The Georgetown football team struggled offensively as it fell 35-14 to Columbia on Saturday afternoon at Robert K. Kraft Field in New York City.
Two missed field goals by sophomore kicker Brad Hurst from 50 and 44 yards prevented the Hoyas from gaining any momentum to start the game. For the Georgetown (1-2) offense, which has struggled to sustain drives this season, ending two possessions on missed field goals was a difficult start.
“I think we have one of the best kickers in the Patriot or Ivy League in Brad Hurst,” Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “I’ll put my money on him any time kicking those field goals. Of course we’d like to keep those drives going and get the ball in the box, but it’s good to see our kids come out with some consistency early.”
Junior quarterback Clay Norris replaced fifth-year quarterback Tim Barnes late in the first quarter, after Barnes was injured taking a late hit from the Columbia (2-0) defense that led to a 15-yard personal foul penalty. Norris finished the game 10-for-19 with 174 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had a great battle in pre-season camp, actually, between Tim Barnes and Clay Norris. So for us, Clay got about 35 percent of the snaps in practice this week,” Sgarlata said. “And you saw he has a pretty powerful arm as well so it started to open up a little bit later.”
Georgetown tried a fake punt on 4th-and-6 from its own 44-yard line, but sophomore defensive lineman Khristian Tate was stopped short of the first-down marker. The Lions took over and promptly marched down the field to score on an 18-yard pass from senior quarterback Anders Hill to sophomore wide receiver Ronald Smith II to seize a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.
The Hoyas went three-and-out on their next drive, hurt by an offensive holding call that pushed them back early in the possession.
The Hoya offense kept scuffling, and the defense could not stop the Lions forever. On its next possession, Georgetown was forced to punt again from its own 41. Hurst fumbled the snap and then tried to run the ball. He was tackled and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Columbia senior defensive lineman Lord Hyeamang and returned to Georgetown’s 25-yard line.
The Lions took advantage of the short field and, after a Georgetown offside penalty, Hill threw his second touchdown of the game to sophomore wide receiver Josh Wainwright from 11 yards out to make the lead 14-0 with less than five minutes to go in the half.
Hill had an efficient day overall, going 20-for-35 with 158 passing yards and four touchdowns. Wainwright was a problem all day for the Georgetown secondary, catching nine balls for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
The Hill-Wainwright connection struck again before the half ended, making it 21-0 Columbia going into halftime.
Georgetown did not put up much of a fight coming out of halftime, gaining only one first down for the entire duration of the third quarter. For the game, the Georgetown offense was 2-of-11 on third downs.
Columbia went on a lengthy 13-play, 64-yard touchdown drive to make it 28-0 early in the fourth quarter when Hill found Smith in the end zone for the nine-yard score.
The Hoyas did wake up in the fourth quarter, however. After the Lions scored to go up 28-0, the Hoyas started out at their own 25-yard line. Norris launched a deep shot to senior wide receiver Justin Harrell for a 56-yard completion to Columbia’s 20-yard line. Four plays later, Georgetown ended its scoring drought when Norris hit junior running back Carl Thomas for a two-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-7.
The Lions responded with another scoring drive. Despite featuring a heavy dose of run plays on the drive, the Lions drove down the field and scored when freshman quarterback Josh Bean rushed in from two yards out to make it 35-7. The Georgetown defense did not help its cause either, committing a 15-yard personal foul penalty, a 15-yard facemask penalty and a four-yard defensive pass interference penalty to help Columbia march down the field.
The highlight of the day for the Hoyas came on their next possession, when Norris found sophomore wide receiver Michael Dereus for an 83-yard touchdown catch to make it 35-14. Dereus has been the lone bright spot of the offense this season, hauling in a touchdown catch in each game this season.
Georgetown, winners of the Lou Little Trophy the past two seasons, finally gave it up to Columbia for the first time in the history of the trophy.
“We’ll chew on the tape. I’m confident our kids and coaches will do a great job preparing this week for Harvard down in D.C.” Sgarlata said.
The Hoyas head back home to play against the Harvard Crimson (1-1) at RFK Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m.