Football | Defense Leads Rebound Effort

FILE PHOTO: NAAZ MODAN/THE HOYA Senior quarterback Kyle Nolan threw for 194 yards and recorded a rushing touchdown in Georgetown’s 17-13 loss to Colgate. Nolan has 1484 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns so far in the 2015 season.

FILE PHOTO: NAAZ MODAN/THE HOYA
Senior quarterback Kyle Nolan threw for 194 yards and recorded a rushing touchdown in Georgetown’s 17-13 loss to Colgate. Nolan has 1484 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns so far in the 2015 season.

After going .500 in its two-game home stand, the Georgetown football team (3-4, 1-1 Patriot League) will begin a two-game road trip at Bucknell this Saturday. The Hoyas will face another strong defense in the Bucknell Bison (3-3, 0-1 Patriot League). Their last time out, the Blue and Gray fell just short of a win. Colgate was leading 17-0 by the fourth quarter, and Georgetown’s hopes were slim. However, the Hoyas responded with a field goal, a 10-yard touchdown run and another field goal.

Senior quarterback Kyle Nolan connected on 21 of 38 passes for 194 yards and recorded the rushing touchdown in the game against Colgate. Senior running back Jo’el Kimpela and junior wide receiver Justin Hill both turned in great performances, as Kimpela rushed for 104 yards and Hill recorded eight receptions for 98 yards.

“We have confidence in our kids and in our coaches and what we’re doing scheme-wise,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “We just need to execute better in the first half, and I think we’ll have a better result if we can do that this weekend.”

Georgetown’s defense turned in another strong performance. After allowing 17 first-half points, the Hoyas held the Raiders scoreless in the second half, setting up the offense’s comeback bid. Kiselick recovered two fumbles, and junior linebacker Leo Loughrey recorded 14 tackles. Freshman defensive lineman Brennen Sawicki had 12 tackles in the loss and was recognized by the Patriot League with the Rookie of the Week honor.

“[We] just got back to the little things, the fundamentals,” Kiselick said. “It’s kind of hard to go over what’s going to happen in the game. Bottom line is, if you don’t do the fundamentals, things aren’t going to go well for you.”

Next, the Hoyas will look to return to .500 when they face off against the Bison this weekend.
Bucknell has won six of the last seven matchups against the Hoyas, and in nine of the last 10 games between the two teams, the final score has been decided by 10 points or fewer. Last year, there were six lead changes before the Bison squeaked out a 22-17 victory.

“If we can stop the run and put the pressure on their quarterback, I think that’s going to be a big deal,” Sgarlata said.

Bucknell enters Saturday’s matchup looking to end its two-game skid. Last week against Army (2-5), the Bison led or were tied for all but six minutes and 10 seconds of the matchup. Junior quarterback R.J. Nitti completed 17 of 33 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns, clearing 3,000 passing yards for his career. Senior running back Matt DelMauro rushed for 105 yards on 18 carries.

Defensively, the Bison defense kept Army’s running game to 4.3 yards per carry. Sophomore safety Connor Golden led the Bison with a career-high 13 tackles and two interceptions. Bucknell went on to lose the close matchup 21-14, bringing its record to .500.

“It [will be] a typical Patriot League game,” Sgarlata said. “If we can be consistent, eliminate the penalties and turnovers, I think we’ll have some success.”

Points could be at a premium for both teams this weekend. This season, Bucknell has limited opponents to 17.3 points per game, which is No. 13 in the Football Championship Subdivision and best in the Patriot League. However, Georgetown is second in the conference, allowing 24.4 points per game.

“I think it’s going to be exactly 100 percent playing the whole game,” Kimpela said. “Not falling too far from behind and having to fight back but starting from the first play all the way down to the last.”

The Blue and Gray are set to kickoff at 1 p.m. Saturday against the Bison at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa.

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