Last weekend, the Georgetown football team did what was once the impossible: It traveled to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne with [the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title on the line](, and it came away with the win. The Hoyas have never won at Rooney Field. In fact the Hoyas have never even scored at Rooney Field. But on Saturday, the Hoyas racked up 28 points and stopped the Dukes, playing what Head Coach Bob Benson considered “the best team win [Georgetown’s] had here.” The win over the Dukes improves the Hoyas record to 6-1 overall, 5-1 in MAAC play. The Dukes are 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the MAAC. The key to the game was a lack of turnovers for Georgetown, with only one interception and two fumbles. The Hoyas have struggled through several close games because of a mistakes and turnovers on offense, but against the Dukes, Georgetown played a controlled game. “We took care of the ball,” Benson said. “One of our goals was ball security and we did a great job.” Georgetown got an impressive performance from junior quarterback J.J. Mont. Mont, a 6-foot-3, 195-lb. passer, threw for 259 yards on 18 of 30 passes. Though he had been plagued by turnovers early in the season, Mont was able to pull it together against the Duquesne defense, throwing only one interception. The fourth quarter was, according to Benson, “great as a whole,” with the Dukes challenging the Hoyas up until the end of the period. Georgetown entered the final quarter leading 21-10, but Duquesne scored on the second play of the period, a 22-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Tony Zimmerman to senior tailback Andre Hatcher. The Dukes cut the lead to just four points with 14:29 remaining in the contest. On the following series, the Hoyas were stopped on their own 37-yard line, bringing in senior punter Charlie Turner. The Dukes took over possession on their own 20-yard line. Facing third and one from its own 29-yard line, Duquesne opted to send Hatcher up the middle but he was stuffed by senior inside linebacker Anthony Pizirusso. The Dukes punted and the Hoyas were able to score on the ensuing series, extending their lead to 28-17. Despite an interception by senior inside linebacker Mike Melchionda – his third of the game – the Hoyas were not able to score again in the period. Duquesne put the ball in the endzone with 57 seconds left in the game, but it was too late and Georgetown was able to hang on for the victory. “They’re making their run at us and on third and one we stuff them,” Benson said. “Pizirusso’s makes a big time play, we force them to punt and we come down and score and really just put it away.” The scoring did not begin until late in the first period with Georgetown getting on the board first on a two-yard touchdown by junior running back Rob Belli. The Hoyas moved the ball 34 yards in just three plays for the score. Freshman placekicker George Gummere, filling in again for an injured Paul Wiorowski (stress fracture to his knee), sent the ball through the uprights to give the Hoyas a 7-0 lead with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter. The Hoyas offense did not get much time to rest. On the first play of the second quarter, Melchionda forced a Duquesne fumble that was scooped up by sophomore defensive back Mike Turmanian. The Hoyas took over control of the ball on their own 36. Using a combination of Mont’s arm and sophomore running back Anthony Tuozzo’s legs, Georgetown moved the ball all the way down to the Duquesne 16. On a third-and-six play from the 16, Mont found a familiar target in the endzone: sophomore wide receiver Gharun Hester, who caught his ninth touchdown pass of the year. Gummere kicked another extra point and the Hoyas extended their lead to 14-0 with 9:12 left on the clock in the first half. On the ensuing kick-off, sophomore running back Donte Small ran over the Hoyas’ kickoff unit, sailing 63 yards to the Georgetown 26 yard-line. But once again, the Georgetown defense, led by Melchionda, shut down the Duquesne offensive unit before it could gain any steam. On the third play of the Dukes possession, Melchionda picked off a Zimmerman pass, returning the ball to the Hoyas own 11. The Hoyas were not able to do much with the ball and were forced to punt with 4:37 left on the clock. After two unsuccessful series on offense, Duquesne pulled it together and used the clock, taking the ball 38 yards to the Georgetown 12 yard-line in just over four minutes. Facing a fourth and nine play from the 12, the Duke opted to kick the field goal. Senior placekicker Brian Vautier’s kick was good and the Dukes closed the gap to 14-3 before halftime. But the score would not stay at the mark for long and both Georgetown and Duquesne scored on their first possessions of the second half. Georgetown took 5;38 to move the ball 80 yards for the score. On second and one from the one yard-line, Belli took the middle for the Hoyas third touchdown of the day, giving them a 21-3 lead. Duquesne responded with a 62-yard touchdown drive in 10 plays, with a first and goal, six-yard run by Hatcher cutting Georgetown’s lead to 21-10 and finish off the scoring for the third quarter. A key factor for the Hoyas offense was senior wide receiver Matt Mattimore, who was playing in his first game back since Holy Cross on Sept. 19. The 6-foot-1, 175-lb. receiver, sidelined with an injury to his abdomen, caught six passes for 131 yards, settling any doubts that Benson had regarding his most experienced receiver playing status. “It was uplifting to have him back,” Benson said. “He had six great catches and was instrumental in the win. “Senior leadership and experience is so critical and it is great to have him back.” Georgetown’s strong defensive effort was led by Melchionda, who finished the game with three interceptions, a forced fumble and three tackles. The 6-foot-0, 220-lb. senior was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Week. Seniors defensive end Mike Halen and free safety Anthony Bartolomeo each turned in strong performances on the defensive side for Georgetown. Halen finished the game with eight tackles and Bartolomeo registered nine solo tackles.

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