The Georgetown football team played well last Saturday, finishing with a 14-8 win against Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. The victory was their second straight road win against an Ivy League team after defeating Columbia 24-10 the previous Saturday.
The Hoyas’ (4-1) defense once again continued its aggressive play with junior defensive back Jonathan Honore intercepting the ball on the first drive of the game. The offense capitalized on the turnover, driving 50 yards in less than two minutes, finishing with a 3-yard rushing touchdown from senior quarterback Gunther Johnson. They also completed a 2-point conversion with a run from sophomore wide receiver Joshua Tomas, who ended the day with 118 all-purpose yards.
While the Hoyas led for most of the game, Cornell would go down to tie the game in the third quarter with a 5-yard touchdown. Sophomore running back Herman Moultrie III was confident in the Hoyas’ ability throughout the entirety of the close game.
“I’ve been playing football pretty much my whole life so along the way you kind of just learn things in order to deal with situations like that. It was definitely a high-risk situation, basically, given the score, but I think our practice prepares us for a moment like this and I think as a team we definitely rose to the challenge,” Moultrie said in an interview with The Hoya.
After a 23-yard punt return from Tomas, the team took the lead with five minutes left on the clock with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to sophomore wide receiver Cameron Crayton. The defense then sealed the deal with a three-and-out, leaving the offense to run out the final four minutes left on the clock. During the final drive, Johnson managed to complete a 9-yard pass to Tomas during a fourth-and-eight situation, putting him at 6-for-9 for 110 yards on the day. Moultrie rushed the ball five times, putting him at 101 rush yards for the game, his second 100-yard performance of the season.
While content with the 101 yards, Moultrie attributes his performance on Saturday to his offensive line.
“I had a lot of personal goals I wanted to achieve and having two [one] hundred-yard rushing games definitely [gets me] closer to my goals. A lot of things went into that. The O-line blocked for a fantastic game, the holes were enormous,” Moultrie said.
As a token of his gratitude for his linemen’s performance, when given a game ball, Moultrie turned around and gave it to the senior caption of his offensive line.
Head Coach Rob Sgarlata shared his praise of the offensive line’s ability to respond to the challenges within the close game.
“We talk about it all the time. The idea is never to flinch. You play what’s presented to you. You’d rather respond to the situations as opposed to react to them,” Sgarlata said. “ Cornell made the score 8-8, and then the offense came out and got us a score. A lot of credit to our offensive line the last two weeks, being able to gain the fourth down and allowing us to run the clock out.”
Sgarlata was also pleased with his defense’s continued high level of intensity on Saturday. He was particularly satisfied by the performance of sophomore linebacker Justin Fonteneaux, who received Patriot League honorable mention honors for his performance on Saturday.
“For us, we’ve traditionally been strong on the defensive side of the ball. We have a ‘next man up’ mentality. Justin got his opportunity on Saturday and played very well with the opportunity,” Sgarlata said. “There’s been a very high bar set for us on the defensive side of the ball here and this group just continues to work and getting one play better. Every practice. It was nice to see how they finished the game out and closed it in the fourth quarter for us on Saturday.”
Going into Saturday, Fonteneaux just wanted to “do [his] part” when his name was called. He ended up doing that and more, ending the game with 11 tackles. Fonteneaux attributed much of his performance on Saturday to the support and trust his teammates and coaches have shown him during his time here at Georgetown.
Looking ahead, the Hoyas play host to Fordham on Cooper Field in this year’s homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.