Hoya Football still undefeated in Patriot League after victory at Lehigh

October 18, 2023

Photo by Daniel Rankin

Georgetown football (4-3, 2-0 Patriot League) remained undefeated in Patriot League play after the Hoyas defeated Lehigh (1-6, 0-2 Patriot League) 17-7 in the pouring rain on Saturday. Despite the weather, fifth-year quarterback Tyler Knoop excelled with 26 completions on 32 attempts for an impressive 332 passing yards.

Georgetown’s first drive started with an 18-yard rush by graduate running back Joshua Stakely to midfield. Just as opening momentum seemed to be on the Hoyas’ side, however, two short rushes and a four yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Nicholas Dunneman left the Hoyas short of the line to gain. They punted to a Lehigh offense which opened slowly with a three-and out on their first possession.

After the Lehigh punt, the Hoyas began their second drive on a similarly promising note as their first drive, running the ball well with junior running back Naieem Kearney. Enter Tyler Knoop, who immediately capitalized on an 18-yard pass to junior wide receiver Cam Pygatt by throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Jimmy Kibble, bringing the Hoyas to an early 7-0 lead.

Lehigh began to show some life in the passing game with five minutes to go in the first quarter, driving down the field to the Georgetown 26-yard line. That changed, though, when sophomore Lehigh quarterback Brayten Silbor threw a pass towards the end zone that was tipped into the hands of Hoya junior cornerback Kolubah Pewee Jr. for an interception. 

Emboldened by the turnover, Knoop quickly threw a 32 yard pass to Dunneman before the offense stalled in Lehigh’s redzone. Faced with a fourth-and-one on the Lehigh seven-yard line, Georgetown elected to go for it but fell short when Knoop was tackled in the backfield, turning the ball over on downs.

After an exchange of punts by both teams, the Mountain Hawks once again embarked on an encouraging drive. With the assistance of a defensive pass interference penalty called on Pewee Jr., Lehigh was able to bring the ball to the Hoyas’ 23-yard line, but sophomore kicker Nick Garrido missed a 40-yard field goal short in the rainy weather. This left Lehigh scoreless despite three trips into Hoya territory up to this point. 

Late in the first half, two excellent passes from Knoop to junior wide receiver Brock Biestek for 12 and 18 yards each allowed the Hoyas to drive deep into Lehigh territory. Faced with a 3rd-and-7 on the 16-yard line, Knoop tossed the ball left to a wide open sophomore tight end Max McCormick in the end zone, who was unable to secure the slippery ball for the touchdown. Georgetown elected to attempt a field goal on fourth down, but junior kicker Patrick Ryan missed the 33-yarder wide right to close the half.

Lehigh opened the second half strong in the passing game before a fifteen-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on Georgetown brought the Mountain Hawks to the Hoyas’ 30-yard line. After a pass and a rush brought Lehigh in the red zone, Silbor connected with senior wide receiver Eric Johnson for a touchdown pass, which brought the game to 7-7.

After the touchdown, the Mountain Hawks nearly immediately got the ball back following a punt returned to the Hoyas’ 45-yard line. Despite excellent field position, Lehigh’s opportunity to take the lead was squandered after an interception. Georgetown’s 27-yard pass to Stakely put the Hoyas into opposing territory, with the drive ultimately finishing with a 33-yard field goal.

The ensuing kickoff was once again followed by another excellent kick return by the Mountain Hawks, but a three-and-out led to yet another punt for Lehigh. One set of punts by both sides later, the Hoyas found momentum thanks to a crucial third down completion to Kibble. A Lehigh facemask penalty put Georgetown on the opposing thirty-yard line, from which two short Kearney runs and an incompletion put the Hoyas in a 4th-and-9 situation. Unsure about attempting another field goal in the pouring rain, the Hoyas elected to go for it again and converted with a 22-yard pass to Biestek to the four-yard line.This was immediately followed by a Stakely rush touchdown with three minutes left in the game, sealing the victory for the Hoyas, 17-7.

The Hoyas will look to defend their undefeated conference record on Saturday at 3 p.m. at home against Colgate (2-4, 0-1 Patriot League). Follow @GUVoiceSports on X for continued coverage of Georgetown sports.

Henry Skarecky
Henry is the Sports Editor and is a junior in the SFS. He is an enthusiast of college football at all levels, and also enjoys curling, playing the violin, eating Chipotle, riding Japanese trains, and complaining about the Chicago Bears.

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