Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

A Landmark First Victory

Mitch Fox/The Hoya Georgetown picked up its first-ever Patriot League win with a 32-31 victory over Bucknell Saturday.

They finally did it.

After 13 successive losses to Patriot League opponents since announcing its intent to join the conference in 2000, Georgetown rallied for 32-second half points to edge Bucknell 32-31 and secure its first ever Patriot League win with a dramatic last-second touchdown.

With 13 seconds remaining in the game and the Hoyas trailing 31-26, senior quarterback Dave Paulus connected on a 19-yard lob pass with junior Walter Bowser in the back left corner of the endzone. The completion capped an 81-yard drive that included two fourth-down conversions. When a last gasp by the Bison fell short, the Hoyas stormed the field and showered Head Coach Bob Benson with Gatorade, wildly celebrating their first win against a Patriot League team since defeating Holy Cross 34-16 in 1999.

“We needed this so badly,” junior wide receiver Luke cArdle said. “Now we’ve got the monkey off our back and hopefully we can run with it.”

“This is great,” Benson said. “This was just a great effort. We had a lot of faith at halftime. We wanted to make it a game in the third quarter and win it in the fourth. We did.”

After trailing by scores of 17-0, 24-7 and 31-20, Georgetown refused to yield scoring on its final two drives of the game to secure the victory.

With 7:57 left, Paulus marched the Hoyas 70 yards to bring the score to 31-26 after the failed two-point conversion. Paulus scrambled to evade pursuit and then dumped a pass off to junior fullback William Huisking who ran around, over and through tacklers for the 17-yard touchdown.

The Georgetown defense led by junior defensive back Matt Fronczke (13 tackles) and junior linebacker Andrew Clarke (11 tackles), forced the Bison to punt after five plays on the next possession and the Hoyas took possession on their own 19-yard line.

“It was all a blur,” Paulus said of the final drive. “It was just a great effort. Our receivers were running all over the field trying to get open.”

“My calf muscles were really biting me at the end of the game,” McArdle said. “We put in everything we had, every ounce we had.”

Even the Georgetown fans contributed to the victory, as the 1,011 in attendance seemingly shouted at him with one voice to tuck the ball in and run on fourth and five at the Bucknell 37.

“I could definitely hear the crowd,” Paulus said. “I was laughing when I got up after the play.”

Paulus gained 10 yards and the first down on the rush and three plays later floated the game-winner in to Bowser.

“My coach will kill me about this, but Walter was not supposed to run that route,” Paulus told The Washington Post. “He came up to me in the huddle and told me, `Dave, this [defender] has been pressing me all day, I can really beat him.’ And he did.”

“It was just hanging up there,” Bowser said of the pass. “I was just thinking `Don’t drop it.'”

Bowser finished the game with two touchdowns and 86 yards receiving.

If any doubts lingered concerning Dave Paulus’s status as the starting quarterback he erased them with a sterling performance Saturday. Paulus connected on 31 of his 48 passing attempts for 350 yards and five touchdowns and earned honors as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, the first Hoya to achieve that accolade. The effort has raised his quarterback rating to 163.08, the highest in the Patriot League.

All-Conference candidate McArdle turned in the best performance of his career, pulling in a school record 14 passes for a career-high 188 yards receiving, including two touchdowns. It might have been three, but he dropped a pass at midfield after clearly beating his defender with 8:35 left in the game and Georgetown trailing by only four points.

“I saw that ball sitting up there and I thought, `This is touchdown city,” McArdle said. “I took my eyes off of it for a second . It was the easiest pass I had all day. I thought I blew the game.”

“I was going to cut his head off,” Paulus joked after the game. “But he made up for it with that other one,” which was a full-extension diving grab to sustain the Hoyas second to last touchdown drive.

Trailing 17-0 at halftime, Georgetown scored on its first possession of the second half courtesy of a 34-yard pass to Bowser. After Bucknell capitalized for seven points on a fumble by Paulus, the Hoyas rallied back to make the score 24-14. This time Paulus connected with McArdle on a 10-yard pass. McArdle pulled in a 20-yard touchdown pass four minutes and 23 seconds later to bring the Hoyas within 4 at 24-20.

The offensive line, one of the weaker aspects of Georgetown’s game, asserted itself in the second half, buying precious time for Paulus to find receivers and not allowing a sack after giving up four in the first half.

Despite the victory, costly mistakes repeatedly seemed as though they would undo Georgetown’s repeated attempts to rally.

In all, the Hoyas’ mistakes likely cost them 21 points. Trying to bring the score within a field goal at 24-20, the Hoyas missed an extra point attempt, and had a field goal try blocked at the end of the first half. Two Georgetown fumbles also led to 10 points for Bucknell and a fumbled snap on fourth and an inch at the Georgetown 25-yard line gave the ball back to the Bison with just over eight minutes left. On the next play, Bucknell lobbed a pass to the back right corner of the endzone where receiver Albert arquardt snagged it to extend the Bison’s lead to 31-20 and set up the late game drama.

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