Football | Special Teams Sparks Comeback

File Photo: Isabel Binamira/THE HOYA Junior cornerback and co-captain David Akere made four tackles Saturday. He has forced one fumble, recovered one fumble and has 11 total tackles this season as a starter on the team’s defense.

File Photo: Isabel Binamira/THE HOYA
Junior cornerback and co-captain David Akere made four tackles Saturday. He has forced one fumble, recovered one fumble and has 11 total tackles this season as a starter on the team’s defense.

A lightning delay could not stop the Georgetown football team (2-0) from continuing its fast start to the 2016 season, as the Hoyas marched into Marist College and secured a comeback 20-17 win.

With the win, Georgetown secured its first 2-0 start to a season since 2012. Junior wide receiver Justin Harrell caught the game-winning touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tim Barnes on a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line.

Early in the game, Georgetown’s offense struggled to sustain a drive, with the team having two straight three-and-out possessions to start the game. The offense finally broke through when senior kicker Henry Darmstadter nailed a 28-yard field goal to cap off an 11-play, 51-yard drive, highlighted by two first-down conversions from Barnes to senior tight end Matt Buckman.

But the Georgetown defense allowed Marist right back into the game on the ensuing drive. A 50-yard touchdown throw from redshirt sophomore quarterback Mike White to sophomore wide receiver Juston Christian put the Red Foxes out in front of the Hoyas 7-3 late in the first quarter.

Once again, the Georgetown offense went on another dry spell for most of the second quarter. Things got cooking again on offense for the visitors when Barnes completed a 25-yard pass to Harrell to bring the Hoyas to the Marist 13. Georgetown would have to settle for another Darmstadter field goal — this time from 25 yards — and the team  would go into the locker room trailing Marist 10-6 at halftime.

The Hoyas took control of the game in the second half with help from their rushing attack. Junior running back Alex Valles and sophomore running back Christian Bermudez were the focal points of the offense in the beginning of the third quarter, with Bermudez  plowing into the end zone from 15 yards out to make it 13-10 Georgetown.

The Georgetown defense failed to hold the lead for long, yet again. Marist drove down the field in three plays. White capped off the short drive by completing a 29-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Jon Kanda to put Marist in front again, 17-13, with 4:38 left in the third quarter. Neither team would be able to score again in the third quarter.

COURTESY GUHOYAS Senior running back Alex Valles ran for 93 yards Saturday. He has a team-high 185 rushing yards this season and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry through two games.

COURTESY GUHOYAS
Senior running back Alex Valles ran for 93 yards Saturday. He has a team-high 185 rushing yards this season and is averaging 7.1 yards per carry through two games.

The Hoyas would start the fourth quarter with the ball at their own 44-yard line, in the midst of what would be the game-winning, 11-play drive. A facemask penalty on Marist gave the Hoyas a new set of downs at the Marist 41-yard line. On third down, Barnes hit Harrell for a 19-yard catch to bring the Hoyas to the 5-yard line, and then on fourth-and-goal with three yards to go, Barnes found Harrell again for the game-winning touchdown catch.

The Georgetown defense did what it could not do prior to the game-winning score: protect the lead. After the score, the Red Foxes had 11:59 to score, but couldn’t do it. Senior defensive lineman Hunter Kiselick blocked a field goal — one of two field goals he blocked on the day — and a pass breakup by junior safety David Akere on fourth-and-16 with 1:38 remaining sealed the game for Georgetown.

The Hoyas now have a bye week before they come back to Cooper Field to host the Columbia Lions on Homecoming Day. The winner of the matchup will receive the Lou Little Trophy. Last season, the Hoyas beat the Lions 24-16 in New York. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. as the Hoyas look to stay undefeated to start the season.

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