The Georgetown defense has stared down its share of challenges during the 2007 season. Injuries have riddled the Hoyas’ front line like gunfire from a semi-automatic. Freshmen have been forced into starting roles at linebacker. The secondary has faced the aerial wizardry of

Holy Cross and Fordham. But the defense’s toughest task may still lie ahead against Colgate on Saturday: stopping Mr. Scott.

That man would be Jordan Scott, Colgate’s junior running back and the man for Dick Biddle’s Colgate Raiders. He has rushed for 1,462 yards, 22 touchdowns and averages a little over five yards a carry. He is third on the Football Championship Subdivision rushing list and atop a short list of Walter Payton Award candidates.

He is the Darren McFadden of the MASN Network.

“He’s the key,” Biddle said of Scott. “You stop him, I think you take away a huge part of our offense.”

This is all very bad news for a Georgetown defense that has allowed 2,552 yards on the ground this season. To make matters worse, Scott has run wild in his past two outings against Georgetown, breaking the Raiders’ freshman rushing record in 2005, by rushing for 257 yards and slicing the Hoyas’ jugular for 175 in last year’s meeting in Hamilton.

The real salt in the Hoyas’ wound is the fact that Biddle picked Scott from right under Georgetown’s nose when the Colgate coach signed him in the spring of 2005. According to Georgetown Sports Information Director Mex Carey, after a stellar career at Dematha Catholic in which he led the Stags to two consecutive MAAC titles, Scott – who grew up in Hyattsville, d. – wanted to stay close to home.

But at the last second, Scott’s mother, Stacy, convinced her son that a little time away from the Beltway would be beneficient.

“She wanted him to get away from home,” Biddle, who has always emphasized the running game during his 12 years in upstate New York, said. “She was a deciding factor, and we were fortunate to get him.”

While Scott does not possess Adrian Peterson speed or Ron Dayne strength, he runs with bull-headed determination that allows him to run with a consistent fluidity game after game.

“I don’t know who I would compare him to,” Biddle said. “He’s a different style of back, but what you get out of him in the fourth quarter is the same thing you got out of him in the first quarter.”

For senior defenders Kevin Cherepski, Mike Greene and Stephen Smith, their final day on the Hilltop could be a long one. Greene – who played against Scott during his high school career at St. John’s College High – remembers Scott vividly.

“I remember that like it was yesterday,” said the veteran linebacker. “I didn’t play that much back then. I am ready to step up to the challenge at linebacker.”

Not even the stingiest defenses have been able to keep Scott from getting his yards. But the key to beating Colgate is keeping him out of the end zone – he has been held scoreless in two of the Raiders’ three losses.

Colgate linebacker Mike Gallihugh – the nation’s top tackler in Division-I AA 2006 – has benefitted from chasing Scott around in practice over the past two seasons. Just like his hard-charging teammate, Galliugh is another local product who fled the D.C. area to play for Biddle.

The Midlothian, Va., native is on the watch list for the Buck Bucahnan award, given annually to I-AA’s staunchest defender.

“Mike is really, really fast,” Biddle said of his 5-foot-11, 195-pound tackling demon. “He has been around a long time, so he really knows what we are doing out there.”

At first glance, there seems to be little at stake for Saturday afternoon’s kickoff. But if the Hoyas close their season out with a win and Bucknell continues to lose, Georgetown will avoid finishing last in the Patriot League for the second consecutive year. Biddle knows well the power of one team’s pride.

“I think everybody has a reason to play,” said Biddle, whose Raiders struggled against the same Bucknell team that Georgetown defeated. “The last time we played down there, we probably did not deserve to win.”

Greene – who has lost to Scott-led teams five times – cannot wait to see his old nemesis again.

“I wouldn’t want to be playing any other type of team in my last game,” Greene, who has 86 tackles in his career, said. “He’s going to try to run through me, I’m going to do the same to him, and then I am going to shake his hand after the game.”

Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m. on the Multi-Sport Facility.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.