The Georgetown football team fell to the Fordham Rams on Saturday by a score of 17-14, marking its fourth loss in a row.
The road loss put Georgetown (3-4, 0-2 Patriot League) under .500 for the first time this year, a stark contrast to the team’s 3-0 start to the season.
The Hoya defense faced a high-powered Fordham (5-2, 2-0 Patriot League) offense that had scored more than 40 points in its last three games prior to Saturday. Fordham’s junior running back Chase Edmonds entered the game with over 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
After going down early in the game last week, Georgetown again surrendered early momentum. Fordham received the opening kickoff and engineered a 14-play, 85-yard drive. Junior quarterback Luke Medlock finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Robbie Cantelli to make the score 7-0 fewer than five minutes into the game.
On the next Georgetown possession, sophomore quarterback Clay Norris threw an interception on a short pass attempt, allowing Fordham to take over at the Hoyas’ 42-yard line. Medlock threw another touchdown pass to Cantelli, this time from 37 yards out, giving the Rams a 14-0 lead.
Just as it looked as though the game was on track to be another blowout, sophomore running back Isaac Ellsworth returned the following kickoff 31 yards to the Georgetown 41-yard line.
A 59-yard deep ball from Norris to sophomore wide receiver Brandon Williams cut the lead in half. The touchdown was the first of Norris’ career.
After a Fordham three-and-out and a couple key plays from special teams, the offense took advantage of red-zone field position, and junior running back Isaac Ellsworth found pay dirt from one yard out to tie the score at 14.
“[Special Teams Coordinator Kevin] Doherty should be commended. Our whole special teams crew — from the return game to the fake punt to the two blocks — it just changes the game,” Head Football Coach Rob Sgarlata said.
The teams traded turnovers and three-and-outs for much of the second and third quarters, and the score remained 14-14 entering the final period.
After a long drive, Fordham appeared on the brink of a touchdown with the ball at the one-yard line. However, in a crucial play, Georgetown’s defense stuffed Chase Edmonds at the goal line on fourth down to keep the score tied in the fourth quarter.
The Rams forced a turnover six plays later, setting up a 24-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead with only 6:08 remaining. That kick would prove to be a game-clinching one, as the Hoyas failed to move the ball for the remainder of the game.
The Georgetown offense finished with six turnovers and went 1-of-11 on third down conversions, continuing season-long struggles in that category.
Sophomore running back Christian Bermudez and Isaac Ellsworth tallied only 20 combined rushing yards on 13 carries.
After Norris threw his third interception early in the second half, he was replaced by freshman quarterback Brock Johnson. Johnson finished 8-of-14 for 57 yards and two interceptions, and the offense managed only three first downs with him under center.
“[Johnson has] shown in practice and at the end of the game against Lehigh that he has the ability to play in the Patriot League, so it was good to see him get out there and get his feet wet,” Sgarlata said.
Meanwhile, the defense held Fordham to its second-lowest point total of the season and prevented Edmonds, who has 12 touchdowns this season, from reaching the end zone. It also forced four turnovers, including an interception by junior defensive back Jelani Williamson.
Also noteworthy was the sheer improbability of the near comeback. After trailing 14-0, ESPN had Georgetown’s win probability listed at 3.6 percent. Following the defense’s goal-line stand in the fourth quarter, that figure had increased to 45.8 percent.
“It’s the only locker room in the country I’d like to be in right now. Our kids fought their butts off against a really good football team,” Sgarlata said.
The Hoyas now look to turn their efforts into a victory next week when they travel to Lafayette (1-7, 0-3 Patriot League). Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
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