WASHINGTON - After falling behind, 14-0, early in the second quarter, the Georgetown University football team mounted a second-half comeback but fell just short, dropping its home opener, 14-12, to Marist College at Cooper Field on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Hoyas fall to 1-1 overall, while the Red Foxes improve to 2-1.
Tim Barnes (Oradell, N.J./River Dell Regional) finished 21-of-40 passing for 217 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense. Michael Dereus (Hyde Park, Mass./Williston Northampton) and Justin Harrell (New Orleans, La./Newman) had 72 and 53 yards receiving, respectively, and Dereus caught a touchdown pass for the second-straight game. Christian Bermudez (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) rushed for a score.
Ramon Lyons (Orlando, Fla./Ocoee/West Orange) led all players with a career-high 10 tackles, including 0.5 tackle-for-loss (TFL), and had three pass breakups. David Akere (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron) had nine tackles, and Khristian Tate (Warner Robins, Ga./Covenant Academy) had eight and two TFL. Blaise Brown (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine/Loomis Chaffee) chipped in seven tackles and had a pair of pass breakups.
The defense was up to the task early, making four stops inside their own 5-yard line to force a turnover on downs. However, Marist worked with a short field on each of its next two drives, scoring a pair of touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead with 14:26 left on the clock in the second quarter.
The defense buckled down from there, only allowing the Red Foxes into the red zone one more time, but forcing a missed 37-yard field goal. Overall, the Hoyas only allowed 58 yards rushing and had eight pass breakups.
Georgetown finally got on the board midway through the third quarter. After gaining possession at midfield following a short punt, the Blue & Gray drove 50 yards on a just seven players. A 22-yard completion to Harrell converted a third-and-11, before a 21-yard pass to Brandon Williams (Germantown, Md./Northwest) moved the ball to the 3-yard line. Two plays later, Bermudez punched it in on a 2-yard rush, cutting the GU deficit to 14-6 with 7:48 left in the third frame. The PAT was blocked.
The score remained the same until the fourth quarter. After Barnes rushed 11 yards to convert a long third down, he lofted a deep pass to Dereus, who out-battled his defender for the 44-yard touchdown. The Hoyas attempted a two-point conversion, but Marist broke it up, keeping Georgetown down, 14-12, with 4:48 left.
Tate broke into the backfield to record back-to-back tackles on Marist's next drive, and the Hoyas got the ball back with 1:06 remaining and completions to Alex Valles (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) and Luke Morris (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) brought GU near midfield. On the final play, Barnes hit Williams over the middle for 16 yards before he pitched the ball back to Dereus. He was able to gain another 12 yards before being tackled at the 28-yard line as time expired.
The Hoyas will head back out on the road to play at Columbia University, the first of three-consecutive games against Ivy League opponents, on Saturday, September 23. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. It will be the third-annual battle for the Lou Little Trophy, named after the College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach who coached at both Georgetown and Columbia.