After pulling out a late fourth-quarter victory against Holy Cross last weekend, the Georgetown football team got a taste of its own medicine. In a game that resembled the Hoyas’ Homecoming squeaker over Holy Cross, Fairfield junior running back Marvin Royal capped a 228-yard performance with a game-winning 66-yard touchdown run with 3:37 remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter. The run gave the Stags a 24-17 victory and sent the Hoyas home frustrated. “We just try to come out and do our jobs,” Head Coach Bob Benson said. “And we didn’t do our jobs very well.” The loss dropped the Hoyas’ record to 2-1 for the season, while Fairfield improved to 2-2. Fairfield opened up the game with a 39-yard scoring drive on its first possession. Royal and junior quarterback Jim Lopusznick pushed the ball all the way down to the Hoyas’ 12 yard-line. On a third and seven play, Lopusznick connected with junior wide receiver Eric Wise for the score and, with placekicker Stephen Mirasolo’s point after attempt, the Stags took a 7-0 lead. Fairfield’s defense shut down Georgetown’s offense on its first two series, forcing the Hoyas to punt. With just over six minutes left in the quarter, senior strong safety Brian Dwyer intercepted a Lopusznick pass on Fairfield’s 28-yard line. The Hoyas’ didn’t waste any time getting on the board, going 28 yards into the end zone on first and 10 as junior quarterback J.J. Mont completed a pass to sophomore wide receiver Gharun Hester for the score. Junior placekicker Paul Wiorowski’s kick was good and the Hoyas’ tied the game at seven. Less than a minute later, the Hoyas’ got another scoring chance as junior defensive end Paul Miller picked up a Royal fumble on the Hoyas’ own 36-yard line. Georgetown moved the ball up the field, helped by a 15-yard penalty on fourth down against Fairfield for roughing the punter, giving the Hoyas’ a first and ten from the 50-yard line. On the ensuing possession, Fairfield’s defense forced Georgetown to punt from just inside Stag territory. However, senior free safety Chris Silvestri bobbled and fumbled the ball on the return and it was picked up by Georgetown sophomore defensive end Scott Lee on the Fairfield 7-yard line, setting up another scoring opportunity for the Hoyas. Again, the Hoyas’ only needed one play to get the ball into the endzone, as Mont found Hester for the second time for the score. Wiorowski’s kick was good and the Hoyas’ regained the lead, 14-7. The second quarter, however, was “a definite story of missed opportunities,” according to Benson. While in the first quarter, the Hoyas scored two touchdowns off of three turnovers, in the second quarter, the Hoyas squandered a fumble recovery by senior defensive end Mike Halen and an interception by senior free safety Anthony Bartolomeo. “By the end of the first quarter, it’s 14-7, we get two touchdowns from two turnovers and the second quarter we force two more and we don’t get anything,” Benson said. “Missed opportunities against a good football team will come back to haunt you.” A fumble on Fairfield’s 7-yard line stopped Georgetown after Halen’s fumble recovery, and the Hoyas’ failed to convert a fourth and one play on the Stags 20-yard line after Bartolomeo’s interception. Neither team could manage to get the ball in the endzone during the second quarter. The Hoyas were driving with under 30 seconds left in the half when Mont hit sophomore receiver George Sumner with a short pass just over the 50-yard line. Sumner fumbled the ball and Fairfield sophomore strong safety Steve Dogmantis made the recovery and returned the ball all the way to the Georgetown 13-yard line before being tackled by senior offensive tackle Skender Derti. With second down and 10 and just seconds remaining on the clock, Mirasolo kicked a 30-yard field goal to cut the Hoyas’ lead to 14-10 at the end of two quarters. The Hoyas’ were 0-for-6 on third down conversions in the first half and controlled possesion of the ball for only 7:50 of the 30 minute half. “In the first half, we forced five turnovers and we were still up only 14-10,” Benson said. “We should have had more on the opportunities of the first half. We let them hang around.” The scoring drought continued in the third quarter for both Fairfield and Georgetown. Neither team managed to put the ball in the end zone, but it was not for lack of opportunities. The Hoyas fumbled the ball on the Fairfield 19-yard line after driving from their own 15-yard line, and the Stags missed a 39-yard field goal attempt after recovering the Georgetown fumble. Fairfield recovered first, scoring on its first possession of the fourth quarter, on an 11 yard pass from Lopusznick to sophomore wide receiver Steven Hadley to regain the lead, 17-14. But the Hoyas weren’t done yet. Three series later, after driving from their own 32-yard line, the Hoyas had the ball on the Stags 12-yard line, facing fourth and two. To get on the scoreboard and ensure a tie, Benson opted to kick the field goal, sending a consistent Wiorowski out to tie the game at 17. Wiorowski’s 29-yard attempt was good and with just under five minutes remaining in the game, it was anybody’s game. Two plays later, Fairfield proved whose game it was, and in front of almost 5000 Homecoming fans, Royal broke six tackles up the middle and sprinted 66 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Georgetown had one final chance, but an interception at the Fairfield 46-yard line ended the Hoyas’ final scoring drive. “It was still 17-17 with four minutes left,” Benson said, “and when you’re on the road against a good football team in a hostile environment, those things happen. “We didn’t close the deal.” Fairfield boasted a strong passing game and proved that with Lopusznick’s 142 yards passing and two touchdowns. But it was Fairfield’s ground game that ripped through the Georgetown defensive line, led by Royal’s 224 yards and 66-yard touchdown run. “Based on their formations, we knew they were going to run the football,” Benson said. “Any time you have some young guys up, some inexperience, you’re going to have to hang in there.” ont finished the game with 194 yards passing, with Hester as his favorite target for the second straight week. Last week’s MAAC Offensive Player of the Week, Hester caught five passes for 108 yards, including two touchdowns. Halen led the Georgetown defensive unit, with nine tackles and one fumble recovery. Dwyer contributed five tackles and an interception. Georgetown finished the game with only 13 first downs, compared to Fairfield’s 22. The Stags racked up 408 total net yards, while the Hoyas’ were held to 275 yards for the day. The key statistic of the day, however, was third-down conversions. Georgetown was successful on only one of 13 attempts, while Fairfield converted eight of 17 third-down plays. Against Fairfield and Holy Cross, Georgetown squandered key scoring chances and did not capitalize on big turnovers by the defense. The Hoyas were able to score the final touchdown against the Crusaders, but could not put the ball in the endzone after the Stags’ scored late in the fourth quarter. “We’ve got to be better at taking advantage of opportunities presented to you,” Benson said. “We’ve struggled a little bit at it and this is the first game it came back to get us. “If we want to be a good football team, we need to get better at this.” Georgetown returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. by taking the road against Siena.

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