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

Lehigh Runs Away With Victory

Andreas Jeninga/The Hoya Lehigh senior tailback David Wilson tears through the Georgetown defense for seven yards before being tackled by sophomore defensive end Michael Ononibaku. A third quarter drive helped the Hawks win.

Starting just his second game this year, Lehigh junior quarterback Kyle Keating was a big question mark in the Mountain Hawks’ game plan going into Saturday’s competition with Georgetown.

A potent Lehigh receiving corps helped Keating to silence any doubt, as he passed for 344 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes. His favorite target, senior tight end Adam Bergen, caught three and took them to the end zone as the Mountain Hawks (5-2, 3-0 Patriot) crushed the Hoyas, 45-24.

Bergen had 14 receptions for 156 yards. Keating found eight other receivers over the course of the match, including five times each for senior wideout Dave Crockett and senior tailback Jermaine Pugh.

“Part of the key to the game was to get the ball to many receivers early,” Lehigh head coach Pete Lembo (GSB ’92) said. “We didn’t have many dropped balls. It was a good job by our wide receivers.”

On the other side of the ball, Georgetown tested freshman quarterback Alondzo Turner’s ability to handle the lead role. Turner had his most active game to date, replacing junior Andrew Crawford with five minutes to go in the first quarter. The freshman handled all but eight of the snaps in the rest of the contest, going 7-of-15 for 141 yards and the first two passing touchdowns of his intercollegiate career.

“We had to go with ‘Zo and give it a shot,” head coach Bob Benson said. “He made a couple bad decisions, but that comes from experience.”

Turner threw three interceptions while leading the Hoyas with 94 rushing yards. Lembo said that his team had practiced with two separate quarterbacks during the week to replicate the individual playing styles of Crawford and Turner.

Senior wide receiver Luke McArdle caught eight passes for 91 yards and both of Turner’s touchdown throws. On the day, cArdle registered a season-low 144 all-purpose yards, dropping his Division I-AA leading average to 199.5 per contest.

Sophomore running back Marcus Slayton was second on the team with 25 yards on 10 carries, his worst performance of the 2003 campaign. Lehigh senior linebacker Mike Taggart forced and recovered a Slayton fumble on the second play of the game. The ountain Hawks converted the first of what would be four Georgetown turnovers into an early 7-0 lead.

Lehigh dominated in time of possession, controlling the ball for 33:50. The Mountain Hawks doubled the Hoyas’ passing yards, passing attempts, first downs and sacks en route to victory.

Lehigh jumped out to a three-touchdown advantage before the Hoya offense could get going.

“If you’re going to do some things like we did to start off, you dig a hole,” Benson said. With his players down 21-0 early, he said he told them: “We’re good at digging out of holes, so let’s go.”

Turner answered the call by running four times – once for 22 yards – and completing two passes to McArdle, including the first Georgetown score of the afternoon. But the Mountain Hawks, who scored on their first five drives of the contest, added a 21-yard field goal and drove 45 yards for six points after a senior cornerback Lawrence Williams interception to go up 31-7.

Georgetown gained momentum going into halftime as Turner led his team back 75 yards on eight plays. The Hoyas added a 21-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Michael Gillman and sophomore defensive end Jason Abrams ran back an interception 37 yards for a touchdown to set the margin at 31-17.

The opening of the second half gave new life to Georgetown and the onlooking crowd of 2,123, as senior defensive lineman Ryan cGovern recovered a fumble by Keating. Three plays later, Turner found McArdle in the end zone for the second time of the afternoon. With a successful extra point, the Hoyas were within a touchdown of the league-leading Mountain Hawks.

Keating and his teammates responded, storming back on two consecutive drives to open up the game back to three scores.

“What I liked about Kyle,” Lembo said, “was his poise in pressure situations. He hung in there and made the plays. Kyle’s effort mirrored how the whole team responded.”

Despite bobbling a couple of snaps on his team’s second-to-last scoring march, Keating went 8-of-11 and got the ball to Pugh for the score from 11 yards. The defense stepped up as well, nearly blocking a punt by freshman Keith Allan after a Georgetown three-and-out. Keating returned to the air, capping off the last scoring effort of the day for either team with a 20-yard toss to Crockett.

“A lot of times they just forgot to cover receivers, and a lot of times it was Adam [Crockett],” Keating said. “There were holes in their defense, and Adam was able to find them.”

Turner could do no more for the Hoya offense, as the Lehigh secondary picked him off twice. He twisted his leg on one of the interceptions, forcing Crawford to step in for two plays on Georgetown’s next possession. But the Hoyas could not get on the board beyond the fourth minute of the third quarter, and the competition went final at 45-24.

As Georgetown moves forth, several injuries will plague the team as they did in the loss. Two of the Hoyas’ co-captains – seniors linebacker Andrew Clarke and strong safety Matt Fronczke – aggravated previous injuries in Saturday’s match. Clarke watched most of the game from the sideline with a sore knee, and Fronczke, who was slow getting up after a play in the third quarter, was having problems with his right shoulder.

The kicking game did show some promise, however, as Gillman was perfect for the first time this season. Gillman made all three extra-point attempts in addition to his second-quarter field goal.

Lehigh, No. 13 Colgate (8-0, 3-0 Patriot) and Bucknell (4-4, 2-1 Patriot) entered the weekend in a three-way tie for first place in the conference. Colgate dominated Bucknell, 50-6, to knock the Bison out of contention for the top spot. Lehigh’s win kept it undefeated in league play and in the hunt for the title.

Georgetown (3-5, 1-3 Patriot) travels to New York to face the No. 22 Fordham Rams (6-2, 1-2 Patriot) Saturday before returning home for a two-game homestand against Towson and Davidson.

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