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

As Georgetown Nears End of 2009, Darby Emerges as Bright Spot

“It absolutely felt like we had a chance – we’re always confident in ourselves.”Scott Darby slouches, tired from a practice that ended early and gave the football team a reprieve from the rain that drenched Georgetown on Wednesday morning.

“It’s been great playing this year,” Darby said. “I have no complaints.”

Darby, a 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback who hails from Tewksbury, Mass., is a product of St. John’s Prep who, like many of his teammates, was a captain of a state championship team in high school. On the Hilltop, however, Darby was only recently thrust into a starting role, making him the third starting quarterback the Hoyas have employed this year.

“[Darby] does what’s asked of him. He executes plays,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “He does a better job with the run game and that’s what was needed. He’s a great passer but he’s got a stronger run game.”

That running game is something that the Hoyas struggled with under the leadership of Darby’s predecessor, freshman Isaiah Kempf, whose production tailed off after a few excellent passing performances in his first few starts. Kempf, however, had tallied negative total yardage on the ground, and Darby’s run-and-gun style gave the Blue and Gray offense a much needed dimension. It showed last Saturday against the Marist Red Foxes, when the 212-pound quarterback ran for 84 yards on 14 carries.

“That was purely option,” Darby said. “[Marist] wanted to take Charlie out of the game because he’s such a great player, so they’d rather me run more – I’m not nearly as fast.”

Handed a team on a nine-game losing streak, Darby immediately impressed in his first collegiate start. He completed his first five passes, including three for first downs and one for a touchdown, and he accumulated 44 yards through the air and another 17 on the ground as the Hoyas took an early lead following a nine-play, 66-yard touchdown drive.

“He did a good job managing the game,” Kelly said.

Darby only got better from there. With just nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter the Hoyas had the ball, but were losing 20-9 to the Red Foxes. After an interception by the Georgetown defense, the Blue and Gray had excellent field position at Marist’s 40-yard line. Much like on the first drive of the game, Darby took over. He completed four passes, accounting for all 40 yards on the drive, and ended the drive with a touchdown pass to senior slotback Robert Lane that got the Hoyas back in the game.

After both teams traded punts, Darby faced a daunting challenge. His team was down by six, and the ball was on the Hoyas’ 6-yard line. Complicating the issue was the time left on the clock – Darby had only 1:49 to lead the Blue and Gray 94 yards to paydirt.

The drive started innocently enough, as Darby completed just two of his first four passes for 26 yards. On second down from the Georgetown 32, Darby connected with freshman wide receiver Brandon Floyd, who grabbed the ball and sprinted 68 yards for the touchdown.

“That was a first,” Darby said of the pressure situation, his first at the collegiate level. “We just knew we had to score and we scored.”

Jubilation on the Hoyas’ sideline quickly turned to despair after a last-second field goal stunned the Blue and Gray and sent them to their ninth straight loss.

“It’s never over till it’s over,” Darby lamented. “Stick to what we do – nothing different. Just spread the ball out and execute. It’s nothing more than a glorified practice.”

The Hoyas will have history on their side tomorrow. Richmond is bouncing back from its first loss in over a year, as the Spiders had their 17-game winning streak snapped by Villanova last week in a 21-20 loss. Additionally, Richmond has never beaten Georgetown in Washington, D.C., in the two trips it has taken to the Capitol. The last time the Spiders came to the Hilltop, they suffered the worst loss in program history – 84-0. Of course, that was in 1900.

The Blue and Gray, however, do not have probability on their side. Richmond is currently ranked fourth in Division I-AA. Last year, in the first meeting between the two teams since 1935, the Spiders routed the Hoyas 48-0.

Last season, the Spiders yielded only eight passing yards on 11 attempts, so Darby will have his work cut out for him. Although Richmond’s pass defense has statistically been much weaker than its rush defense, the Spiders have 12 of their 13 picks on the year in their last five games. Through their first nine games, the Spiders have allowed over 1,900 yards through the air compared with just 648 on the ground.

With a 96.5 quarterback efficiency rating, Darby has certainly been a plus for the Hoyas, despite having played in only three games. As good as Richmond is, Darby will have to improve on that rating if the Blue and Gray want to stay in the game.”

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