touchdowns in the first quarter. On the first Georgetown drive, Holy Cross junior defensive back Luke Ford intercepted a pass by Nolan and returned the ball to the 4-yard line. This led to the Crusaders’ first rushing touchdown by junior running back Gabe Guild. Five minutes later, Guild scored again, followed by a 32-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Peter Pujals to senior wide receiver Kalif Raymond. It was Holy Cross’ highest scoring opening quarter all season.
“They made plays and we just were not on our best game right now, so they found the holes and hit them,” senior linebacker Matt Satchell said. “We just couldn’t defend them at the moment.”
With a 21-0 lead, the Crusaders didn’t stop. Pujals connected on a touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Brendan Flaherty. With just under five minutes to play in the half, Georgetown finally reached the Holy Cross side of the field for the first time all game. After a missed field goal attempt by junior kicker Henry Darmstadter with 1:27 to go, the Crusaders got the ball back and connected on a field goal, extending their lead 31-0 before the half.
Georgetown’s defense woke up in the third, preventing a fourth down conversion for the Crusaders. The Blue and Gray’s offense hit the field again and scored its only touchdown of the game. Nolan led a 17-play drive and was able to convert on three third downs and a fourth down.
Despite the momentum shift, the Crusaders got their offense back on the field and crossed the goal line twice more before the end of the quarter. With a scoreless fourth, the score stood at 45-7 in favor of Holy Cross.
As injuries plagued senior running back Jo’el Kimpela at the end of the season, senior fullback Troye Bullock stepped up in his final time on the field. Bullock finished with 52 yards on 13 rush attempts to lead the rushing offense.
“Coach Neuberger kept me honest all season, just kept me focused in the background, focused on how Jo’el ran and how everybody else ran so I was ready,” Bullock said. “I was totally prepared. It wasn’t a surprise for me.”
Despite dropping their final two games, Bullock and his fellow seniors had high praise for the program they are leaving behind.
“I’m not too disappointed. The loss is bad but we fought, we played hard, we played as hard as we can and this team has a very bright future,” Bullock said. “What Coach Sgarlata is doing is great, turning us into men, not just football players. I think we have a bright road ahead of us for Hoya football.”
Fellow senior Satchell had a career season in his last year. In his final game, he finished with seven tackles to reach 100 for the season, eight more than his total last year.
“We had the expectation of coming in and proving everybody wrong,” Satchell said. “I know this year we definitely did. We proved a point that Georgetown is not the normal program that it used to be.”
With a final record of 4-7, Georgetown marks its most successful season since the 2012-13 season when it went 5-6 overall. While there is still more work to be done, it is clear that the seniors will leave behind a unique legacy for a program to which they dedicated so much of their time.
“If you look at games played, they played a lot of football for us,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “They were excellent as freshmen, came in and had to learn on the fly while they were on the field, and I can’t tell you how much I respect every one of those guys for sticking with us for four years.”
Seven Hoyas earned All-Patriot League honors this year. Satchell was named to the All-Patriot League First Team, while six Hoyas — senior cornerback Ettian Scott, senior offensive tackle Kevin Liddy, Kimpela, Hill, Buckman and Darmstadter — earned second team All-Patriot League honors. Georgetown’s seven all-league honorees tied the program record.