BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Gunther Johnson (Anthem, Ariz./Boulder Creek/Arizona) was responsible for five touchdowns, but the Georgetown University football team dropped its Patriot League opener, 54-35, at Lehigh on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Hoyas fall to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in league play, while the Mountain Hawks improve to 2-5 and 2-0 in PL action.
Johnson finished 18-of-33 passing for 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was also GU’s leading rusher, running for 71 yards and three scores on 13 carries. Michael Dereus (Hyde Park, Mass./Williston Northampton) caught three passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, while Brandon Williams (Germantown, Md./Northwest) hauled in five catches for 77 yards.
The defense got off to a fast start, as Jelani Williamson (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) intercepted Lehigh’s first play from scrimmage. However, after both teams came up empty on their first couple of drives, Lehigh opened the scoring with a 5-yard touchdown rush to take a 7-0 lead with 4:54 left in the opening quarter. The Mountain Hawks doubled their lead on their next drive with a 7-yard scoring pass, just 59 seconds into the second quarter.
The Blue & Gray jumped on the board when Johnson connected with Dereus for an 80-yard touchdown reception, cutting GU’s deficit in half, 14-7, with 11:30 left the clock in the second quarter. It was Johnson’s first career touchdown pass and was the fifth-longest passing play in Georgetown history.
After Lehigh went back up by two scores, Johnson orchestrated a six-play, 67-yard drive, capping it himself with an 8-yard touchdown run. He ran for 30 yards on the drive and also completed passes of 23 and 24 yards to Williams.
The Mountain Hawks scored twice more in the final two minutes of the half to take a 34-14 lead into the break. They extended their lead to 37-14 with a 25-yard field goal on their first drive of the second half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Isaac Ellsworth (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) faked a reverse and scampered 75 yards to the Lehigh 22-yard line. Johnson converted a pair of fourth downs, first on a 10-yard pass to Luke Morris (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) and the second on a 6-yard rush. The latter went for his second rushing touchdown of the game to cut the deficit to 37-21.
Lehigh pulled back ahead, 44-21, on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 1:34 left in the third quarter.
Georgetown marched right back and scored on an 11-yard pass from Johnson to Dereus for his second touchdown reception of the game. The drive started with a 22-yard reception by Jim McLaughlin (Fairfax, Va./WT Woodson).
The Mountain Hawks added a 22-yard field goal and a 5-yard rushing touchdown to go up 54-28. Johnson capped the scoring with a 2-yard rushing touchdown with four seconds remaining.
The Hoyas will return home to Cooper Field to host Fordham University over Georgetown’s Family Weekend. Kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 21 is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Notes – With 35 points Saturday, the Hoyas have scored at least 30 points in back-to-back games for the first time since 2003 … Dereus’ two touchdowns were the first time a Hoya had two touchdown receptions in a game since Justin Hill caught two against Davidson on Sept. 3, 2016 … Dereus has two of the program's top-five longest receptions (83 and 80 yards), both of which have come this season … Ellsworth has kickoff returns of 62, 75 and 73 yards in the past three games.