The Georgetown football team lost in heartbreaking fashion last Saturday, Oct. 11, to Lafayette College in a 24-21 road game. The Hoyas (2-5, 0-2 Patriot League) gave up a five-yard touchdown run with 5:24 remaining in the fourth quarter to fall to the Leopards (3-3, 1-1 Patriot League). It was an especially crushing loss because Georgetown led 14-0 early in the game and outgained Lafayette 447 yards to 250.
In the beginning stages, the game was all Georgetown, as the Hoyas jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Hoya offense was spearheaded by the efficient short passing play of junior quarterback Kyle Nolan. The signal-caller was 22-for-30 passing, totaling 165 yards to go along with two touchdowns. Nolan was aided by the most potent Georgetown rushing display this season, as the Hoyas rushed the ball 42 times for 282 yards and a whopping 6.7 yards per carry. Georgetown took the lead on a seven-yard touchdown pass from Nolan to sophomore tight end Matthew Buckman midway through the first quarter. Junior running back Jo’el Kimpela added another touchdown with a 19-yard scamper in the first five minutes of the second quarter. Kimpela — who earned a Patriot League honorable mention — was the star of the Hoya rushing attack carrying the ball 20 times for 159 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Daniel Wright added 106 yards on 15 carries.
“The offensive line really opened up holes for me and Daniel [Wright] the whole game,” Kimpela said. “[Offensive linemen] Mike Roland, Kevin Liddy, Nick Quintans, Gerverus Flagg and Mike McFarlane all did a great job blocking. I should take them out to dinner.”
However, after Kimpela’s touchdown, Georgetown gave up 14 straight points to end the half. Lafayette was not able to get much going running the football — it only managed 103 yards on 40 carries — but all three of its touchdowns in the game came via short runs by senior Ross Scheuerman.
“Whether we are winning or losing we talk to the players about the concept of ‘next play,’” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “After we were up 14-0 we stressed to the players to focus on the rest of the game that had to be played.”
Lafayette opened the second half with a field goal drive, taking the lead for the first time. Georgetown finally responded midway through the fourth quarter with a 55-yard drive capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Justin Hill. However, on the following drive Lafayette drove the ball 63 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
Sgarlata stressed the need to improve on offensive first down conversions and for the defense to come through with key stops.
“We felt like we played well at times,” Sgarlata said. “We need to be able to finish on offense on a third and fourth [down] and one [yard]. We also need to be able to stop Lafayette with a four-point lead in the fourth quarter. Take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. We need to pay attention to the little details that make a huge difference in close games.”
Despite the loss, the Georgetown defense played well for the most part. They forced Lafayette into three turnovers — two interceptions and one fumble recovery — and only allowed the Leopards to gain 250 total yards. As has been the case for most of the season, senior defensive lineman Alec May was the star of the Hoya defense, collecting three sacks, driving his season total up to 12.5. He currently leads all of Division I Football Championship Subdivision in sacks this season.
“I just play hard every snap and work on getting better every day in practice,” May said. “We just need to keep playing our game. The whole defense has complete trust in each other and we know that if we keep working, the wins will come.”
With his solid performance, May moved into fifth in program history with 25 career sacks. Meanwhile, senior linebacker Nick Alfieri had seven tackles to move into third in program history with 286 career tackles.
Georgetown has a bye week this upcoming weekend, giving the team a week to regroup and get ready for their homecoming weekend game on Oct. 25 at home against Bucknell University.
“Our bye week comes at a great time,” Sgarlata said. “After seven straight weeks it is good for the players and staff to get a little break. We gave the players off on Monday and Tuesday to heal and get their academics in order. We had a great lift this morning, followed by a light practice.”
Georgetown will have two normal practices Thursday and Friday to start their preparations to face the impressive Bison (5-1, 1-0 Patriot League).
Kickoff at the MultiSport Facility is scheduled for 2 p.m.