Following a blowout win against Marist, the Georgetown football team (3-2, 1-1 Patriot League) came out flat-footed against Patriot League foe Bucknell (4-1, 1-0 Patriot League) on Saturday and found itself in a huge hole before halftime. The hole proved insurmountable despite a strong second-half effort, and the Hoyas fell, 35-18.
Unable to carry over the momentum from last Saturday’s convincing victory, senior quarterback Scott Darby lost a fumble at the Georgetown 16-yard line on the Hoyas’ very first possession. The turnover led to an easy touchdown for the Bison less than four minutes into the game.
The fumble, which Bucknell standout senior defensive end and Patriot League defensive player of the week Josh Eden recovered, helped Bucknell set the tone for the entire matchup.
To cap the short drive, Bucknell sophomore quarterback Brandon Wesley took a keeper into the end zone for the opening score.
The first quarter was mostly uneventful after that possession, with no points added to the scoreboard on either side.
But the floodgates opened up early in the second frame, and there was no relief in sight for the Hoyas. After running back Tyler Smith ran the ball 3 yards for the Bison’s second score of the afternoon, junior quarterback Isaiah Kempf relieved Darby, who had earned his second straight start after Kempf was injured two weeks ago versus Yale.
The change had little impact, initially, as the Blue and Gray were forced to punt on Kempf’s first three drives. Meanwhile, Bucknell added two additional touchdowns, pushing the score to 28-0.
Both subsequent Bucknell scores were products of Wesley’s arm, but it was the threat of the rush that made them possible. He scrambled and completed passes of 36 and 41 yards against a Georgetown defense wary of him escaping for a big run.
As the first half was winding down, however, Kempf was able to breath some life into the Hoyas, finding sophomore receiver Jamal Davis for a 19-yard touchdown strike with only 27 seconds remaining.
Because of this quick scoring drive — which lasted only four plays and 26 seconds while covering 60 yards — the Blue and Gray went into the locker room with a glimmer of hope and momentum.
This hope grew at the outset of the third quarter, as senior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke intercepted Wesley’s first pass after the opening kickoff and brought the ball to the Bucknell 15-yard line, immediately putting the Hoyas in position to further close the gap.
Schaetzke, who also contributed a sack, and junior linebacker Robert McCabe, who racked up 13 tackles, were two of the only bright spots for the Georgetown defense. The Hoyas struggled all day to contain the crafty Wesley and stay with the Bucknell receivers.
The drive ended disappointingly, however, as the Blue and Gray only managed a 24-yard field goal from senior kicker Brett Weiss, making the score 28-10.
The Hoyas soon caught another break when the Bison punt returner flubbed a punt from sophomore punter Matt MacZura midway through the third quarter. Freshman linebacker and gunner Nick Alfieri was able to jump on the fumble at the Bucknell 14-yard line, once again putting the Blue and Gray in prime scoring territory.
This time, the Blue and Gray pushed the ball into the end zone on a 4-yard pass from Kempf to junior wide receiver Kenneth Furlough. Kempf successfully completed the 2-point conversion pass to senior running back Wilburn Logan, closing the gap to 28-18. The score was closer than it had been since early in the second quarter.
The momentum, however, disappeared almost as quickly as it had arrived, with the Hoyas’ next drive ending in a punt. The ensuing Bucknell drive culminated in what would be the final score of the game for either side: a 55-yard completion from Wesley to senior wide receiver Frank DeNick 10 seconds into the final quarter.
The rest of the quarter was even more disappointing, marked by two Kempf interceptions and a turnover on downs, which sealed the win for the Bison.
The Blue and Gray head to Staten Island, N.Y., next weekend to take on Wagner in their fourth straight road game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.