Image Contributor
Sophomore slotback Mychal Harrison and Georgetown pushed their way past Howard Sunday afternoon in the first D.C. Cup. The Hoyas scored twice in the fourth quarter.

Compared to the century or so it took Georgetown and Howard to meet on the gridiron, the extra day they took to wait out a tropical storm seemed insignificant.

And after the two budding rivals finished pushing and shoving for 60 minutes, while senior Kenny Mitchell and his teammates hoisted the D.C. Cup trophy in front of the Hoya faithful, the first nine seconds of the game were nothing more than a blip on the radar.

Although he fumbled away the opening kickoff, Mitchell caught passes of 37 and 31 yards from freshman James Brady to open the fourth quarter. Mitchell’s second reception was the Hoyas’ only touchdown and gave them their first lead of the game.

The Bison recovered Mitchell’s fumble and as a result held excellent field position throughout the first quarter. But they only managed to push across seven points. From there, the Hoyas erased any memory of the open frame as the defense got on track and the offense went to work.

Georgetown stuck to the ground for most of the game and ran 28 times through three quarters while attempting just 16 passes. When they did go to the air, it was usually a wide-receiver screen or a quick route five yards out.

“At the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth, we saw that they were getting a little edgy,” Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Kelly said of Howard’s defense. “They were starting to overplay the run, so we wanted to throw the ball some more. We put James in, and Kenny’s got great speed. [Offensive coordinator Jim] Miceli said let’s throw the ball down the field a little bit.”

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Mitchell ran a fly pattern and Brady hit him for a 37-yard completion.

“James looked at me when he called the play, and he said, `It’s one-on-one, so use your speed,'” Mitchell said. “I ran and looked up, and there’s the ball.”

The play was the first time in the game Georgetown went deep.

“I just threw it up, and Kenny made the play,” Brady said.

The next time the Hoyas went long was two plays later, when Mitchell ran a post route and again got behind the Bison secondary. Brady’s pass was on the money, and Mitchell scored his fifth career touchdown.

The receptions were Mitchell’s only of the game, but his 68 yards accounted for about half of the Hoyas’ 137 passing yards.

itchell’s ability to bounce back from his early mistakes to make two of the biggest offensive plays in the game embodies Kelly’s teaching.

“What we do is talk about adversity,” Kelly said. “You’re going to have adversity in a football game, and it’s [about] how you handle it. The good teams handle adversity.”

For Mitchell, a fourth-year man out of Atlanta, the battle of the District had extra meaning.

“It’s very special, since it’s the first game we’ve ever played against each other, and to get the D.C. Mayor’s Cup,” he said. “Also it helps us show D.C. that Georgetown does have a team that can play a little football. I get those questions all the time, my whole career, so it’s very special to finally show people we can play a little football.”

Howard and Georgetown will meet in each of the next three years with the hope of starting a regular game between the only two Football Championship Subdivision teams in the District.

If the series turns into a rivalry, Mitchell will be able to fondly look back on the first game, in which he led the Hoyas to victory after an inauspicious start.

News and Notes:

– The game will be played on tape-delay at 11:30 p.m. tonight on MASN.

– Georgetown created confusion for announcers in switching between No. 12 Brady and No. 18 Keerome Lawrence. When Lawrence’s jersey was torn in the second quarter, he wore No. 19, which is listed on the roster as another quarterback, John O’Leary.

– The turf at Howard’s Greene Stadium showed no signs of the rain dumped by Tropical Storm Hanna the day before. Rather, on a hot Sunday afternoon, several umbrellas dotted the crowd to fend off the sun’s rays.

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

Comments are closed.