FOOTBALL | GU Falls to Fordham, 38-31
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 20:10
With just over three minutes left on Saturday afternoon, Georgetown’s football team (3-3) found itself with a first-and-goal at Fordham’s (4-2) 2-yard line and a chance to tie the game. But despite — or perhaps because of — four straight running plays up the middle, the Rams were up to the Hoyas’ challenge.
Fordham’s defensive stop proved to be the difference in a wild 38-31 loss for the Blue and Gray that dropped them to .500 for the first time this season. And, in what is becoming a pattern, Georgetown came up empty while trying to mount a late comeback.
Sophomore Stephen Skon, the Hoyas’ third-string quarterback, showed significant improvement in his second collegiate star, finishing 18-for-34 with two touchdowns, although he also threw a pair of interceptions.
The Blue and Gray got off to a sharper start than they had in recent weeks.
After allowing a Fordham field goal, Georgetown was first to find its way into the end zone.
Taking advantage of good field position thanks to a muffed punt, the Hoyas used two plays — a 32-yard pass from Skon to sophomore wide receiver Kevin Macari and a 4-yard run from Macari — to take a 7-3 lead.
The Rams answered immediately on their next possession, though, regaining the lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass.
The response was not the only time the Rams' passing attack found success. Fordham senior quarterback Ryan Higgins carved up Georgetown’s secondary throughout the game, and the Rams finished with 318 passing yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Both teams traded field goals in a quiet second quarter, but the Hoyas found themselves trailing, 16-10, going into the break.
Out of the locker room, Fordham appeared to be the more energized of the two sides.
After Georgetown’s offense had a three-and-out, Rams senior running back Carlton Koonce found a seam and ran 44 yards for a touchdown, expanding Fordham’s lead to 23-10.
As it has at other times when it has encountered a double-digit deficit this season, Georgetown showed an uncanny ability to thrive under adversity. Skon led the team right back on a methodical 82-yard drive that ended in a 2-yard touchdown toss to Macari.
The Rams fumbled another punt on the ensuing drive, and Skon again came through, this time with a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Nick Campanella, giving the Hoyas a 24-23 lead.
Fordham showed impressive resolve by answering immediately on a 25-yard touchdown throw. The two-point conversion put the Rams out in front by a touchdown going into the fourth quarter.
The Blue and Gray’s next drive was all about Campanella. The powerful back rushed four times for 41 yards, including a 7-yard score, during a possession that tied the game up at 31-31.
Amid a game with very fluid momentum, both Georgetown and Fordham came up with defensive stops on the following drives. That was something the Blue and Gray’s run defense — led by senior linebacker Robert McCabe’s 15 tackles — had done all day, frustrating Koonce and limiting him to 3.7 yards per carry.
But that defense wasn’t strong enough to overcome good field position for the Rams that gave them an easy touchdown and a 38-31 lead on a 1-yard rush.
Undaunted, Skon led the Blue and Gray on an impressive drive that lasted for more than seven minutes and was fueled by key third-down conversions and costly Fordham penalties.
But once in the red zone, the Hoyas could not convert their four consecutive opportunities to tie the game and turned it over on downs.
This is the second straight week that Georgetown could not score three straight times from the 1-yard line, and the inability to punch the ball is sure to haunt the Hoyas through this week’s practice.
The Blue and Gray did get one last brief chance, but it was quickly halted when Skon threw his second pick of the game. The Rams took a knee to close the game out with a 38-31 win.
Georgetown will need to bounce back quickly, as they take on defending Patriot League champions Lehigh at home Saturday at 1 p.m.