Charles Nailen/The Hoya Georgetown was unable to pick up a third consecutive victory against Colgate.

Playing on snow-covered sod Saturday in upstate N.Y., the Georgetown football team fell 44-22 in their first-ever game against Colgate. After their loss, the Hoyas must resign themselves to their third consecutive losing season. Despite a record-setting performance by junior linebacker Andrew Clarke, the Hoyas failed to overcome a 17-0 halftime deficit and a dominant Raider running game. Clarke recorded 23 total tackles, including 15 solo stops – both of which set school records – while fellow junior linebacker William Skultety had 12 hits. The defense as a whole held the Raiders scoreless in the first quarter, including an impressive stop on fourth down in the red zone.

“The weather did not play as significant a role as might have been expected,” Head Coach Bob Benson said. “We made a couple of mistakes due to the conditions, but overall it was not much of a factor.”

The telling factor turned out to be the running game. Georgetown amassed 26 yards on 18 attempts, while Colgate pounded away for 237 yards on 56 tries. Colgate running back Ray LaMonica had the best game of his career, carrying 36 times for 179 yards and three scores.

Georgetown junior wide receiver Luke McArdle tallied 177 all-purpose yards, nearly half of which came from an 84-yard kickoff return touchdown early in the fourth quarter that brought the Hoyas within two touchdowns. McArdle also caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

Colgate had the edge in the air game with quarterback Chris Brown completing 80 percent of his throws. Brown was 20-25 for 254 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His Georgetown counterpart, senior David Paulus, went 18-29 for 249 yards, including the touchdown toss to McArdle. Two interceptions helped mar Paulus’s record for the day.

The Hoyas went four-and-out on the opening drive but their defense managed to hold the Raiders scoreless on the ensuing drive. Paulus then led the offense to the Colgate 23-yard line, completing six of seven pass attempts, but two consecutive penalties resulted in third-and-23. Georgetown failed to convert and surrendered the ball on downs.

Brown took this stroke of good fortune and went 77 yards in the opposite direction. LaMonica ran the ball into the endzone from three yards out, to put the Raiders ahead 7-0 early in the second quarter. Two interceptions by Colgate – one by each of their senior cornerbacks, Max Wynn and T.J. Smith – paved the way for a field goal and another touchdown.

Georgetown emerged optimistic after halftime, though Colgate had put up 17 unanswered points in the first half. “We were fine,” Benson said of the halftime deficit. “We knew we had been down 17-0 against Bucknell at the half.”

On the first drive of the second half, the Raiders marched 51 yards on four plays – including a 35-yard pass from Chris Brown to wide receiver Jamal Lamb. Ray LaMonica ran the ball into the end zone on the following play and from that point on, the Hoyas could close the gap to no less than 15 points.

The two teams traded drives, the second of which resulted in an interception by Georgetown sophomore defensive back Tim Banks. A Paulus scramble and two passes of 30-plus yards, one to junior wide receiver Walter Bowser and the other to McArdle, earned the Hoyas 76 yards and put them on the board with eight minutes to go in the third quarter.

Three more touchdowns were added to the scoreboard as a result of the next three drives, which featured both teams’ passing games. Following Colgate’s fifth touchdown of the day, cArdle ran back the kickoff for a score. The Hoyas converted for two points with a Paulus pass to Bowser, and found themselves down 37-22.

That was the last time Georgetown saw the end zone. Colgate added another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, cementing the win at 44-22.

“The game Saturday was why we joined the Patriot League. Colgate might be one of the best football teams we’ve played against, but we played hard and fought for the entire four quarters,” Benson said.

League rival Towson (6-4, 3-3 PL) plays host to Georgetown next Saturday in the Hoyas’ season closer, while Colgate – presently tied for first place in the conference with Fordham – visits winless Bucknell hoping for a Rams loss and a shot at an NCAA playoff bid.

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