Holy Cow! What a Classic, Part II

September 5, 2005

Last Saturday, I drove to Lewisburg, PA, to see the Georgetown gridders, ranked seventh of seven teams in Patriot League pre-season rankings, face the fifth-rated Bucknell Bison. It took overtime to seal the win for the Hoyas who trailed or were tied the entire game. Surely it was the most dramatic victorious ending for any Hoya team that I have seen since last January when JTIII avenged his pop's infamous loss to Villanova in the 1985 NCAA basketball championship game by snatching a crowd-deflating victory from the Wildcats. Deliciously, that identical-score hoop classic came on the Nova campus with their 20th anniversary half-time honorees, the entire 1985 team, in attendance.

This sudden-win victory on the Bucknell gridiron last weekend had its own historical significance and a sweet avenging similarity to its basketball counterpart, although probably only one person in attendance was even aware of it. It was exactly 80 years ago that the Hoyas were in their national collegiate football prime, led by reknown football coach Lou Little, and a collection of all-star players, including consensus All-America lineman "Babe" Connaughton, and Hall of Famers and lifetime Hoyas, Jack Hagerty and George Murtagh. The 1925 squad has been called the best team that Georgetown has ever fielded.

Jack Hagerty and George Murtagh

In a clawing battle in the mud, Georgetown succumbed to Bucknell that year by the soccer score of 3-2. It was the only loss in a 9-1 season that saw the Hoyas outscore their opponents 282-18, with seven of those victories being shutouts. By the end of the season, this single point loss to the Bison was all that separated the team from Georgetown's first undefeated season (a feat later accomplished by the great Hagerty-Murtagh coached team of 1938).

Today, with both teams striving to contend on the smaller but highly competitive football stage of the Patriot League, Saturday's triumph may be the best we will ever do to settle our 80-year old score with the Bison. The Hoyas proved a lot, mostly to themselves, by coming back from a 16-0 deficit, tying the game, shutting down the Bison place-kicker with two seconds remaining in the game, and then kicking the winning field goal in overtime.

With the score tied at 16 late in the fourth quarter, Bucknell took possession and drove to the Hoya 25-yard line to set up a would-be game-winning FG with seven seconds on the clock. For the Bison kicker, who had easily connected on a 48-yard field goal earlier in the game, this kick attempt looked to be a chip shot. Head coach Bob Benson craftily used all three of his timeouts in succession in an attempt to rattle the Bucknell special team unit. As former assistant coach and now assistant AD Dave Holm accurately conjectured at the time, "You know, you really can't get inside

the heads of kickers, but you can freeze the snapper and the holder." And what do you know, a slight hesitation by the holder after the snap led to the blocked kick by the Hoyas.

In overtime, as Georgetown prepared to kick a 33-yard FG to win the game, Bucknell used their one timeout, attempting to turn the Hoya strategy right back against the Blue & Gray. It almost worked. When the ball was snapped, it lay horizontal on the ground as the holder sought to gain control of it until, at the last possible second, he flipped it upright just as the kicker's foot made contact. Perfect kick. As our long time radio broadcaster likes to chant: HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN!



















As we drove back to Georgetown after the game, I listened to my fellow traveler, Rory Quirk '65, the prime mover behind Georgetown's football revival in the 1960's and the one person able to relate the football saga of eighty autumns past off the top of his head. And as we recalled the twists and turns of this 2005 season-opening game and its breathtaking finish, we had to wonder if Jack Hagerty wasn't smiling somewhere that night.
Since affiliating with the Patriot League in 2000, we have faced Bucknell five times previously and have won only once in that span (2002); an important victory though: it was Georgetown's first-ever win in the conference. This year's contest, the 18th time the two teams have squared off, may be just the season-launching game that our team needs to prove the prognosticators wrong and to establish ourselves as one of the top teams in the Patriot League.


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November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

https://watchstadium.com/live/georgetown-at-richmond/
99.1 WNEW-FM
November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 16
8:00 PM
Depaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
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February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio