Aug 31, 2013
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - The Georgetown University football (0-1, 0-0 Patriot League) dominated first half action, but could not hold on, as the Wagner Seahawks (1-0, 0-0 NEC) scored three second half touchdowns for a 28-21 victory in the season-opener at Hameline Field at Wagner College Stadium.
Senior linebacker Dustin Wharton (LaVale, Md./Allegany), the Preseason Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year had 12 tackles with one sack and one interception in the season-opener, but the Hoyas defense would have its hands full with a run-heavy Wagner offense that carried the ball 56 times for 195 yards.
Georgetown's offense did its damage in the first half, as senior quarterback Isaiah Kempf (Glendale, Calif./Bridgton) completed 19-of-27 passes for 194 yards and one touchdown, while senior Zack Wilke (Boca Raton, Fla./St. Andrew's) had five receptions for 50 yards before halftime. The Seahawks defense made adjustments and held GU to 33 yards of offense in the second half.
"We played a playoff caliber team," Head Coach Kevin Kelly said. "We knew going into the ballgame that (Dominique Williams) was a tough back and that we needed to get two or three guys on him because he wouldn't go down easily. But we have a lot of football left. In the first half we did some real good things on offense, some good things on special teams and on defense overall and now we just have to get ready for next week."
Kempf wasted little time in his return, taking the Hoyas 84 yards on 13 plays in the game's first drive, including his own five yard touchdown run to take a quick 7-0 lead. Sophomore wide receiver Jake DeCicco (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston had three catches for 45 yards to help move the chains during the series. He finished with 63 yards on four catches.
During the ensuing drive the Seahawks opened with two penalties and a two yard run, before Matt Misley's pass was deflected and intercepted by Wharton, though GU was unable to capitalize.
Wagner tied the score at seven apiece, as Dominique Williams carried five times for 50 yards to set up Misley's six-yard toss to Tyree Watkins with 2:41 left in the first quarter. The Hoyas would answer quickly.
An acrobatic run after catch from senior tight end Daniel Sprotte (Garden City, N.Y./Chaminade) took the Hoyas across midfield. Early in the second quarter, Sprotte again would prove key, as sophomore quarterback Kyle Nolan (Branford, Conn./Choate Rosemary Hall) found the senior captain for a six yard gain to the two yard line on a fake field goal, converting a fourth down. One play later sophomore running back Jo'el Kimpela found the end zone on a two-yard run, giving GU a 14-7 lead.
Sprotte caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Kempf with 1:35 remaining in the first half, as GU took advantage of good field position, driving 48 yards on seven plays to take a 21-7 lead into halftime.
The Seahawks came out strong in the second half, halting the Hoyas offense and moving the football behind Williams, who scored from 10 yards out on a lateral from Tyree Watkins to bring Wagner within a touchdown at 21-14 with 6:54 left in the third quarter. Wagner tied the score with 11:58 remaining in the game, as DeAngelo James scored on a 24-yard interception return. They would keep the ball on the ground the rest of the way, as Williams scored the eventual game-winning touchdown with 2:49 left in the game after a 15 play drive that spanned over seven minutes.
The Hoyas were unable to capitalize on its last chance, as Kempf's pass on fourth and 13 fell incomplete, allowing Wagner to kneel out the last 1:45.
Junior defensive tackle Jordan Richardson (Watkinsville, Ga./Athens Academy) had eight tackles and one sack, while junior Nick Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit/Hotchkiss School) had a team-leading 14 tackles for the Hoyas defense. Junior linebacker Patrick Boyle (Wheaton, Ill./Benet Academy) had five tackles and an interception in his first start.
Georgetown will look to get back to winning ways, when they host Davidson College for the home-opener on Saturday, 7. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m., as GU plays its first of two consecutive games under the lights at Multi-Sport Field. Fans can purchase tickets for its game with Davidson or any of its six home games, by visiting http://www.wearegeorgetown.edu/.