The Georgetown football team’s season moved up to .500, as it defeated Brown University 17-3 on Saturday afternoon. In a game that was not as close as the score indicated, defense led the way for the Hoyas (2-2), as they forced the Bears (0-1) into four turnovers and did not allow a touchdown for the second consecutive game.
Georgetown also had its best rushing game of the year, gaining 250 yards on the ground against a Brown that who had given up just 75 combined rushing yards against Georgetown the past two seasons.
Leading the way on defense was senior defensive lineman Alec May, who had a career-high four sacks on the day and was consistently in the Brown backfield forcing pressure on senior quarterback Marcus Fuller.
“Third down is my favorite down. I like getting after the quarterback obviously,” May said. “I just think today everything clicked — the whole defensive line was playing great. Those last two sacks were due to [senior defensive lineman Richard] Shankle and [junior linebacker Hunter] Kiselick getting in there and getting [the quarterback] to move around, and then I was able to kind of get under and get it, so it was a team effort the whole day with pass rushing.”
The other star on defense was junior cornerback Ettian Scott. Scott intercepted two passes against Brown and could have had a third, but he could not quite come up with a diving attempt. He now has three interceptions in the last two games.
“It started off with coach calling for man coverage, and I just knew it was third down and we got to get off the field just like we practice and they preach in the meetings every day,” Scott said. “So I see the ball in the air, had a big opportunity, jumped up and made a big play to get off the field. I was basically just doing my job.”
The Hoyas gave up 303 yards of offense to the Bears but seemed to step up at the right times, producing key stops on third down. The Blue and Gray recovered a fumble at the goal line in the first quarter and would later recover another fumble in the second half for their fourth turnover of the game.
“When you look at the defense, they did a great job,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “We gave up some yards but we didn’t give up any points. Defensively we’ve given up three points in the last two games. Anytime you can limit a team like Brown to just about 300 yards in the game is a big deal.”
Georgetown’s offense held up their end of the bargain, totaling 427 yards, most of which came on the ground in a breakout rushing effort. Junior running back Jo’el Kimpela broke the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career, rushing for 104 yards on 18 carries.
Senior running back Daniel Wright added 90 yards on seven carries, including a 57-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He had another long run later in the quarter that looked like it could have been another touchdown, but he fumbled the ball at the end of the run, turning it over to Brown.
“Looking back on the stats, this is one of the most dominant games we’ve had running the football where we felt confident to call the offensive line’s number and let them go and have Jo’el and Danny [Wright] have great days,” Sgarlata said. “So for us being able to add to the weapons we have with throwing the ball with [Junior quarterback] Kyle [Nolan], it’s a great plus for us right now. They did a great job today for the backs.”
Kimpela did not hesitate to credit the offensive line for the Hoyas’ improvement in the running game.
“The offensive linemen did a great job today just pushing and making holes for me and Danny [Wright],” Kimpela said. “[Wright] had a great run and we’re just complementing each other, trying to make each other better each and every day.”
The other major rushing leader for Georgetown on Saturday was Kyle Nolan, who gained 36 yards on eight carries. Nolan was heavily involved with the read option, often pulling the ball back and gaining large chunks of yards running on his own when the Brown defense had the Hoyas running backs guarded. The 6-foot-5-inch signal-caller also had a good day through the air, completing 18 of 28 passes for 177 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The touchdown came on a 25-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jake DeCicco on a post pattern over the middle.
“For us, Kyle is one of those quarterbacks that has the ability to read a defensive end, read a linebacker,” Sgarlata said. “[Sophomore tight end Matthew] Buckman’s long catch was a read play where he read the middle linebacker, and the linebacker filled the hole so he threw it. We are running some of those systems because Kyle can handle it because he can do all three things — he can read it, he can pull it and run or he can pull it and throw.”
Georgetown was able to earn its first win at home this season, as well as the right to sing the fight song for the first time since its win against Davidson College on Sept. 7, 2013. The team has now matched last year’s win-total with seven games remaining in the season.
The Hoyas will look to take their recent success on the road when they face Colgate at 1 p.m. Saturday in Hamilton, N.Y.