The Georgetown Hoyas football team (2-5, 1-3 Patriot League) returned to Cooper Field for the first time in nearly a month to take on the Lafayette Leopards (3-5, 2-1 Patriot League) on Saturday. After jumping out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, the Hoyas eventually fell 24-23 with a would-be game-winning field goal blocked in the final seconds.
The Hoya offense finished the game with 308 total yards, led by senior receiver Joshua Tomas’s 137 receiving yards. Junior quarterback Pierce Holley finished the game 19-30 with 231 passing yards as the Hoyas largely struggled to run the ball effectively. Lafayette put up 343 yards of offense, led by strong performances from running backs Selwyn Simpson and Jaden Sutton who combined for 132 yeards. Junior receiver Julius Young hauled in 9 receptions for 150 yards from freshman quarterback Ah-Shaun Davis, who finished the game 15-22 with 203 yards.
Lafayette kicked off to begin the game, and the Hoyas promptly scored on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Holley to a wide-open Tomas. Keeping their momentum, Georgetown caught the Leopards off guard with an onside kick recovered by freshman Rashon Adams Jr. near the right sideline. Despite venturing into Lafayette territory, they were unable to sustain the drive, which ended with a 44-yard field goal attempt from sophomore kicker Conor Hunt that missed left.
Lafayette finally got its offense on the field, but they couldn’t gain much traction on their first drive before a risky call to go for it on 4th and 1 at their own 36. The gamble didn’t pay off – junior defensive back Jovone Campbell and senior linebacker Justin Fonteneaux stuffed the rush attempt for a turnover on downs. The Hoyas took advantage of the field position, making big plays when they needed them. A play action from Holley to Tomas on 4th down extended the drive, setting up junior running back Joshua Stakely’s 4-yard touchdown run a few plays later.
Lafayette’s second drive was hardly better than its first. Georgetown senior defensive lineman Ibrahim Kamara sacked Davis for a loss of 1, followed by another 1-yard loss on a second down rush by Sutton. Davis’s 3rd down pass was tipped and intercepted around midfield by graduate Ahmad Wilson, who returned it to the Lafayette 34. The Hoyas stuck with their rushing attack, starting the drive with back-to-back runs from senior Herman Moultrie III. After Holley overthrew Tomas on 3rd down, the Hoyas settled for a 31-yard field goal from Hunt to make it 17-0.
The Leopards’ offense finally found its groove with a quick score on their third drive. Simpson found a gap and bolted down the left sideline for a 55-yard touchdown run that put Lafayette on the board.
The Hoyas began the second quarter with an uneventful 3-and-out. Lafayette’s next drive got off to a quick start with a 34-yard reception by Young that put the Leopards on the Georgetown 23 before the Hoya defense managed a critical third-down stop. The Hoyas then burst through the Lafayette line to block a field goal attempt, with Adams scooping up the loose ball and returning it to the Georgetown 44. The Leopards’ defense again held the Hoyas to a quick 3-and-out, and then marched down for their second score of the game, a 47 yarder to Youmg.
A kick out of bounds gifted the Hoyas good field position, and they capitalized on it to break their offensive funk. Holley found Tomas for two crucial third-down conversions that put the Hoyas deep in Lafayette territory for the first time in the second quarter. After a pair of incompletions, Hunt made a 37-yard field goal to extend the Hoya lead to 6 and wrapped up the scoring for the half.
The Hoyas forced a 3-and-out to start the second half and extended their lead with a 45-yard field goal. The Leopard offense started the second half in much the same way as it started the first: struggling to move the football. Back-to-back Lafayette drives stalled out, while the Hoyas also struggled to sustain a drive.
After a solid punt return put the Leopards in Georgetown territory, Lafayette narrowed the score with a 6-minute touchdown drive. Sutton nearly scored with a lunge toward the right pylon to cap off a 4-yard rush and punched it in on the next play to make the score 23-21.
The fourth quarter began with another stalled-out Georgetown drive. Lafayette responded by advancing to the Georgetown 46 before the Hoya defense forced a fourth down. The Hoyas initially appeared to stop a Sutton rush on 4th down, but a questionable spot that stood after review handed the Leopards a 1st down to extend the drive. Sutton continued to attack the Georgetown defense, rushing for two more first downs on back-to-back plays to put Lafayette in the red zone. The Hoya defense finally got the stop it needed after a lengthy review that saw a targeting call overturned, but Lafayette took a 24-23 lead on a 28-yard field goal.
With about 5:30 left in the game, the Hoyas got the ball back for the game’s final possession. Moultrie started off the drive with a burst up the middle to the Hoya 33 for a first down. Under pressure on the next snap, Holley escaped the pocket for a 4-yard gain, followed by another Moultrie rush for no gain. Tomas continued his big game on a crucial 4th down, reaching midfield with a clutch reception. After another first down on a Moultrie rush, the Leopards defense managed a pivotal stop on 3rd down at the Lafayette 33. Faced with a 4th down, Coach Rob Sgarlata let the clock tick down to 0:07 before calling a timeout.
With the ball at the left hash on the Lafayette 33, Hunt and the Hoya special teams unit lined up for a 50-yard field goal to decide the game. After an apparent miscommunication, the officials called the play off due to an ongoing TV timeout. The Hoyas lined up for the kick again; this time, Lafayette used its final timeout to ice Hunt. Lining up one last time, the Leopards blocked the low kick at the line of scrimmage and dove on it as time expired to seal a narrow loss for the Hoyas.
The Hoyas will return to Cooper Field on November 6th at 12:30 to take on the Fordham Rams (5-3, 3-0 Patriot League). Live stats will be available at guhoyas.com. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for coverage of all Georgetown sports.