With the fourth quarter fast approaching, the Hoyas’ chances at victory seemed bleak as they found themselves down 16 points to the home team University of Pennsylvania Quakers. However, a dominant fourth-quarter display in which they outscored their opponents 16-0 forced an overtime thriller.
Despite clawing their way back to level ground with their opponents, the Georgetown University football team (3-3, 1-0 Patriot League) failed to complete the comeback in overtime, falling to the Penn Quakers (3-1, 0-1 Ivy League) by a score of 42-39.
After an uneventful first quarter for both teams, it seemed as though the game was destined to be low-scoring and defensive-minded. However, Georgetown quickly changed the narrative when fifth-year quarterback Tyler Knoop pushed his way past an oncoming defender and into the end zone to cap off an excellent drive for the Hoyas that began after the defense forced a fumble from the Penn quarterback.
The home team quickly responded with a rushing touchdown of their own just over three minutes later. After the kickoff from Penn left the Hoyas with a tough field position near their own end zone, they were forced to punt after a three-and-out, leaving the Quakers in an advantageous position to score. They wasted no time capitalizing on their position, scoring a passing touchdown just one play later to give them a 14-7 lead.
After another unconvincing drive from the Hoyas, Penn converted on a series of passing plays to make their way down the field, but the Hoyas defense remained resolute and held their opponents to just a field goal, keeping the game within reach.
Georgetown got the ball back with just a few minutes left and the length of the field to go, but Knoop and the rest of the players were not rattled. A combination of rushes and passes led the Hoyas all the way down to the Penn 10-yard line, where Knoop connected with graduate running back Joshua Stakely for the score. After another quick drive and field goal from Penn, the half ended with a score of 20-13 in favor of the Quakers.
The second half began rather shakily for the Hoyas, resulting in an interception, safety and second interception on the first three drives. Despite the miscues, the Hoyas defense did their best to stay within striking distance. Down 29-13 with just under 6 minutes left in the third quarter, Knoop got himself back on track when he found sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Kibble for a 65-yard touchdown catch. After the converted extra point try, the Hoyas pulled themselves within nine.
But once again, Penn answered quickly, sneaking in a touchdown as the quarter was coming to a close to take a commanding 16-point lead into the fourth.
The Hoyas received the ball to begin the fourth, and Knoop was as calm as can be, pulling the strings to perfection while marching his team down the field. Stakely punched in his second touchdown of the night on a six-yard run, and Knoop found sophomore wide receiver Nicholas Dunneman in the end zone for the two-point conversion to cut the lead to eight.
After Penn failed to execute on their next drive, the Hoyas began with the ball on their own 15-yard line with a chance to tie up the game and send it to overtime, which is exactly what happened. Knoop converted on a few clutch third-down plays to bring his team to the Penn one-yard line and once again connected with Stakely on a short touchdown pass.
After converting the extra points, the Hoyas tied up the game, coming back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Quakers had a chance to win it at the end, but their 62-yard field goal attempt was unsuccessful, meaning overtime was in order to decide the winner in Philadelphia.
While Penn scored the decisive touchdown in overtime to win the game, the Hoyas fought hard to come back from 16 down and force overtime.
Although every player contributed to the impressive game for the Hoyas, the performance of some players stood out as truly outstanding. Quarterback Tyler Knoop completed 26 of his 40 passing attempts for 272 yards and three touchdowns. In the rushing game, Knoop added another 30 yards and a touchdown. Stakely also had an impressive game, contributing 55 yards and a touchdown in the run game and another 27 yards and two touchdowns in the receiving game. Kibble put up 82 yards and a touchdown, including his big play in the third quarter to keep the Hoyas in the game. After a hard-fought game against the Quakers, the Hoyas will hope to improve their record to above .500 when they return to Pennsylvania for their second league matchup with Lehigh on Saturday, Oct. 14.