Senior Days are always meaningful. But for the Georgetown football team (8-2, 3-1 Patriot League), Saturday’s Senior Day was especially sweet, both on and off the field. TheHoyas hope it will set them up to make one more memory next Saturday: a Patriot League championship.
The senior athletes honored in Saturday’s 30-13 victory over Fordham have overcome more adversity than most in their collegiate careers. After enduring seasons of two and zero wins, respectively, as freshmen and sophomores, this group began last season with two straight victories, causing chatter on campus and around the league.
And while the team finished with a losing record once again, going 4-7, their efforts laid the foundation for what has been the best season for the program in over a decade and their best since returning to the Football Championship Subdivision in 2001.
“To turn things around like this, it is everything we wanted to do as a class coming in. It has been the mantra every year, and I think it has been huge in the Georgetown community,” senior quarterback Scott Darby said. “Who doesn’t want to have a good football team at their school? We feed off [the student body]. It feels pretty good.”
Darby, who was the primary starter last season before being overtaken this preseason by junior IsaiahKempf, led the offense Saturday.
And although Darby has appeared in every game this season to relieve Kempf and serve as a change of pace for the offense, the opportunity to start and play the entire game was special.
“It was nice knowing I was going to play the whole game. It is easier to settle in and get into a rhythm,” Darby said. “It feels great not only to play in front of the home crowd and everybody else’s family but [my family] as well. [It was] pretty priceless.”
Darby responded to the honor of starting by completing 18 passes for 199 yards and a 26-yard touchdown strike to fellow senior and receiver Patrick Ryan, capping an 80-yard third-quarter drive.
Other seniors providing major contributions on the offensive side included running back Chance Logan, who ran for 50 yards, tight end Tucker Stafford, who had 34 yards receiving and kicker Brett Weiss, who connected on all three of his field goal attempts.
And although it was certainly a special and memorable day for Darby and the other seniors on offense, the seniors on the defensive side of the ball have been leaders and standout performers for a unit which has distinguished itself as one of the premier groups in the FCS.
Saturday’s effort was no different, with seniors Andrew Schaetzke, co-captain Wayne Heimuli, DavidQuintero and Jayah Kaisamba leading the way. The Georgetown defense put constant pressure on Fordham quarterback Ryan Higgins and shut down the run, a strength which has come to define the unit.
“When you take away the run, you make a team one-dimensional, and that makes it really easy for the defensive coordinator to call plays specifically [to counter] that,” Schaetzke said. “We were able to adjust [to Fordham’s passing attack] and we had some guys, specifically Jeremy Moore, making plays to turn that around.”
Schaetzke added 1.5 sacks and three tackles for a loss to his team-leading totals. Heimuli grabbed a late interception, and Kaisamba picked up a fumble and returned it 22 yards.
After four years together, these players have formed a chemistry that is noticeable on and off the field, contributing to one of Georgetown’s most memorable football seasons in recent years and potentially redefining perceptions of the program both locally and nationwide.
“Georgetown has treated us well. We were able to finish out [at home] right, so there are no regrets. You have to look at the positives, you can’t look back at any of the negatives,” Schaetzke said. “For the years to come, as long as [the program] can keep building on [student support], get the funding, the support from the school, I think that Georgetown can only go up from here.”
But the seniors’ work is not finished yet.
“We are playing for all the marbles [next week]. [We] couldn’t ask for more,” Darby said.
And if things go as these seniors plan next week against Lehigh, this group will go down in Georgetown history as the group that propelled the school to the upper echelon of the FCS.