FOOTBALL | GU Finale Marks End of Era
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 22:11
Heading into this season, Georgetown’s football team (5-5, 2-2 Patriot League) had aspirations of winning the conference after a runner-up finish last year. After a myriad of injuries and a miserable four-game losing streak, the Hoyas have readjusted their goals.
In the season’s final game Saturday against Holy Cross (1-9, 1-4 Patriot League), the Blue and Gray has a chance to achieve its new objective of finishing above .500 both overall and in the Patriot League.
Since senior quarterback Isaiah Kempf went down with a concussion in the opening game, Georgetown has featured a revolving door of quarterbacks; junior Aaron Aiken, sophomore Stephen Skon and freshman Kyle Nolan have all seen time at the position and have all dealt with their own health issues this season.
Which of the three will start Saturday is still unknown, according to Head Coach Kevin Kelly.
“It’s a game-time decision,” Kelly said. “We’ve worked all three of the guys, and we will see on Saturday morning.”
The game will be bittersweet for the Hoyas, as it marks the end of an era for the 13 seniors who will be playing for the final time in a Blue and Gray uniform.
All of the seniors have seen many highs and lows in their four years on the field, including a winless freshman campaign and a shot at the conference title last season. Collectively, they helped engineer a massive turnaround for the Georgetown football program, something that Kelly knows will not be easy to maintain.
“The seniors have learned how to handle adversity,” Kelly said. “They’re really the true foundation and have gotten us over the hump here at Georgetown.”
Two seniors stand out in terms of on-field contributions over the last four years: linebacker Robert McCabe and cornerback Jeremy Moore.
McCabe, the Georgetown captain, has set and reset various records while emerging as one of the nation’s premier defensive players. The nation’s leading tackler, he has already shattered his single-season school tackling record and wants to leave the Hilltop with a reputation as a humble leader.
“I come out every day and try to work my hardest and be the best player I can be,” McCabe said. “I hope the legacy I leave here is that I’m a hard worker and I’d do anything for my teammates.”
Moore, on the other hand, has garnered a status as the squad’s biggest playmaker. The Connecticut native is tied for third in the country with five interceptions and is the Blue and Gray’s all-time leader in interception return yardage.
“It’s definitely been a journey,” Moore said. “Hopefully, my senior class has made its mark in showing the young kids how to do things. You remember every game after a while, but it’s going to be sad to see it go.”
The seniors still have one game left, though, and would like nothing more than to go out with a win. To do so, they must first overcome the sneakily dangerous Crusaders.
On paper, Holy Cross appears to be overmatched, but the Crusaders have been playing their best football as of late. While they have struggled to pick up victories, the team has lost its last three games by only six combined points, including a one-point loss to No. 12 Lehigh.
Kelly watched those games and knows Georgetown must be cautious against Holy Cross.
“Holy Cross has had some bad luck at the end of football games. That’s what’s scary,” Kelly said. “Hopefully, the law of average is not in their favor this Saturday.”
To come away with a win — regardless of who’s behind center — the Hoyas must be able to find success with their ground game. The Blue and Gray has relied on its rushing attack and strong defense throughout the season, and Saturday should be no different.
Last week, sophomore running back Nick Campanella and junior running back Brandon Durham both went down with apparent foot injuries, putting additional pressure on freshman running back Jo’el Kimpela to carry the load for Georgetown’s rushing attack.
“We’ve got to be able to run the football,” Kelly said. “If we can’t run the football, it could be a long day. On defense, we’ve just got to keep doing what we’ve done the past couple of weeks.”
Saturday promises to be an emotional day for all the players and families involved. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at MultiSport Facility.