Last Minute Field Goal Lifts Hoyas Over Princeton 21-20 in Front of a National Audience
Sept. 21, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. - Sophomore Stephen Skon (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) may have started the season as the Hoyas third string quarterback, but he looked comfortable moving the Georgetown University football team (3-1, 0-0 Patriot League) 72 yards on 15 plays to set up Matt MacZura's (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Central Catholic) 33-yard game-winning field goal, as the Georgetown defeated Princeton (0-2, 0-0 Ivy League), 21-20 on Friday night at Princeton Stadium.
The bright lights and ESPNU television cameras did not seem to bother Skon, who entered the game in the first quarter after an injury to Aaron Aiken (Morristown, N.J./The Lawrenceville School) and completed 14-of-24 passes for 121 yards, while leading three scoring drives for the Hoyas. Sophomore wide receiver Kevin Macari (Stamford, Conn./New Canaan) had a season-high eight catches for 76 yards, while the Hoyas were also able to move the ball on the ground, as junior Dalen Claytor (Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody) had 73 yards on 13 carries and Nick Campanella (Roselle, Ill./Montini Catholic) had 63 yards on nine carries with a touchdown.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Dustin Wharton (LaVale, Md./Allegany) led the Hoyas with 12 tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and a blocked kick. Senior linebacker Jeremy Grasso (Washington Twp.,N.J./Bergen Catholic) had 12 tackles, while Robert McCabe (Newtown Square, Pa./Malvern Prep) became just the second Hoya to eclipse the 300 career tackles mark with 10 on the game.
MacZura also turned in his best game as the team's placekicker, making all three of his field goal attempts, including the game-winner.
Georgetown came out moving the chains quickly, as Aiken completed his first five passes to help GU move down inside the Princeton 10-yard line on the game's first drive. Inside the 10 is where GU would be halted, as Matt MacZura kicked the 25 yard field goal to put the Hoyas in front 3-0, scoring the first Georgetown points against Princeton in the history of the matchup.
But the momentum quickly turned, as Princeton answered, driving down inside the Hoyas 10-yard line, before a fake field goal ended up with Tom Moak found Mark Hayes on a 10-yard pass into the end zone. Nolan Bieck converted the extra point to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers extended the lead early in the second quarter, as Will Powers crossed the goal line with 13:38 remaining in the half to help Princeton take a 14-3 lead.
With Stephen Skon at quarterback, the Hoyas moved the ball deep into Princeton territory, but again would be held to a field goal, this time a 26-yarder for MacZura. Georgetown would get a break on Princeton's following possession the ball was snapped over the head of Tiger's quarterback Connor Michelsen, with Jeremy Moore recovering the fumble in the end zone for the Hoyas touchdown. The extra-point would be blocked, bringing the Hoyas within two points, at 14-12, the eventual score at the end of the half.
Georgetown surged in front late in the third quarter as Skon completed three consecutive passes, including two to Elliott Owusu to cross midfield. Claytor then took an option pitch around the end for 28 yards down to the Princeton seven yard line. On the next play, Nick Campanella sprinted into the end zone to put the Hoyas in front, but it would only be, 18-14 after a failed to convert the two-point conversion.
DiAndre Atwater answered on the following possession, rushing for a 42-yard touchdown to put the Tigers back in front by two points, 20-18 after Princeton's extra point was blocked.
Both teams traded punts, until Skon and the Hoyas took over late in the fourth quarter. A roughing the passer penalty extended the Hoyas drive while deep in their own territory, then Claytor later extended the drive with a big gain on a fourth down and three situation. Skon then went to work, finding Macari on consecutive receptions, spanning 24 yards to get the ball inside Princeton's 20 yard line. Instead of trying to get into the end zone, GU ran the ball to the center of the field on three consecutive plays to set up MacZura's game-winner with 14 seconds left on the clock, helping GU snap a 13-game losing streak to Ivy League competition dating back to 2003.
The Hoyas return to the Hilltop for homecoming next week when they host Brown University. Tickets for the Hoyas homecoming game with Brown and the rest of the 2012 Georgetown Football home games are available. For more information and to purchase, please click here [http://www.guhoyas.com/tickets/m-footbl-tickets.html] or contact the Georgetown Athletic Ticket Office at 202-687-HOYA (4692) or firstname.lastname@example.org.