FOOTBALL | Senior Day Blowout Ends Tough Campaign
Published: Monday, November 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 21:11
The Georgetown football team (5-6, 2-3 Patriot League) knew that Saturday's Senior Day was going to be emotional. What they didn't know was that that emotion would be anger. Such was the case, unfortunately, for Head Coach Kevin Kelly and his squad, who ended their season in disappointing fashion with a 24-0 thrashing at the hands of Holy Cross (2-9, 2-3 Patriot League).
“I don’t think it’s very good when you get beat 24-0,” Kelly said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a very good day for the Hoyas.”
The first half was an offensive struggle for both teams but especially for the Blue and Gray, who mustered a paltry 94 yards of total offense — including just 37 yards passing — and were forced to make a quarterback change midway through the second quarter.
Junior Aaron Aiken, making his first start since the team’s nationally televised win at Princeton, struggled to get the offense moving for most of the first half, and Kelly was prompted to make a swap behind center. The coach turned to fifth-string freshman Cameron MacPherson to provide a spark.
Unfortunately for Georgetown, MacPherson (the squad’s fifth different quarterback of the season) displayed early jitters while seeing his first collegiate action, fumbling a perfect snap on one occasion and consistently failing to find receivers downfield.
The only score of the half came early in the first quarter. After sophomore quarterback Ryan Laughlin set the Crusaders up inside Blue and Gray territory with a 24-yard scramble, Holy Cross had a third and long at Georgetown’s 29-yard line. With plenty of time, Laughlin found streaking senior receiver Gerald Mistretta — lost in double coverage — down the sideline for a touchdown.
The 7-0 Crusader lead held going into halftime, with both teams looking for more offense in the second half.
Out of the locker room, each squad went with quarterback changes: The Hoyas went back to Aiken, and the Crusaders turned to sophomore Steven Elder. Holy Cross, however, was the only side that was able to find the end zone.
After Aiken and the Blue and Gray opened with a three-and-out, Elder took advantage of a short field to lead the Crusaders into the red zone. Following two first downs, Holy Cross eventually took a 14-point lead on a 2-yard Mistretta run.
Georgetown failed to respond and countered with a second straight three-and-out to open the half. The Crusaders then utilized two Hoya personal foul penalties to move the ball downfield. With Georgetown’s frustration visibly mounting, a 20-yard field goal gave Holy Cross a 17-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Right before the end of the quarter, the Blue and Gray made another QB change and gave sophomore Stephen Skon a shot behind center. The New York native looked strong early, gaining three first downs on three consecutive plays, but that was the squad’s only glimmer of hope, as two straight sacks forced the Hoyas to punt for the 10th time.
“We were just trying to get a spark,” Kelly said. “This year, there’s been different times where we’ve played different guys, and it’s unfortunate [it hasn't worked out], but that’s life sometimes.”
In the fourth quarter, the Crusaders went on a long, time-consuming drive that put Georgetown away for good. A 20-yard Elder touchdown toss to Mistretta, similar to the scoring play in the first half, put Holy Cross up, 24-0.
From there, the Blue and Gray seemed resigned to their fate and gained just three more first downs. As the clock wound down and Skon threw a closing interception, fans' anger could be heard from the stands.
The blowout ends a disheartening 2012 campaign for the Hoyas, who came into the season with Patriot League title hopes after a runner-up finish in 2011. Georgetown must now find a way to regroup — and discover a first-choice starting quarterback — before 2013.