FOOTBALL Georgetown Fends Off Davidson Special Teams Key To Victory Again By Mike Hume Hoya Staff Writer

Jenny Zerke/The Hoya Junior Dave Paulus evades a tackle in Saturday’s game against Davidson. Paulus turned a botched punt attempt into a 53-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

The Georgetown football team took it down to the wire again Saturday, but came up with several key plays to pull away with a 26-24 victory over the Davidson Wildcats, improving its record to 2-3.

For the second straight game, senior defensive end Eric Speron blocked an extra point attempt, and later intercepted the would-be game-tying two-point conversion with 50 seconds left in the game to secure the win.

Freshman wide receiver Kurt Bennett caught a 65-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Sean Peterson in the third quarter, shaking two defenders on his way to the endzone to give Georgetown a 20-12 lead. The touchdown was Bennett’s first of his collegiate career.

“We knew we needed a touchdown,” Bennett said. “We knew we couldn’t survive on just field goals alone. We need to boost our confidence on offense.”

Bennett also made a diving catch on third down in the fourth quarter to extend the drive that led to Marc Samuel’s fourth field goal of the day. That field goal, a 41-yarder, provided the eventual margin of victory for the Hoyas.

Georgetown’s youth movement continued to attract national attention as Bennett was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for his performance. This marks the second consecutive week and third time this season a Georgetown player has received the honor. Last week, corner back Byron Anderson garnered the award. Anderson had an interception and two tackles in this week’s game against Davidson.

Despite the big plays by the Hoyas, the Wildcats (2-3) fought to the end, scoring a touchdown on their final possession to cap a 65-yard drive with 52 seconds left. Trailing 26-24 after the touchdown, the Wildcats lined up for the two-point conversion, but Speron intercepted the pass in the endzone, then ran it back deep into Davidson territory before getting tackled.

Speron said that he wasn’t concerned about mimicking freshman Byron Anderson’s PAT return against Duquesne. “I was more concerned about fumbling,” Speron said. “I was holding on [to the ball] like no other.”

The win is the second straight for Georgetown, which lost its first three games to Patriot League opponents.

Junior Dave Paulus came through with his biggest performance of the season for Georgetown, rushing for 65 yards in limited time at quarterback and also scoring the Hoyas’ first touchdown of the game.

On fourth and 10 from the Georgetown 47 with 8:31 remaining in the first half, Paulus tucked the ball away on a blown punt attempt, weaving his way past defenders and going 53 yards for the touchdown.

“He’s an ad-libber,” Head Coach Bob Benson described Paulus. “He’s a big play guy and that’s why he’s getting repetitions at quarterback. He’s a great athlete.”

Paulus also recovered an onside kick attempt by the Wildcats with 50 seconds left in the game to seal the win for Georgetown.

Georgetown’s defense once again sagged, but came up with the big plays when it had to. Davidson running back Ward Gibson ran for 108 yards on 17 carries. Quarterback John Leverett completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards, and scored a rushing touchdown of his own in the third quarter.

Penalties also plagued the Hoyas, as Georgetown was flagged 11 times for 83 yards.

The victory brings Georgetown within one game of .500. After the win, Benson believes the team is “right where he thought [they’d] be” at this time of the season. This was the first time in the program’s history that Georgetown defeated Davidson in the three year history of the matchup. Last season the Wildcats went undefeated with an 11-0 record.

“A few years ago, Davidson is the hardest game on the schedule. Now they’re one of the easiest,” Benson said. “We’ve got to beat them.”

Georgetown resumes its conference schedule this Saturday as the Hoyas battle Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa. It will be Bucknell’s Homecoming game. The Bison enter the game with a record of 4-1 coming off a one-point victory against Lafayette last week.

“We’re boosted up. We’re ready for Bucknell,” Bennett said. “We’re really starting to gel.”

Kickoff against Bucknell will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Lewisburg, Penn.

Team Schedules/Rosters 2001 Football Schedule | Roster

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