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Princeton looms for Georgetown football
In a wild Saturday at Multi-Sport Field, Georgetown’s football team (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League) fell to Yale (1-0) 24-21. The loss was Georgetown’s first of the year, and its sixth straight loss in consecutive years to Yale. With under a minute remaining, the Hoyas drove inside the red zone, but a Bulldog interception shortly thereafter solidified the heartbreaking loss.
“My hat’s off to Yale. They made the plays and we didn’t make them,” said Head Coach Kevin Kelly. “They won in this comedy of errors football game.”
Georgetown was the more effective team moving the football throughout the game, but Yale got on the scoreboard first. In the middle of the first quarter, the Bulldogs put together a 90-yard drive that ended with a rushing touchdown. Although the Hoyas were able to drive 96 yards on their next possession, the drive ended on a missed 19-yard field goal.
Georgetown would take a quarter to respond with two quick touchdowns. On a Yale punt, sophomore wide receiver and punt returner Kevin Macari initially bobbled the catch, but then picked up the ball and rushed down the near sideline for a 79-yard punt return touchdown.
On Yale’s next series of downs, senior cornerback Jeremy Moore intercepted a screen pass on third down and sprinted 41 yards for the touchdown. The interception touchdown gave the Hoyas a 14-7 advantage with seven minutes left in the first half. The Bulldogs answered by tacking on a 36-yard field goal with five minutes remaining the half.
Georgetown then maneuvered a 70-yard, 12-play drive that put the Hoyas inside the ten-yard line. However, the team then fumbled the ball on the two-yard line, giving the Bulldogs another chance to score with 45 seconds. On the next play, Yale quarterback Erik Williams threw deep down the near sideline. The ball was haplessly tipped by a Georgetown defender into the hands of Yale’s Cameron Sandquist, who raced downfield for a touchdown.
After coming out of halftime with a surprising 17-14 lead, Yale fumbled the ball on their first drive of the third quarter, gifting the Hoyas with solid field position. Georgetown would take advantage, as junior running back Dalen Claytor scored a 32-yard rushing touchdown a few plays later.
Later in the third, the Blue and Gray would have a turnover of their own as they fumbled the ball on the 15-yard line. Yale capitalized, running it in from nine yards out to go ahead 24-21 with 2:43 remaining in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Hoyas were thwarted twice in fourth-down situations. Georgetown was able to move the ball successfully on its last drive of the game, but ultimately lost the ball on one final interception.
“The ball went up and the kid made a heck of a play,” Kelly said. “In hindsight, we probably should have a ran the ball up the middle, kicked the field goal, and gone to overtime. It’s one I wish we could have back but we can’t.”
Claytor finished with 53 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown, along with 37 receiving yards. Moore recorded 12 tackles, forced and recovered a fumble, and had two interceptions, one of which resulted in a touchdown return.
“It was such a wacky game. I’ve coached college football for 28 years, but I don’t know if I’ve been involved in a more wacky game.”
The Hoyas will look to rebound in a very important match-up at Princeton (0-1), a game that will be televised on ESPNU. The game is Princeton’s home opener and marks the first time Georgetown will play in front of a national audience. Princeton suffered a tight 17-14 loss to reigning Patriot League champion Lehigh (3-0) in Bethlehem, Pa., last weekend.
Georgetown will face a Princeton squad that is on a roll. The Tigers went down 17-0 in the first half against Lehigh but rallied in the fourth quarter with two straight touchdowns to cut the lead to 17-14.
Princeton’s most dangerous weapon will be senior running back Akil Sharp, who rushed for 79 yards last weekend and scored both of Princeton’s touchdowns. Georgetown will look to improve on its rushing defense this weekend after surrendering 236 yards on the ground to Yale last Saturday, more than their first two games combined.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Princeton University Stadium.