Football Takes Back the Lou Little Trophy in a 24-10 Triumph over Columbia

September 28, 2019

On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas football team (3-1, Patriot League) earned a statement win in the fifth installment of the Lou Little Trophy series, taking down Columbia (1-1, Ivy League) 24-10 in New York. The victory snapped the Hoyas’ eight-game losing streak to Ivy League opponents, dating back to 2016. Junior quarterback Joseph Brunell, who has surrendered the lion’s share of playing time to senior Gunther Johnson, was the main passer for Georgetown, going for 146 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. 104 of those yards were on completions to sophomore receiver Joshua Tomas. Meanwhile, sophomore running back Herman Moultrie III racked up two more touchdowns on the ground, adding to what has been a productive season thus far. The Georgetown defense, which dominated in each of the previous two games, continued to give the opposing offense trouble. The Hoyas tallies three interceptions and forced three fumbles, two of which they recovered.

The Lou Little Trophy, which honors the College Football Hall of Fame coach of the Hoyas and Lions, has been with Columbia since their victory in 2016. After Saturday, the Lions have a 4-3 lead all-time, but the Hoyas lead the Lou Little Trophy series 3-2.

The Hoyas won the toss and elected to kick to the Lions, giving their red-hot defense an opportunity to start the game on a high note, and they did not disappoint. Junior quarterback Josh Bean and the Columbia offense were stuffed and punted after seven plays, but Georgetown’s offense was unable to score on the following drive. On Columbia’s next possession, however, they were able to draw first blood. Bean and sophomore quarterback Ty Lenhart each notched at least 20-yard completions to get to the red zone, and sophomore receiver Mike Roussos snuck into the endzone on a 1-yard touchdown run. It was the first touchdown that the Georgetown defense had allowed since their season-opening loss to Davidson. Georgetown was unable to respond in the remaining six minutes of the first quarter, but they held the score to just 7-0. The first quarter numbers did not forecast a positive game for the Hoyas, however, as they had mustered just 28 offensive yards compared to Columbia’s 108. 

The yearly matchup between Columbia and Georgetown honors Lou Little (above) who coached the Hoyas from 1924-1929 and the Lions from 1930-1956. (Credit: Wiki Commons)

The second quarter nearly ended scoreless, with both defenses flexing their muscles. About four minutes in, sophomore defensive back Micah McNeil intercepted a Lenhart pass for his second pick of the year. The interception gave the Hoyas a great opportunity at Columbia’s 23-yard line, but the offense was smothered once again, giving senior kicker Brad Hurst a shot at a 34-yard field goal. Hurst, who had made both of his prior field goal attempts in 2019, had his second quarter attempt blocked, keeping the Hoyas scoreless. With six minutes remaining, Georgetown got the ball back, looking to right the ship before the half. Brunell completed four separate passes of at least 10 yards as the Hoyas marched down to Columbia’s 3-yard line, setting up Moultrie III for a 3-yard touchdown rush. Hurst’s PAT attempt was perfect, tying the game at seven. With two minutes remaining in the half, Bean got the ball with a chance to reclaim the lead, but the Hoya defense held strong. On the third play, Bean was sacked for a big loss by junior linebacker Wes Bowers, who was also able to poke the ball out before Bean went down. Sophomore defensive end Quincy Chinwuko recovered the fumble, and when the dust settled, the Hoyas picked the ball up just 14 yards from Columbia’s endzone. Head coach Rob Sgarlata put his faith in Moultrie III who, on his fifth rush attempt, punched in another 3-yard rushing touchdown. The two touchdowns in quick succession late in the second quarter were Moultrie III’s fourth and fifth of the year. The Hoyas’ 14-7 halftime lead was largely due to the defense who allowed -13 offensive yards in the second quarter. 

The second half began with a great deal of action, as Tomas fumbled the kick, allowing Columbia to drive from Georgetown’s 23-yard line. The Georgetown defense was once again tenacious, allowing just two yards over the next three plays, giving freshman kicker Alex Felkins a chance to attempt a 39-yard field goal. On his second attempt of the year, Felkins missed wide left. The rest of the quarter, however, was largely uneventful, as both defenses continued to dominate. The only score was a 27-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Davis Walker to make it 17-7.

Beginning the fourth quarter, Bean was determined to get his team back into the game, as he reeled off an 18-yard rush and a 39-yard completion on consecutive plays. Unfortunately for the Lions, he was unable to find the endzone, but Felkins connected on a 28-yard field goal to make it 17-10 and a one-score game. On the following drive, senior receiver Michael Dereus fumbled the ball on the Hoyas’ first play, giving Columbia the ball back at Georgetown’s 13-yard line. The Lions now looked primed to score, but on their third play, Bean threw a dime right to junior defensive back Jonathan Honore, who nabbed his first interception of the year. The Hoyas’ next drive ended in a punt, giving Bean another chance with his team still in the game, but he was picked off yet again, this time by sophomore linebacker Justin Fonteneaux. The Hoyas then put together a long drive, covering 90 yards over 13 plays and concluding with a 7-yard touchdown rush by Brunell, sealing the game with 1:41 remaining in the fourth quarter. Before it ended, however, the Georgetown defense tormented Bean one last time, as senior defensive lineman and STATS FCS Preseason All-America Third Team selection Khristian Tate sacked Bean and knocked the ball loose. Junior linebacker Owen Kessler recovered the ball for the Hoyas, allowing them to kneel out the clock.

Georgetown will look to stay hot next week when they travel even further north to take on Cornell (0-1, Ivy League) in Ithaca, NY. The Big Red lost their opener this week against Yale, suffering a 27-16 defeat. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET, and the game will be streamed on ESPN+. Full stats are available at Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for live updates and continued coverage of all Georgetown sports.

Tristan Lee
Tristan is the Voice's sports executive and a senior in Georgetown College. He mostly covers Georgetown's football, basketball, and baseball teams.

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