On Bucknell’s Homecoming Day, the Georgetown football team (4-4, 2-1 Patriot League) spoiled the day of festivities for the Bison (3-4, 0-2 Patriot League), winning 17-9. Senior running back Jo’el Kimpela rushed for a season-high 142 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, while freshman defensive back Jethro Francois racked up a Georgetown freshman record 11 solo tackles in his first career start.
“Any time you go on the road and get a win in the Patriot League, it’s big,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “To come in here and get a victory against a well-coached football team is a huge deal for our program.”
Statistically, the Bison had the advantage in many categories. They had more first down conversions, more total yards on offense, more forced turnovers and a significant advantage in time of possession. However, Georgetown’s defense put the clamps on the Bucknell offense when it mattered most, allowing just a touchdown in the first quarter and a 39-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Senior defensive captain and linebacker Matt Satchell had a fantastic game, collecting 18 total tackles, including 3 1/2 tackles for a loss and a half a sack.
“Defense was playing great the whole game,” Satchell said. “That second half, we really stepped it up as a unit and figured it out. We let some plays slide in the first half but got it together in the second half.”
On offense, to complement Kimpela’s big day, senior quarterback Kyle Nolan was 9-of-17 for 94 yards with one touchdown, while junior quarterback Tim Barnes went 6-for-12 for 62 yards for one touchdown. Barnes led an impressive 14-play, 94-yard scoring drive to put the game out of reach for Bucknell and make the score 17-9. Junior wide receiver Justin Hill had another big day, continuing what has been a very impressive season. He caught seven passes for 114 yards and one touchdown.
“It was just a complete team effort. It’s a big win for Georgetown football,” Kimpela said.
The Bison had a big day on offense, regardless of the scoreboard. Junior quarterback R.J. Nitti threw 49 times, completing 28 of those passes for 338 yards and rushing for a touchdown. He also rushed eight times for a dismal net of -33 yards. Junior running back C.J. Williams rushed 26 times for 109 yards while junior wide receiver Will Carter caught 12 passes for 92 yards.
The Hoyas got off to a fast start when freshman defensive back Blaise Brown intercepted Nitti in the red zone and returned the ball 51 yards. Nolan and the offense converted that interception into points, with senior kicker Henry Darmstadter making a 23-yard field goal to put Georgetown up 3-0 early in the first quarter.
The Bison responded quickly, going ahead 6-3 thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by Nitti that put Bucknell up 6-3, as the Bison would go on to miss the extra point.
Right before the first quarter ended, Nolan connected with Hill on a 40-yard touchdown pass to give the Blue and Gray the lead for good.
The two teams would trade possessions for most of the second quarter, with the Bison tacking on another 3 points on a John Burdick 38-yard field goal.
Barnes took over for Nolan just before the fourth quarter and commandeered the Hoya offense on an impressive 94-yard drive to give the team some insurance points, with Kimpela scoring an 11-yard touchdown to put the Hoyas up 17-9 with 12:56 to go in the game.
“We talk to our guys all the time about ‘next man up,’” Sgarlata said of Barnes’ ability to fill in for Nolan. “Kyle got dinged a little bit there, and Tim stepped up, did his job and led us on a 94-yard touchdown drive. We have confidence in every guy on our team.”
The Georgetown defense shut the Bison down the rest of the way. It forced two straight 3-and-outs from Bucknell, and then with Bucknell facing a 4th-and-5 from the Georgetown 12, Nitti was sacked for a 19-yard loss by Satchell and Francois.
After the game, the players took note of how meaningful the victory was against Bucknell for Georgetown’s seniors.
“We haven’t gotten a victory over Bucknell, so this one just feels nice,” Kimpela said.
With just three games left in their season, the Hoyas will travel to Lehigh for a Halloween showdown, looking to get above .500 for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m.