On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas football team (2-1, Patriot League) put a beatdown on Catholic (0-2, NEWMAC), routing the Cardinals 69-0. The Hoyas dominated in all aspects of the game, scoring on 11 of 14 drives and inducing a punt or turnover on each of Catholic’s 14 possessions. The quarterback tandem of senior Gunther Johnson and junior Joseph Brunell combined for 214 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, while Johnson also rushed for 49 yards. Over the last two weeks, Georgetown has outscored opponents 112-3, and today the defense held Catholic to a measly 72 total yards of offense.
“I feel like with the defense stopping them almost every possession, that’s an energy booster for the offense,” said sophomore wide receiver Joshua Tomas. “We should come out and score, capitalize on the fact that they’re doing their jobs.”
After the Hoyas won the coin toss and chose to receive in the second half, it was all Georgetown. Junior quarterback Brady Berger and the Catholic offense were unable to get a first down, and they punted after three plays. Unfortunately for Cardinals sophomore punter Fabrizio Reilly, sophomore defensive back Zaire Webb got a hand on the punt, and it was recovered at Catholic’s 20-yard line by junior defensive back Jonathan Honore. The Hoyas needed three plays to get to Catholic’s one-yard line, and on their fourth snap, junior running back Jackson Saffold rushed his way to six points for his first touchdown of the year. Senior defensive lineman Khristian Tate rushed in the two-point attempt, his second such conversion in as many weeks, and Georgetown had an 8-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
The Hoya defense got the ball back to the offense quickly, forcing another punt. The offense was able to get to Catholic’s 26-yard line on the back of sophomore running back Herman Moultrie III, but a couple deep shot attempts by Johnson were just out of the reach of his receivers. Senior kicker Brad Hurst nailed the 44-yard field goal attempt, converting his first attempt of the year through three games.
While Catholic was finally able to notch a first down on the next possession, their drive didn’t last much longer. A 38-yard punt gave Johnson and the offense great field position, but they didn’t seem to need it. On the first play, Johnson showed off his athleticism, breaking off a 43-yard run, and one play later, Saffold punched it in on a five-yard rush. Saffold’s second score of the day was followed by a perfect PAT by Hurst.
With an 18-0 lead before the end of the first quarter, head coach Rob Sgarlata was able to give snaps to Brunell, who was inserted into the offense on the next drive. While the defense continued to dominate, the offense didn’t skip a beat as Johnson was swapped for Brunell. Back to back drives concluded with Brunell passing touchdowns, as he hit junior wide receiver Max Edwards on a five-yard touchdown and then Tomas on a 40-yard bomb.
Johnson re-entered the offense on the next drive, and the scores kept coming. On the next two drives, Moultrie III squeezed his way into the endzone for his third score of the season before Johnson unloaded a 76-yard missile, hitting Edwards, who evaded several Catholic defenders on his way to the endzone, in stride. Just before the half, Tomas returned a Reilly punt for 66-yards, breaking several tackles as he scored the Hoyas’ seventh touchdown of the game. Tomas’ punt return touchdown was Georgetown’s first since 2012.
To start the second half, Georgetown drove down to Catholic’s 17-yard line before Hurst hit a 35-yard field goal. On the Hoyas’ next offensive possession, their streak of nine straight drives resulting in a score was broken when freshman running back Joshua Stakely fumbled at midfield. Then, the Cardinal offense looked poised to snap their streak of nine straight drives concluding without a score, as they pushed to Georgetown’s 19-yard line, but once again they were stuffed by the Georgetown defense and turned the ball over on downs.
Later in the fourth quarter, Stakely would make up for his fumble, finding the endzone on a 50-yard touchdown rush.
“I feel like this could be one of the best teams that Georgetown has ever had,” said Tomas. “Everybody is coming together as a unit, and I feel like we can go a far way.”
With the 69-0 victory, Georgetown improves to 2-0 at home this year. They will have next weekend off before traveling to the Big Apple to take on Columbia (0-0, Ivy League) on September 28. Columbia will open its season next Saturday against Saint Francis (2-1, NEC). It will be a tough task for the Hoyas, who have lost eight straight matchups to Ivy League opponents, dating back to 2016 when they defeated Columbia in Georgetown’s homecoming game.
“We’ll really assess what we did well and what we struggled with and make those the focal points of practice,” said Sgarlata on preparing for Columbia. “Columbia and Cornell are two extremely well-coached and talented teams and those games will be really good preparation for Patriot League play.”
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice