Football Continues Hot Streak with Clutch Victory Over Cornell

October 5, 2019

On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas football team (4-1, Patriot League) extended their winning streak to four games with a 14-8 victory over Cornell (1-2, 0-1 Ivy League) in Ithaca, NY. Junior quarterback Gunther Johnson accounted for both of the Hoyas’ touchdowns, while sophomore running back Herman Moultrie III accumulated 101 rushing yards. The Georgetown defense continued its streak of dominance, allowing just 20 offensive yards in the fourth quarter with the game in the balance. Georgetown has now won two straight games over Ivy League opponents following an eight-game losing streak to the conference.

The home Big Red won the coin toss and elected to kick. The Hoyas’ first drive was quick, as three straight passing plays for Johnson failed to gain a first down. After a punt, Cornell pushed their way to Georgetown’s 24-yard line, primed for the game’s first score. Instead, senior quarterback Mike Catanese’s pass attempt was intercepted by junior defensive back Jonathan Honore and returned 33 yards to the 50-yard line, giving the Georgetown offense solid field position. Sophomore running back Herman Moultrie III rushed for seven yards on consecutive plays to set up a 33-yard reception by Johnson to senior receiver Michael Dereus. From the 3-yard line, Johnson found his way to the endzone for his third rushing touchdown of the year, and sophomore receiver Josh Tomas rushed in a successful two-point conversion. Both defenses would stand tall, ending the quarter with Georgetown holding an 8-0 advantage.

Neither team scored in the second quarter, but each had a chance. With about nine minutes remaining, the Hoyas were able to get to Cornell’s 32-yard line, and head coach Rob Sgarlata made the aggressive call to go for it on fourth-and-four. Johnson’s pass attempt to junior receiver Cooper Melton fell incomplete, however, causing a turnover on downs. On the following drive, junior running back SK Howard powered Cornell to Georgetown’s 27-yard on two rushes for 21 yards total, but junior kicker Garrett Patla missed his field goal attempt on fourth down wide left with just under a minute remaining in the half. Going into the intermission, it remained an 8-0 game. 

To begin the second half, both offenses continued to struggle. Each of the first four drives resulted in a punt, but on the fifth, Cornell broke through. Senior running back Harold Coles’ 20-yard rush was the big play on the drive as the Big Red worked their way up to Georgetown’s 5-yard line. On first-and-goal, Coles got the ball again and executed perfectly, rushing into the endzone for six. On the two-point conversion attempt, sophomore running back Delonte Harrell evened the score at eight with a 3-yard rush. Harrell’s rush was the final play of the quarter, and the contest went into its final period a tie game.

Just like the third, the fourth quarter began with four consecutive drives resulting in punts. This time, however, it was Georgetown that would break the scoreless streak. After a 5-yard rush by Moultrie III and a 9-yard rush by Johnson, Johnson slung a 39-yard dime to sophomore receiver Cameron Crayton, breaking the tie and handing the Blue & Gray a six-point lead. Sophomore kicker Davis Walker missed the PAT, but the damage had been done. Thanks to two critical penalties, Georgetown was able to start their next drive at Cornell’s 35-yard line with 3:50 remaining following a punt. Cornell used a timeout following each of the Hoyas’ first three plays, leaving Georgetown with fourth and eight from the Big Red’s 33-yard line. In clutch fashion, Johnson hit Tomas for a 9-yard gain, notching a first down and effectively ending the game.

Overall, Cornell managed 234 yards of offense, right in line with the average of 255.3 for Hoya opponents, but the Georgetown defense was most effective in crucial moments, as Cornell converted just two of 13 third down attempts. On the other hand, Georgetown totaled 301 yards, eclipsing their season average of 251.

The Hoyas, riding a four-game winning streak, will be at Cooper Field next Saturday for their homecoming game and Patriot League opener against Fordham (2-4, Patriot League). The Rams also took on an Ivy League opponent this week, dropping a 48-24 contest at Yale (3-0, 1-0 Ivy League). Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed on Patriot League Network. 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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