In its last home game of the 2015 regular season, the Georgetown football team (4-6, 2-3 Patriot League) put up a fight against the No. 13 Fordham Rams (9-2, 5-1 Patriot League), eventually falling 38-31. The tight matchup felt like an entirely different game compared to the Hoyas’ 52-7 loss to the Rams last season, proving that this Patriot League rivalry has become much more competitive. Georgetown’s 16 seniors were honored before the game in a Senior Day ceremony with their families.
“Down the road, as this program progresses to where I want it to be, we’ll have a lot of success,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “I’m sure that’s due to the hard work that these guys have done over the four years they’ve been here.”
Georgetown came out strong to start the game. After forcing the Rams into a three-and-out, the Hoyas led a successful drive that ended with sophomore running back Alex Valles’ 19-yard touchdown run. In their ensuing possession, the Rams responded quickly, scoring a touchdown. To add to their gaining momentum, a fumble recovery late in the first quarter gave the Rams good field position and ultimately resulted in a touchdown. This left the Hoyas with a 14-7 deficit by the end of the first quarter.
Another turnover early in the second quarter put the Hoyas two scores behind the Rams. After intercepting the Hoyas on their 45-yard line, the Rams scored a third touchdown, gaining a 28-7 lead. However, the Hoyas regained momentum after a crucial 83-yard kick return by sophomore running back Isaac Ellsworth. This set Georgetown up for a 12-yard rushing touchdown by senior quarterback Kyle Nolan. The Hoyas went into halftime only one touchdown behind the Rams.
“When you stress and think that you are going to hit a home run every play that gets put in front of you, that’s when you get yourself into trouble,” Sgarlata said. “These guys have been through a lot of games and they understand what needs to happen in order to get back into a game.”
The Hoyas received the ball to start the second half, but a missed field goal left them still trailing. The defense reacted swiftly late in the third quarter with a critical interception by senior defensive lineman Hunter Kiselick.
“It was an 11-man job,” Kiselick said, giving credit to his defensive teammates. “A lot had to happen before the interception.”
The Hoyas capitalized on the turnover, turning it into a drive that pulled them within a field goal of the Rams. With only 0:47 left in the third quarter, Nolan passed to freshman wide receiver Brandon Williams for a 26-yard touchdown reception. The Hoyas trimmed their deficit and trailed 31-28 at the end of the third quarter.
The Hoyas’ second drive of the fourth quarter resulted in a 34-yard field goal by kicker Henry Darmstadter, which tied the score at 31-31, with the clock at 5:17. However, the Rams quickly regained the lead with a 76-yard kick return that led to a quick touchdown.
With time running out, the Hoyas attempted to tie the game. Driving all the way to Fordham’s 25-yard line, Georgetown called a timeout with 0:53 left on the clock. After a pivotal first down, the Hoyas got to the Rams’ 20-yard line. At 0:27, the Rams came up with an interception to end the Hoyas’ comeback.
“It comes down to the little things,” Sgarlata said. “Ball security, number one, is the thing we have to get taken care of if we are going to be at the end and win a game like that.”
Valles recorded 41 total yards and one touchdown, while Ellsworth recorded 250 all-purpose yards. Williams, who totaled 52 receiving yards and one touchdown, was another huge contributor to Georgetown’s offense. On the defensive side, sophomore Daniel Yankovich led the team in total tackles with 12.
“We have a next guy up mentality and we showed that today,” Kiselick said.
Next weekend, the Hoyas will face another Patriot League opponent in the Holy Cross Crusaders (5-5, 2-3 Patriot League).
“There’s really only about a six-hour period to think about this game,” Sgarlata said of the loss to Fordham. “We have to learn lessons and keep going forward. That’s the beauty of football season — there’s another game to play next week. You have to learn from it, you can’t hang your head and you have to keep working.”
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