Turnover Darty: Ill-timed mistakes cost Hoyas in loss to Dartmouth

September 21, 2015

Photo: Georgetown Sports Information

The Georgetown football team (1-2, Patriot League) suffered their second loss of the season against Dartmouth (1-0, Ivy League), by a score of 31-10 at Multi-Sport Field on Saturday.

Early on in the game, Georgetown fought hard, taking the lead 7-0 with a 31-yard strike from senior quarterback Kyle Nolan to junior tight end Matt Buckman for a touchdown.

However, the Hoyas offense was unable to match the athleticism of Dartmouth senior quarterback Dalyn Williams and the Big Green offense for the rest of the game. Williams led Dartmouth on two touchdown scoring drives to make it 14-7 by the end of the first quarter. The Big Green defense also got involved, capitalizing on a costly interception by Nolan and returning it eight yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7. Georgetown junior kicker Henry Darmstadter made a field goal in the second quarter to bring it to 21-10, but after that the Blue and Gray did not score again.

The Hoyas offensively finished with 331 total yards, but only 23 of those came on the ground. Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata felt that the lack of a rushing game was a key setback during the game.

“Their philosophy was to take away the inside run game, so we definitely have to establish ourselves better in that regard going forward,” Sgarlata said. “We were too one-dimensional against Dartmouth.”

Turnovers also played a huge part in the game, shifting the momentum clearly in favor of Dartmouth by the end of the first half. Nolan’s first interception was to Dartmouth senior defensive back Troy Donahue, which led to a 35-yard return and gave Williams and his offense the ball at the Georgetown 13-yard line. At that point, the game was tied 7-7 as the first quarter was coming to a close, but Dartmouth took the lead with a 13-yard rush by senior running back Brian Grove, making it 14-7 and giving Dartmouth some momentum.

Early in the fourth quarter, with the score 31-10, the Hoyas had a chance get back in the game. After getting to the Dartmouth 1-yard line for a first and goal, Georgetown failed to get into the endzone on their first three tries. Forced to go for it on fourth and goal, Nolan tried to take it in himself, but fumbled just before crossing the goal line, giving Dartmouth the ball back.

The Hoya defense was placed in tough spots throughout the game, such as the aforementioned interception which give Dartmouth a 13 yard field to work with. However, Georgetown made no excuses for giving up points.

“At the end of the day, it’s our job to defend their offense,” senior linebacker Matt Satchell said. “No matter what the situation is, whether it’s a bad punt or a turnover, it’s our job to get the ball back to the offense, and we didn’t do a great job of that today.”

Poor starting field position was another issue the Blue and Gray faced throughout the game. The first drive had the Hoyas starting at their own 12-yard line, and a bad snap on the first play pinned them inside their own 2-yard line. Later in the first half, Nolan would again start with the ball inside the Georgetown 5-yard line, and he threw the pick-six to Donahue as a result.

“[Field position] is something we can’t worry about,” Nolan said. “We just have to keep making plays. We had a couple penalties, and I made a couple bad decisions, which really shot us in the foot. We should be able to move the ball and score from wherever we are on the field.”

Despite the negatives and the mistakes that Georgetown made during their loss to Dartmouth, the team remains hopeful and is looking forward to facing off against Columbia (0-1, Ivy League) next Saturday.

“The guys did a really great job of playing hard today,” Sgarlata said. “ We just didn’t play smart all the time. It wasn’t a lack of effort, we just need to execute better in critical situations.”

When asked about how he sees the matchup with Columbia, Sgarlata said, “I’ll tell you tomorrow. We’ll look at today’s game really hard tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll hopefully cut our mistakes in half at practice. Then we’ll move on to Columbia, and we’ll be ready to go on Saturday.”

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