In a double overtime thriller, the Georgetown football team defeated Lehigh University 22-16 in front of a sold-out crowd on Saturday.
The game marks Georgetown’s (4-4, 3-0 Patriot League) first win over Lehigh (1-6, 0-2 Patriot League) since 1925. The Hoyas have won their opening three Patriot League contests for the first since joining the conference in 2001.
The offense, which has struggled recently, found success against Lehigh. Junior quarterback Gunther Johnson completed 16 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown.
Johnson’s favorite target on the day was junior wideout Michael Dereus, who hauled in three passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Freshman receiver Joshua Tomas also had three grabs for 59 yards.
Johnson said that the Hoyas are beginning to find their rhythm on offense.
“The offense is starting to learn what we are capable of. We did a lot of good things, converted on third downs. I feel like we are on top of the world right now, but we will be ready to go next week,” Johnson said.
In overtime, sophomore running back Jackson Saffold took control. He gained 31 yards and found the back of the end zone twice for two touchdowns in the overtime periods.
Georgetown’s defense was headlined by some familiar names. Sophomore linebackers Wes Bowers and Xavier Reddick led the team in tackles. Bowers also ran back a blocked extra point attempt for two points.
Junior defensive lineman Khristian Tate recorded a pair of sacks, and leads the team with 7.5 this season.
Head Coach Rob Sgarlata praised the depth of his defense.
“We had a lot of different kids play today. We really went with that next man up philosophy. I’m really proud of how the defense answered the bell,” Sgarlata said.
Sophomore defensive back Cameron Deen and senior defensive back Jethro Francois each recorded interceptions against Lehigh. The Hoya defense now leads the nation in interceptions with 15 this season.
Deadlocked at nine at the end of regulation, the Hoyas started their first overtime bout since 2010 with the ball.
After a 19-yard pass from Johnson to Dereus, Saffold scored a touchdown to give Georgetown the advantage. Lehigh then tied it on its first possession of the overtime period.
Lehigh had possession to start the second overtime, until Francois picked off a pass to give the Hoyas the ball and a chance to clinch the victory. Two consecutive runs from Saffold marched the Hoyas 25 yards down the field for a touchdown and the victory.
Next up for the Hoyas is a trip to Hamilton, N.Y., where they will put their undefeated conference record on the line against Colgate University on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 12 p.m.