It was there for the taking. After years of scraping by at the bottom of Patriot League, the Georgetown Football team had a chance to grab a commanding lead in the standings when they faced conference rival Colgate University. But the Raiders, who came into the game as the preseason favorites to win the league, proved to be too much for the Hoyas. On Saturday in Hamilton, N.Y., Georgetown fell 34-3 in their worst performance of the season.
The Hoyas looked like a real match for Colgate in the opening period. Georgetown responded quickly to an eight-minute drive that gave Colgate a 3-0 lead, with a 34-yard kick-off return from sophomore Jeremy Moore that allowed the Hoyas to start their drive at the 50 yard line. Brett Weiss capped off the ensuing drive with a 38 yard field goal, a career long for the Georgetown kicker.
But Georgetown’s early efforts proved insufficient in holding off Colgate’s dynamic rushing attack. Junior Nate Eachus, one of the nation’s leading rushers, had 220 yards on 44 carries with four touchdowns in a truly dominant performance.
The defeat has not diminished the Hoyas’ spirits. They showed up in practice this week eager to learn from this weekend’s game and prove that it was a blip on the radar rather than a sign of things to come.
“Everybody has a bad day at the office,” said head coach Kevin Kelly, who maintained a positive outlook after the defeat. “Part of it was us, part of it was Colgate, and you learn from that.”
The players have dismissed the idea that defeat is an omen for the rest of the season. Co-captain and senior left tackle Dan Semler said the loss was an aberration, and even relished the chance for a rematch.
“We’re a lot better offense than what happened out there,” Semler said. “I wish he had a shot to play them again because we would do some work on them.”
Ironically, the difficult seasons the Hoyas’ have played in the past give them a distinct advantage heading into next week.
“We’ve been here before,” senior co-captain Nick Parrish said. “We know what it’s like to have to bounce back from a loss, and we know what we did wrong. So it’s not like a situation where we are unaware of what we need to fix. It’s all in our control.”
The loss was the Hoyas’ first in the Patriot League this season and it will leave them chasing Colgate in the remaining weeks to finish atop the conference standings. The Blue and Gray will need to win their remaining conference games and Colgate must drop two games if they are to have any chance of attaining their first Patriot League title. But that has not deterred the Hoyas as they look forward to a tough non-conference game this weekend against Wagner and their next conference match against Bucknell in two weeks.
The Hoyas last played Wagner in 2000 with the Hoyas coming out on top 28-21 on the road, but Kelly admits the team won’t know what to expect until kickoff on Saturday.
Despite the uncertainty, the players are excited to show the home crowd what they’re all about.
“I’m really confident in our offense and I think we’ll come out against Wagner and put up a lot of points,” declared Semler. “We have confidence because of the early wins. … We know we can do it again.”