PRINCETON, N.J. - Princeton University scored 50 unanswered points, and a fourth quarter comeback came up short as the Georgetown University football team dropped its final nonconference game, 50-30, on Saturday afternoon at Powers Field at Princeton Stadium. With the loss, the Hoyas fall to 1-4 overall, while the Tigers improved to 3-1.
Clay Norris (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) started at quarterback for the Blue & Gray and finished 12-of-20 passing for 109 yards. Gunther Johnson (Anthem, Ariz./Boulder Creek/Arizona) took over in the second quarter and finished 13-of-22 for 149 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 24 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Williams (Germantown, Md./Northwest) caught four passes for a team-high 74 yards.
Daniel Yankovich (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) led the defense with nine tackles, while Jalen Goldwire (Plantation, Fla./Western) finished with a career-high eight takedowns. Khristian Tate (Warner Robins, Ga./Covenant Academy) forced a fumble and recovered a pair, returning one for a touchdown.
The Hoyas wasted no time in getting on the board, marching 75 yards on 12 plays on the opening drive and taking a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard rush by Alex Valles (Danvers, Mass./Danvers). Norris was 8-for-11 on the drive, passing for 76 yards including key first down completions to Williams and Luke Morris (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School).
The defense forced a quick three-and-out and, after the Princeton punter up a dropped snap, Tate forced a fumble and fell on it himself at the Princeton 19-yard line. Brad Hurst (Helen, Ga./White County) converted a 36-yard field goal to give the Blue & Gray a 10-0 lead just 7:19 into the game. The Tigers answered with 17 quick points, however, to take a 17-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, scoring on a pair of touchdowns, a safety and a two-point conversion.
Princeton extended its lead to 24-10 on its first drive of the second quarter, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown pass. A 39-yard interception return and another touchdown pass gave the Tigers a 36-10 lead at halftime.
After Princeton extended its lead to 50-10 with two more touchdowns in the third quarter, Michael Dereus (Hyde Park, Mass./Williston Northampton) got the Hoyas back on the board with a 7-yard rushing touchdown on fourth down to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive and cut the deficit to 50-16. Johnson rushed for 36 yards on the drive and passed for 15 more.
Following a fourth-down stop from the defense, Johnson drove the Hoyas 62 yards, scoring himself on a 2-yard plunge to make it 50-24. Johnson had 24 and 36 yard completions for first downs to Max Edwards (Germantown, Md./Georgetown Prep) and Williams, respectively.
Just two plays later, Owen Kessler (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) popped the ball loose and Tate scooped it up and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to further cut the deficit to 50-30 with 13:14 left to play.
Following a Princeton drive that ended with a missed field goal, Johnson brought the Hoyas down to the Tigers’ 30-yard line, but the drive stalled and the Hoyas turned it over on downs. Princeton ran out the remainder of the clock to end the game.
The Hoyas will remain on the road to open Patriot League play next weekend, traveling to Lehigh University for a matchup on Saturday, October 14. Kickoff at Goodman Stadium is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on the Patriot League Network.