Sept. 24, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half and fought off a late charge by Columbia University for a 17-14 victory on Saturday afternoon at Cooper Field in front of a near-sellout Homecoming crowd of 2,367. With the win, the Hoyas claimed the Lou Little Trophy, named after the College Football Hall of Fame Head Coach who coached at both schools, for the second-straight season.
With the win, GU improved to 3-0 overall, while the Lions fell to 0-2.
Tim Barnes (Oradell, N.J./River Dell Regional) finished 16-of-30 for 124 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a team-high 29 yards and a touchdown. Justin Harrell (New Orleans, La./Newman) and Michael Dereus (Hyde Park, Mass/Williston Northampton) tied for team-high honors with 44 receiving yards apiece.
The Georgetown defense forced four turnovers, including interceptions by both Jethro Francois (Miami, Fla./Winter Haven/Victory Christian Academy) and David Akere (Carrollton,Texas/Hebron). Francois also had a fumble recovery and Phil Novacki (Great Falls, Va./Langley) also had a crucial fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter.
Harry McCollum (Arlington Heights, Ill./Saint Viator) averaged 41.1 yards on 14 punts, totaling 576 yards.
The Hoyas opened the scoring quickly, finding the end zone on just the seventh play of the game. After Georgetown converted its second third down conversion of the drive, Barnes connected with Dereus with a deep pass down the sideline for a 44-yard score to give the Blue & Gray an early 7-0 lead.
Late in the first quarter, after Columbia stopped the Hoyas inside their own 10-yard line, McCollum booted a punt from his own end zone to near midfield. Matthew Deal (Tallahassee, Fla./Maclay School) immediately hit the Columbia returner, forcing a fumble that Francois pounced on. The Hoyas capitalized with a 47-yard field goal by Henry Darmstadter (Alexandria, Va./George Mason) to take a 10-0 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, after Alex Valles (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) returned a punt to the Columbia 36-yard line, Barnes kept the ball himself and ran it in from nine yards out to put GU up 17-0.
The score remained the same until the first drive of the second half when the Lions drove 46 yards on 11 plays to score on an 11-yard rush to cut Georgetown’s lead to 10, 17-7.
The Hoyas could not muster any offense in the third quarter, but the defense held Columbia off the board the rest of the frame.
Columbia made it a one-score game on the first play of the fourth quarter, punching it in on a 9-yard run to make it 17-14.
It was a defensive struggle the rest of the way as the Hoya defense again stepped up. With under four minutes left to play, Hunter Kiselick (Nutley, N.J./Bergen Catholic), who had 11 tackles and a sack, stuffed a screen play on fourth-and-four to cause a turnover on downs.
After GU went three-and-out, the special teams unit caused its second turnover of the day. J’V’on Butler (Melbourne, Fla./Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy) punched the ball out of the punt returner’s hands and Novacki fell on it to give the Hoyas another possession and the chance to run more time off the clock.
Columbia got one more chance with six seconds left, but the defense did not allow the Lions to get past their own 20-yard line as time ran out and the Hoyas came away with their second-straight three-point victory.
Georgetown will head on the road for another matchup with an Ivy League opponent, playing at Harvard on Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at Harvard Stadium. A live broadcast of the game will be available on ESPN3.