Football Stumbles Against Colgate in a 24-14 Defeat

November 2, 2019

Photo by John Picker/The Georgetown Voice

On Saturday, the Georgetown Hoyas football team suffered a disappointing 24-14 loss to the Colgate Raiders. After winning four in a row coming into conference play, the Hoyas have struggled mightily against Patriot League competition. On the day, senior quarterback Gunther Johnson passed for 148 yards and had one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. For Colgate, three different players notched rushing touchdowns. 

“You can’t turn the ball over two times against a good football team,” Head Coach Rob Sgarlata said. “Otherwise, it’s a pretty even football game.

The first quarter was dominated by defense, as the Hoyas (5-4, 1-3 Patriot League) and Raiders (2-8, 1-3 Patriot League) combined for 51 total offensive yards. Through seven drives, there were just three first downs. The closest either team got to scoring came with about three minutes remaining in the quarter, after the Georgetown defense forced Colgate to punt deep in their own territory and sophomore receiver Josh Tomas returned it to Colgate’s 40-yard line. Head Coach Rob Sgarlata elected to go for it on fourth-and-five from the 35-yard line, but Johnson’s pass attempt fell incomplete. That was the only drive in the quarter on which the offense ventured into opposing territory.

The second quarter started off with a bit more offense. Junior quarterback Grant Breneman was instrumental in getting the Colgate offense up to Georgetown’s 24-yard line, but he was unable to convert on third-and-five, giving senior kicker Chris Puzzi a chance at a 41-yard line. Fortunately for the Hoyas, Puzzi’s attempt missed wide right. That scoring chance may have helped the Georgetown offense wake up, as they came out firing on the next drive. Johnson dished out dime after dime on a nine-play, 76-yard drive, capped off by a 28-yard rushing touchdown by the Hoyas’ quarterback. Senior kicker Brad Hurst nailed the PAT attempt to make it 7-0. That scoreline was short-lived, however, as Colgate would respond on the next drive. Breneman got off a few big passes before senior tight end Nick Diaco reeled off a 27-yard rushing touchdown. Puzzi would split the uprights this time, knotting the game at seven. Georgetown would get one more chance to score before the half, but Hurst’s 42-yard field goal attempt fell short. The offenses were much more successful in the second quarter, accumulating 208 combined yards. 

The Hoyas stumbled out of the gates after the intermission. After receiving the kick, the Georgetown offense was able to reach Colgate territory, but junior running back Jonathan Saffold fumbled, recovered by Colgate. The Raiders failed to score, but on Georgetown’s next drive, freshman running back Joshua Stakely repeated Saffold’s mistake. This time, it was deep in Georgetown territory, and although the Hoya defense prevented a touchdown, Puzzi gave Colgate the lead with a 25-yard field goal. The Hoyas were unable to respond on the following drive, and Colgate was able to take advantage on their next possession. On the first play, Breneman found a hole and nearly scored on a 38-yard run. Directly thereafter, senior tailback Alex Mathews finished the job, getting in on a one-yard touchdown run. Puzzi’s PAT split the uprights to extend the deficit to 10.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Hoyas desperately needed a spark, but they were unable to find it. Instead, the Raiders widened the margin, thanks to an 11-yard rushing touchdown by senior two-way player Abu Daramy-Swaray. Facing a 24-7 score with under seven minutes left, the Hoyas needed a miracle. Johnson hit senior receiver Michael Dereus for a 64-yard catch, which was followed by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Tomas, but it wasn’t enough. The game ended in a 24-14 loss for the Hoyas.

“I wouldn’t say we need to turn things around, it’s more of a progression,” Sgarlata said. “If we go and make any big changes now, it means we’re not confident in what we’ve been doing since August 2nd and that’s absolutely not the case.”

The Hoyas will have two weeks off now as they try to gear up for a road trip to Bucknell (1-7, 1-2 Patriot League) on November 16. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. with a stream available on Stadium. Live stats are available at Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for coverage and continuing coverage of fall sports at Georgetown.

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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