FOOTBALL | Marist Demolishes Georgetown for First Win
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
What was left of the crowd was hushed; the sideline, defeated — no one expected a loss, let alone an embarrassment. The Georgetown football team (1-2) looked flat all night and was throttled by Marist (1-2), 43-23, Saturday night at MultiSport Facility.
“What I told the players in the locker room — they [made] more plays than we did tonight,” Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. “With three turnovers, you’re not going to win many games.”
The Hoyas, coming off a 42-6 dismantling of Davidson, struggled in every facet of the game and were unable to keep the previously winless Red Foxes in check. Georgetown’s defense gave up a season-high 505 yards and was unable to force a turnover. The Georgetown offense amassed 453 yards over the course of the game, but they struggled to find the end zone.
“[Offensive] yards [don’t] really matter to me. It’s the points on the scoreboard,” Kelly said.
The Blue and Gray especially struggled to get into an offensive rhythm in the first quarter. On the first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Isaiah Kempf underthrew his receiver, resulting in a Marist interception.
The turning point came in the final minutes of the first half. The Hoyas had knotted the game at 9 with a 44-yard field goal by senior kicker Matt MacZura, but the Red Foxes responded quickly. After a long kickoff return was called back because of a holding penalty, the Marist offense marched down the field. With the clock winding down in the first half, Marist senior quarterback Chuckie Looney dropped back into the pocket and, unable to find an open receiver, scrambled for a 6-yard touchdown to give his team a 16-9 halftime advantage.
The Red Foxes added to their lead on their first two possessions of the second half. Marist efficiently strung together two long drives, both of which culminated in touchdown passes by Looney.
“The momentum swung right before the half — that touchdown hurt. It was 9-9 with 5 seconds left in the half and that certainly hurt,” Kelly said. “Three consecutive touchdowns — 21 points — is not going to do much for your morale.”
As the Red Foxes continued to exploit the Blue and Gray defense, the Hoyas’ offensive woes continued. After the team went three and out on its first drive of the second half, senior running back Nick Campanella fumbled on Georgetown’s next possession and Marist capitalized with Junior Running Back Emmanuel Onakoya’s 50-yard touchdown run.
The Blue and Gray made a push late in the third quarter to crawl back into the game. Sparked by Kempf, senior wide receiver Zack Wilke and sophomore wide receiver Jake DeCicco, the Hoyas put together two of their best drives of the game — scoring touchdowns in each — to cut Marist’s lead to 14.
“I’ll give the guys credit. They still came back anscored a couple touchdowns, and we didn’t quit,” Kelly said.
But with each touchdown that the Hoyas scored, the Red Foxes matched, eliminating Georgetown’s hopes of pulling off any comeback.
“We didn’t make plays; they were four-of-four in the red zone,” Kelly said. “We always talk about holding the team to field goals and not touchdowns, if you hold them to field goals maybe you got a shot to win it.”
Georgetown’s defense was without its two leading tacklers, senior linebacker Dustin Wharton and junior linebacker Nick Alfieri, who missed the game due to injuries. Their absences certainly hurt the Hoyas as they gave up a season-high 230 rushing yards to a team who had averaged only 23.5 on the ground per game before Saturday’s match up.
“Certainly, when you have a player of [Wharton’s] caliber, preseason defensive player of the year, if you don’t have some like that it is going to affect you somewhat,” Kelly said.
Although the Hoyas were relatively ineffective on offense, Wilke and DeCicco each had over 100 yards receiving while Kempf completed 32 of 52 pass attempts and threw for 398 yards with two touchdowns.
“We could’ve done a lot better,” Wilke said. “We started off a little slow, but we just have to keep going and keep fighting and keep playing hard.”
Georgetown will look to rebound from the shocking loss this Saturday when it travels to Providence, R.I., to take on Brown. Kickoff is slated for 12:30 p.m.