Georgetown Football Drops Heartbreaker to Yale, 24-21
Sept. 15, 2012
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League) drove down inside the Yale 20-yard line with under a minute remaining in the game, trailing by just three points. But an interception in the end zone gave the ball back to Yale, who kneeled on the ball to sink the Hoyas 24-21 in front of a sold-out crowd at Multi-Sport Field on Saturday afternoon.
For the third consecutive season Yale snaps the Hoyas two-game season-opening win streak.
In a game dominated by big plays and turnovers, the Hoyas appeared to be gaining momentum, forcing Yale to punt with 2:23 remaining in the game. Junior quarterback Aaron Aiken (Morristown, N.J./The Lawrenceville School) completed three passes, including two to senior tight end Tucker Stafford (Riverside, Conn./Greenwich) and also picked up 20 yards with his feet to help the Hoyas move all the way to the Yale 17 yard line, but Collin Bibb's interception in the end zone ended the Hoyas hopes.
Senior cornerback Jeremy Moore (New Haven, Conn./James Hillhouse) turned in a strong performance, finishing with 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, forcing and recovering a fumble and two interceptions, including a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown. Junior running back Dalen Claytor (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) rushed five times for 53 yards and a touchdown and had two catches for 37 yards in the loss.
After Yale and GU traded fumbles, the Bulldogs drove 90 yards in 14 plays, capped by Tyler Varga's two-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter. On its ensuing possession, GU drove 96 yards on 17 plays deep in Yale territory, but missed on a 21-yard field goal. The Hoyas would miss a 36-yard field goal on its next set of downs.
Sophomore Kevin Macari (Stamford, Conn./New Canaan) finally answered for Georgetown midway through the second quarter, returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown, the second longest punt return in Hoya football history, tying the score at seven.
On Yale's next possession, Moore picked off a screen pass on a third down and returned it 41-yard to give the Hoyas a 14-7 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the first half. The Bulldogs followed, driving 51 yards, before Philippe Panico connected on a 36-yard field goal to make the score 14-10 with just under four-and-a-half minutes in the half.
The Hoyas moved the ball 70 yard on 12 plays, again deep into Yale territory, but a Hoyas fumble at the two-yard line gave the Bulldogs the ball back with 45 seconds left on the clock. On the following play Bulldogs' quarterback Eric Williams aired the ball out downfield, where it was tipped into the hands of Cameron Sandquist who scored the 98-yard touchdown to put Yale in front 17-14 at the half.
During Yale's first drive in the third quarter, a third down snap over the head of Williams was recovered by senior linebacker Jeremy Grasso (Washington Twp., N.J./Bergen Catholic). Three plays later, Claytor got the outside, then broke several tackles on his way to a 32-yard touchdown to give the Hoyas a 21-17 lead.
Georgetown's defense held strong on the following possession, forcing a Yale punt, but GU could not keep the momentum, as they fumbled again, this time at their own 15 yard line to set the Bulldogs up with a short field. Yale's Tyler Varga scored two plays later on a nine yard rush to help the Bulldogs take a 24-21 lead.
With Yale driving in the fourth quarter, sophomore safety Nick Alfieri (Portland, Ore./The Hotchkiss School) made his first career interception and returned it 36 yards into Yale territory, but GU would be forced to punt three plays later. The Blue & Gray would stopped on its next two possessions on fourth and one yard situations, each time giving the ball back to the Bulldogs.
Georgetown had one final chance, driving 58 yards before an interception ended the game with Yale winning its sixth consecutive game against the Hoyas by a score of 24-21.
Georgetown returns to action against another Ivy League opponent when they travel to Princeton, N.J. to take on the Princeton Tigers on Friday night at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU, the first time Georgetown football will play for a national audience.