Following a tough 14-12 defeat at the hands of Marist (2-1, 1-1 Pioneer Football League), the Georgetown football team (1-1, Patriot League) will look to bounce back this week in an away game at Columbia on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:00 pm at Wien Stadium in New York City.
This will be the third straight year that the two rivals face off for the Lou Little Cup, named for the legendary head coach of both teams. With his team facing Columbia yet again, Georgetown Head Coach Rob Sgarlata sees it as a nostalgic moment.
“Football’s always been a big part of Georgetown University,” Sgarlata said. “So the tradition we started a few years back with the 10-game series with Columbia honoring coach Lou Little really just harkens back to the days when we were playing in the Orange Bowl and the Sun Bowl.”
Last week the Hoyas struggled to contain Marist redshirt junior quarterback Matt White, as he racked up 29 completions and 236 passing yards. This week, they will have to work even harder to stop a quarterback who is just as talented on the ground as he is through the air. In Columbia’s season opening victory, senior Anders Hill ran the ball 19 times for a total of 89 yards to go along with a solid 199 yards passing.
Georgetown senior defensive lineman Bryan Jefferson spoke confidently when asked about his unit’s chances against Hill. “I’m not too worried about how he is on both sides,” Jefferson said. “As long as we get the pressure up front, the guys in the back will take care of what they’ve got to do.”
One player who has emerged as a star on offense through the first two games of the season has been sophomore wide receiver Michael Dereus. In the Marist game, he had 72 receiving yards bringing his season total to 186 yards. This included the biggest play of the game for the Hoyas, a 44 yard touchdown grab thrown by senior quarterback Tim Barnes. His performance was good enough to achieve his first career Patriot League Honorable Mention nod.
Dereus is proud of his accomplishment as he looks ahead to the next matchup. “It was a great honor and I’m just looking forward to another great team win against Columbia,” he said. “I’m just going to continue to do what I’m coached to do and continue to make big plays when I need to.”
Given his recent play, the coaching staff will be considering new ways to continue incorporating Dereus into the offensive schemes. Sgarlata was certainly impressed with his receiver’s performance.
“Michael’s a special athlete for us,” he said. “It’s our job to get the ball in his hands in as many ways as possible.”
Sgarlata is excited to face off against the Lions in New York City and anticipates having significant fan support at the away game.
“It’s an awesome place for us to go up and play this game because we have such a strong alumni base in the metropolitan area in New York,” he said.
Beyond the location, it is the history of this matchup that makes the game so special.
“It’s a great rivalry and I think it’s one that’s going to continue,” Sgarlata said. “It’s one that reminds the kids of the history of the place and the shoulders of the guys that came before them.”
With Georgetown having won the last two meetings, the Hoya faithful will no doubt be expecting another victory. The team hopes its recent streak against the Lions will continue on Saturday.
“We got the trophy last year and we’re just looking to get it again,” said Dereus.