Football | Fordham Poses Challenge for GU

FILE PHOTO: KARLA LEYJA/THE HOYA Senior wide receiver Jake DeCicco recorded 10 receptions for 195 yards and a touchdown in Georgetown’s 33-28 loss to Lehigh on Oct. 31.

Senior wide receiver Jake DeCicco recorded 10 receptions for 195 yards and a touchdown in Georgetown’s 33-28 loss to Lehigh on Oct. 31.

As its bye week comes to an end, the Georgetown football team (4-5, 2-2 Patriot League) welcomes No. 10 Fordham (8-1, 4-1 Patriot League) to Cooper Field Saturday for its last home game of the season and its Senior Day. Since 1996, the Hoyas have only defeated the Rams twice in their annual matchup even though Georgetown has faced Fordham more times than any other opponent.

“I’m extremely excited to have [Fordham] here at home,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “It’s a rivalry game that goes all the way back in our history.”

There is no doubt that Georgetown is familiar with Fordham’s explosive offense. Last season, the Blue and Gray fell 52-7 to the No. 8-ranked Football Championship Subdivision team. Georgetown gave up almost 500 yards to the Fordham offense and picked up only 251 yards of its own. Sgarlata hopes the bye week this year is more effective than it was last year.

“This week’s one of our better weeks of practice coming off a bye week,” Sgarlata said. “I’m not concerned with our effort or where their focus will be.”

Fordham dominated the matchup, silencing Georgetown’s offense until its first possession of the fourth quarter when then-junior quarterback Kyle Nolan connected on a 33-yard touchdown pass to then-junior wide receiver Jake DeCicco. While the team was not able to get much going all afternoon, then-junior running back Jo’el Kimpela rushed for 102 yards on 15 carries — the most in any of his games last season.

In their last game, the Rams defeated the Bucknell Bison (4-5, 1-3 Patriot League) at home 24-16 in what proved to be a tough game. Junior quarterback Kevin Anderson connected on two touchdown passes, while sophomore standout running back Chase Edmonds rushed for a 22-yard touchdown to seal the win with six seconds left. Edmonds is now tied for the national FCS lead with 19 rushing touchdowns.

“[Fordham’s] numbers speak for themselves,” senior defensive lineman Hunter Kiselick said. “[Edmonds] is an unbelievable player and we have to do a lot to contain him.”

On Halloween, Georgetown had trouble containing Lehigh’s offense in the first half. The Mountain Hawks (5-4, 3-1 Patriot League) gave up three touchdown passes in the second half but still edged the Hoyas 33-28. Nolan completed 25-of-38 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. DeCicco stood out with 10 catches for 195 yards and one touchdown while sophomore wide receiver Luke Morris saw a significant amount of playing time, catching six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Harrison Glor also had two touchdown receptions in the close loss.

Despite a solid performance, Georgetown dropped to .500 against its league opponents. Its final two matchups will be just as challenging.

Looking ahead, the Hoyas will honor their seniors Saturday before the game. All season, Sgarlata has tipped his hat to the leadership of this year’s senior class to whom he credits the recent success of the program.

“I always think that you have to give a lot of credit to the builders and that’s what I consider this set of seniors,” Sgarlata said.

Senior offensive lineman Kevin Liddy is not focused on the fact that this is the last home game of his collegiate career. Like his coach, he is very eager to host the Rams.

“We attack it like we do every other game,” Liddy said. “It doesn’t really mean that much more because it is Senior Day. It’s more about the fact that we’re playing Fordham at home. That’s a big thing for us. I think we’re going to rally. I think we’ll have a good game.”

Coming off a loss before the bye week, Liddy and the rest of his teammates look to translate a good week of practice onto the field.

“We’re still not satisfied with the way some games ended,” sophomore defensive back David Akere said. “We believe we’re a good team; we’re a great team. We had some close games that really marked who we are, but we believe we’re going to win the last two games.”

After a week of rest, the Hoyas return to action against Fordham with kickoff scheduled for 12 p.m. There will be a pregame ceremony to honor the seniors before their last game.

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