Football | GU Looks to Rebound From Road Loss

FILE PHOTO: ISABEL BINAMIRA/THE HOYA Senior running back Jo’el Kimpela rushed for 46 yards on seven carries in Georgetown’s loss to Harvard last Friday. Kimpela has rushed for 224 yards and one touchdown this season.

FILE PHOTO: ISABEL BINAMIRA/THE HOYA
Senior running back Jo’el Kimpela rushed for 46 yards on seven carries in Georgetown’s loss to Harvard last Friday. Kimpela has rushed for 224 yards and one touchdown this season.

After two consecutive away games, the Georgetown football team (2-3, 0-0 Patriot League) returns to the Hilltop to face Lafayette (1-4, 0-1 Patriot League) on Homecoming Weekend. The Hoyas kick off conference play after being shut out by the Harvard Crimson (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League) 45-0 last Friday.

On Friday night, Georgetown faced off against Harvard, a top-25 team in the Football Championship Subdivision. On their opponent’s first drive, the Hoyas held the Crimson to a field goal. Georgetown followed with a turnover on downs and allowed Harvard to score its first touchdown. Early in the second quarter, the Hoyas were unable to connect on a 33-yard field goal. On the other side of the ball, Harvard extended its lead with a 37-yard rushing touchdown to bring the score to 17-0.

Georgetown never got the opportunity to heat up — Harvard went on to score two more touchdowns for a 31-0 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Crimson never looked back, tacking on two more touchdowns and increasing their lead 45-0.

“Defensively, I feel like we learned a lot of things we can work on,” sophomore defensive back Jelani Williamson said. “There are a lot of positives we can take from [this game]. It’s a good learning experience and I’m glad it happened earlier in the season versus later.”

Sophomore running back Isaac Ellsworth recorded 133 yards on five kickoff returns to put the Hoyas in a good position to start multiple drives. However, this was not enough for Georgetown to capitalize and make it into the end zone. Sophomore defensive back David Akere recorded a career-high 13 tackles, one forced fumble and one pass breakup, while senior running back Jo’el Kimpela rushed for 46 yards on seven carries.

Despite the discouraging loss, the Hoyas are still confident in their abilities.

“I really like this team,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “I think they have the right attitude, they care for each other and it’s one of the closer teams I’ve been around, so that’s what I was most impressed with coming out of the Harvard game.”

As many former Hoyas return to the Hilltop for an exciting Homecoming Weekend, Georgetown’s football team looks to capitalize on a struggling Lafayette squad. In their last four meetings, the Hoyas and the Leopards have split the decisions.

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Sophomore defensive back Jelani Williamson leads Georgetown with two interceptions so far in the 2015 season. Williamson has recorded 26 tackles, including 13 solo tackles and two tackles for loss, this season.

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
Sophomore defensive back Jelani Williamson leads Georgetown with two interceptions so far in the 2015 season. Williamson has recorded 26 tackles, including 13 solo tackles and two tackles for loss, this season.

“We just worry about being consistent,” Sgarlata said. “In the games that we’ve had success, we’ve had consistent ball games. Offense, defense, special teams, have all contributed.”

Last year against Lafayette, Kimpela rushed for a career-high 159 yards and scored one touchdown. The Hoyas lost 24-21 in a nail-biter.

“I think we’re coming in with a focused mindset and understanding that we have to be a little more violent, a little more vicious on the field and just focusing on reading our key and doing what we need to do,” Williamson said.

Lafayette has struggled so far this season. Its only win came against Wagner (0-4, 0-1 Northeast Conference) in its fourth game of the season. The Leopards began conference play last week against the Fordham Rams (4-1, 1-0 Patriot League). In that matchup, Lafayette took advantage of a fumble on the opening drive and crossed into the end zone for an early lead. However, the Rams scored 35 unanswered points from there to hand the Leopards their fourth loss of the season. Despite their opponent’s apparent weaknesses, the Hoyas are still focusing on playing their best football.

“We have to take it week by week,” senior quarterback Kyle Nolan said. “Each game is more important than the last. In order to win the league you have to go and win each game and focus on each opponent, just taking it day by day.”

The Blue and Gray are set for kickoff at against Lafayette at 2 p.m.

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