They say lightning never strikes twice. But this was not the case for the Georgetown football team, which rode the momentum from their season-opening win over Davidson to oust Lafayette College 28-24 on Saturday night, earning their first victory against the Patriot League powerhouse in seven years.
The win was also Georgetown’s (2-0, 1-0 Patriot League) first victory in conference play since 2007.
A tremendous second-half effort from the Hoyas’ defensive unit contributed to the win, with the defense keeping the Leopards scoreless and forcing four turnovers after halftime.
Junior defensive end Andrew Schaetzke led the charge with two sacks, four tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble, earning him the title of Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week and The Sports Network/Fathead.com Division I FCS National Defensive Player of the Week honors.
“It’s a great honor, but the team played really well. … That’s even more of an honor,” Schaetzke said. “That’s just an award. The win is more crucial to us right now.”
Senior linebacker co-captain Nick Parrish added eight tackles to become the Hoyas’ career leader in that category with 270.5.
“I think all individual accolades we receive this year, they play second fiddle to team goal, which is winning the league,” Parrish said. “It feels great. I’m glad I did it early in the season so I can get it out of my mind and just focus on the team’s goals.”
Head coach Kevin Kelly praised Nick Parrish, calling him a Ray Lewis-type for the Hoyas
Despite the strong second-half performance, the Hoyas seemed to be in trouble early on, with Lafayette taking a quick 7-0 lead after Georgetown’s first possession resulted in a fumble on their own 14 yard line. More crucial errors from special teams and poor tackling on defense had Lafayette leading 24-14 going into the half.
“We didn’t play Hoya defense,” Parrish said. “We gave them some pretty easy scores, so we just tightened up in the second half, played our game and as you saw when we do were pretty dangerous.”
After halftime, the Hoyas came out of the locker room as if they were shot out of a cannon. Junior quarterback Scott Darby found Max Waizenegger for a 51-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. On Lafayette’s next possession, Junior Wayne Heimuli’s interception in the end zone set up an 80-yard touchdown drive.
Darby, who finished with 172 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers, was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, but he praised the defense for the turnaround.
“It’s great when we come out and score the first drive and get the ball right back,” Darby said. “It’s easy to stay in rhythm when you’re always on the field, so it’s a credit to them.”
The Hoyas face a difficult test this weekend as they travel to Connecticut to play Yale. Nevertheless, the coaching staff and players remain confident as they plan for their Ivy League opponent.
“We’ve got new schemes in offense and defense so we should see an improvement from week two to week three,” Kelly said.
Regardless of what happens this coming weekend, the Hoyas will proudly sit atop the conference standings for the first time since winning their opener in 2005. That’s a step in the right direction.