On Saturday afternoon the Blue and Gray drudged off the Multi-Sport Field dejected and in a state of disbelief. This had been no ordinary Georgetown setback.

Yes, the Hoyas (1-5, 0-3) had dropped another Patriot League game; the team has only won one in the past three years. But in this matchup, the Hoyas outgained their opponent 364 yards to 356, finally established a consistent and effective running game and even built up a 10-point lead late in the second quarter. Unfortunately, two late turnovers and an inability to move the ball in the second half contributed to a 27-24 loss to Bucknell.

“We felt we could have beat this football team, and I just told the players that it hurts in the gut, and I feel for them; it’s a tough loss,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said.

Georgetown edged the Bison (4-2, 1-0) last season 20-17 in Lewisburg, Pa., on a game-winning field goal in overtime. This win gave the Hoyas their lone victory of 2007.

On Saturday two backbreaking fumbles in the fourth quarter unraveled a steady effort by the offense and gave Bucknell the chance to pad their lead late in the game.

The first fumble occurred with the score 20-17 Bucknell at the start of the fourth quarter. Freshman running back Keion Wade took a swing pass from freshman quarterback James Brady and lost the ball on the Georgetown 13, giving Bucknell possession deep in the red zone. It took the Bison two plays before a 15-yard pass from junior quarterback Marcello Trigg to sophomore wide receiver Shaun Pasternak pushed the lead to 27-17.

With a little over 12 minutes left in the game, a win seemed out of reach. But, in a flash, senior return man Kenny Mitchell took the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to the Bucknell 17, and suddenly, the Hoyas were back in it. However, the devastating turnover bug bit Georgetown again when sophomore quarterback Keerome Lawrence was hit by senior linebacker Marques Morgan. Lawrence fumbled the ball, and BU recovered to quash the Hoya momentum.

“We turned the ball over and we had a couple calls there that turned the tide; the two fumbles, they were momentum killers,” Kelly said.

Despite squandering an early advantage, Georgetown had one last chance to salvage a victory. After the Lawrence fumble, Georgetown forced a punt, and Brady engineered a 10-play, 66-yard drive in 3:54 that ended on a beautiful 5-yard fade to senior tight end Collin Meador in the left corner of the end zone.

At 27-24, the Blue and Gray forced a Bison three and out, and with 1:59 left, Brady led the Georgetown two-minute drill. After the quarterback’s pass intended for freshman running back Chancellor Logan fell incomplete on fourth down with 1:27 remaining, the angst and frustration of the home sideline engulfed the crisp autumn air.

“Well, the way I look at it, I think we are all heartbroken at this point. This was one that we let slip through our fingers; it was a game we should have won, but we didn’t,” Kelly said.

Brady and Lawrence were a successful tandem throughout the day; Lawrence ran for 87 yards and two first-half touchdowns while Brady was 19-for-31 through the air for 155 yards and one touchdown. Lawrence, an all-around athlete, also caught four passes for 24 yards.

“James threw the ball fairly well; he missed some kids, but I thought he did a good job,” Kelly said. “And Keerome – when he’s in there, he’ll run the football, and we’ll play him some at slot, and he did a good job. He’s athletic, and our thought is that we got two good football players, and we don’t want either on the sidelines, so that is why we play them both.”

Georgetown has a difficult test next week against the Richmond Spiders, ranked ninth nationally by the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches Poll.

“No doubt it will be a big challenge,” Kelly said.

Kickoff is Saturday at 3 p.m. at UR Stadium.

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