Offensive Struggles Plague Football in Loss to Fordham

October 23, 2017

The Georgetown football team (1-6, 0-2 Patriot League) lost to the Fordham Rams (2-6, 1-2 Patriot League) at home on Saturday by a score of 17-9. The loss marks the Hoyas’ sixth straight defeat since winning their season opener over Campbell University.

The Georgetown offense failed to secure any momentum during the game, gaining only 246 total yards and just 43 rushing yards. Sophomore quarterback Gunther Johnson was unable to recreate his dual-threat performance from last week, where he gained 71 rushing yards and rushed for three touchdowns against Lehigh (2-5, 2-0 Patriot League). Johnson had no rushing yards in Saturday’s contest versus Fordham.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Johnson said. “I love to run the ball, and it’s just not what we were able to do today.”

After failing to move the ball on their first possession, the Rams put together a 13 play, 62 yard drive on their second possession, which culminated in a 30 yard field goal by freshman kicker Andrew Mevis. The Hoyas’ offense could not get started in the first quarter, and Mevis converted another short field goal early in the second quarter, this time from 31 yards.

The Blue & Gray caught their first offensive break midway through the second quarter. Pinned on their own 18 yard line in a fourth and long situation, the Hoyas elected to punt. But, a roughing the kicker penalty on Fordham allowed the Georgetown offense another chance at the drive. On the ensuing play, Johnson found star sophomore wide receiver Mike Dereus for a 57 yard completion down the left sideline, setting the Hoyas up with first and goal from the Fordham 10 yard line. Two plays later, Johnson hit freshman wide receiver Max Edwards for a touchdown over the middle. The catch was Edwards’ first career touchdown reception.

“[Dereus] is by far the fastest person in this entire league,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t tell you thankful I am to have him. He definitely makes my job a lot easier with his speed and his abilities.”

Following the touchdown catch, however, Fordham blocked Georgetown’s extra point attempt and returned it all the way to the opposite end zone for a two-point conversion, making the score an 8-6 lead for Fordham heading into the half.

On the first drive of the second half, Johnson led the Hoyas on an 11 play, 67 yard drive that stalled on the Fordham 10 yard line. Facing fourth and one, Georgetown initially sent their offense onto the field, but head coach Rob Sgarlata elected to use a timeout, eventually deciding to send the Hoyas’ field goal unit onto the field. Georgetown converted the kick and took its first lead of the game, 9-8.

Photo: Tyler Pearre/The Georgetown Voice

The Hoyas’ lead would not last long. On its next drive, Fordham’s senior quarterback Luke Medlock completed a 41 yard pass to wide receiver Austin Longi, giving the Rams prime field position at the Georgetown 10 yard line. A few plays later, Medlock found Longi again for a 10 yard touchdown pass. The Rams elected to attempt a two-point conversion, but failed to convert, giving Fordham a 14-8 lead with 7:11 remaining in the third quarter. The Hoyas struggled to contain Longi all game on Saturday, as he finished the game with 13 receptions for 150 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s one of those guys you really have to break down and just try your best not to let him loose,” sophomore defensive lineman Khristian Tate said. “It’s tough when one receiver on their team just keeps getting the ball, but we have to work on shutting people down like that.”

Following the Fordham touchdown, Georgetown’s next six drives all ended in three-and-outs. The Rams converted another field goal halfway through the fourth quarter, and the Hoyas’ offense failed to gain any momentum throughout the rest of the game. When the final whistle blew, Fordham won the game by a score of 17-8.

The Georgetown defense was a bright spot during the contest. They forced Fordham to take three field goals from less than 31 yards, illustrating the team’s successful red zone defense. While the Rams gained 402 total yards, three of their long drives stalled inside the twenty yard line and ended in field goals instead of touchdowns.

“I think the kids took a lot of pride in coming out today and wanting to make a stand defensively, and they kept us in it by holding them to field goal tries in the red zone,” said Sgarlata.

The Georgetown defensive line also had success rushing the passer, forcing four sacks and keeping Medlock, the Fordham gunslinger, under constant pressure.

“It’s all about getting in the quarterback’s head,” Tate said. “Right off the ball, we have to work our moves and get to him as quickly as we can.”

Medlock finished the game with 25 completions on 45 attempts with 258 passing yards and a touchdown pass, and running backs Zach Davis and D’Angelo Palladino totaled 69 yards rushing and 70 yards rushing, respectively, in addition to Longi’s big receiving game. Johnson was 17 of 35 passing with 196 passing yards and a touchdown pass, while Dereus finished with four receptions for 83 yards receiving.

“I didn’t perform up to what I’m capable of, and what I can and what I should have done to get this win,” said Johnson.

The Hoyas will travel to Massachusetts next Saturday to face off with Holy Cross (2-6, 1-2 Patriot League). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 pm.

Nick Gavio
Nick is the Voice's former editorial board chair. Follow him on Twitter at @nickgavio, where he primarily retweets cute puppy videos.

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