Charles Nailen/The Hoya After three weeks without a game, the Hoyas will return to competition Saturday in the name of former player Joe Eacobacci (COL `96).

The Georgetown football team entered this season with a sense of purpose. The Hoyas were marking a new chapter in the program’s history, building on their past successes and stepping up their level of competition to the Patriot League.

Now, three weeks after its last game, Georgetown will again dip into its past for inspiration: The Hoyas will play the rest of the season in memory of Joseph Eacobacci (COL ’96), a captain of the 1995 team and victim of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

In Eacobacci’s memory, the team will wear his former number of 35 on their helmets along with the American flag.

Georgetown will return to the playing field this Saturday against Fordham in Bronx, N.Y. This will be the first game for the team since its Sept. 8 loss to Holy Cross. The Sept. 15 game against Wagner was canceled in the wake of the attacks, and the team had a bye week Sept. 22nd.

“I do believe we have to move forward,” Head Coach Bob Benson said. “That’s why I think playing the season is very important and trying to honor Joe through our playing. I think Joe would want us to play . I know he would.”

Eacobacci’s brother Tom, as well as Joe Eacobacci’s girlfriend Denise Mauro and her sister are expected to attend Saturday’s game. Tom Eacobacci also played on the Georgetown football team from 1989 to 1992.

Eacobacci played under Benson for three years during his career which spanned from 1992 to 1995. He is the 10th leading tackler of all time in the program with 183.

Prior to the game Fordham will hold a mass at 11 a.m. for those who were killed and listed as missing from the attacks of Sept. 11.

“It’s been a very sad, strange couple of weeks,” Benson said. “We had a lot of guys on our team that had family in New York and had some family evacuated from the lower levels of the World Trade Center.”

Benson has said that the team has held up well during the three weeks of down time.

“We understand that these were very serious circumstances beyond our control,” Benson said. “We’ve stayed focused and gotten healthy. And hopefully we’re a better football team.”

The Hoyas will look to secure the first win of the 2001 season against Fordham, an opponent that defeated Georgetown 17-10 at Kehoe Field last season.

The Rams stand at 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Patriot League thus far this season, winning their season opener against Fairfield, while losing last week’s contest to Colgate 21-9. Sophomore Kirwin Watson leads what has become a potent running attack for Fordham. In these first two games, Watson has totaled 183 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Mark Carney will orchestrate the offense. Carney sports a completion percentage of over 67th percent and has thrown for four touchdowns and 410 yards on 41 completions.

The Fordham defense was the key to the Rams’ victory in 2000. Fordham held Georgetown to just 161 yards on the game, and 45 of those yards came on one pass play from junior Dave Paulus to then-senior Gharun Hester.

Coming into the game, the Hoyas’ running game has been very ineffective, averaging 1.2 yards per carry and totaling only 69 yards in the two games compared to their opponents’ 304.

“You have to be able to run to win,” Benson said. “You have to be balanced.”

The Georgetown running game could receive a boost this weekend as Benson is hopeful that freshman back John Sims will be able to return to the lineup on Saturday. Sophomore linebacker William Skultety is still listed as doubtful as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Benson placed a strong emphasis on the need to win against Fordham this week, indicating there is “a sense of urgency” for the team to win.

Still, Benson remains optimistic about his team’s chances for the rest of the season.

“We can win every game we play. From here on out until the end of the season, if Georgetown shows up and plays well,” he said.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

Team Schedules/Rosters 2001 Football Schedule | Roster

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