Football Looks to Slow Down Potent Saint Francis (Pa.) Rushing Attack in Season-Opener

Dezmond Richardson and the Hoya defense will look to slow down Saint Francis's potent rushing attack on Saturday.

Sept. 4, 2015

WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team (0-0, 0-0 Patriot League) will open its second season under Head Coach Rob Sgarlata by traveling to Loretto, Pa. to take on Saint Francis, (Pa.) on Saturday afternoon. The opening kickoff between the Hoyas and the Red Flash is scheduled for noon at DeGol Field.

SERIES HISTORY: Georgetown and Saint Francis, (Pa.) meet for the 10th time in program history, and the first time since defeating the Red Flash, 36-7 to open the 2004 season. The Blue & Gray lead the all-time series, 7-2, having won the first five meetings between the two programs from 1978-82. GU last lost to Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 20, 1986, by a final score of 19-17.

BROADCAST INFORMATION: A live audio-only broadcast of Saturday’s game can be found at the Georgetown Athletics official website – www.GUHoyas.com. Chuck Timanus will call play-by-play with Ryan Sakamoto providing commentary. The game can also be viewed live via NEC Front Row (necfrontrow.com). Fans can also find in-game updates by following the Georgetown Football official Twitter feed, @HoyasFB.

HOYAS IN SEASON-OPENERS: The Hoyas are 6-9 in season-openers since 2000, which includes a 36-7 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in 2004, on campus at Georgetown. GU is 4-4 since 2000 when they open on the road

SHOES TO FILL ON DEFENSE: The Hoya defense will have to replace All-American Alec May and a pair of All-Patriot League performers in Nick Alfieri and Jordan Richardson, from a defense that was second in the PL in scoring defense (22.7 points/game) and forced turnovers (21). Senior cornerback Ettian Scott (Okinawa, Japan/Northside (N.C.)), the team’s lone preseason All-PL selection, returns after finishing among the league leaders in interceptions (4) and passes defended (16). Senior linebacker and captain Matt Satchell (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) finished fourth in the PL in tackles (92) last season, while fellow captain and senior defensive end Hunter Kiselick (Nutley, N.J./Bergen Catholic) looks to continue the strong tradition of talented edge pass rushers.

 

 

Defensive coordinator Luke Thompson’s unit will also feature junior linebacker Ty Williams (Gaithersburg, Md./Quince Orchard), who started each game last season after moving from running back as a freshman and safety Garrett Powers (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) who intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles last season. Defensive tackles Dezmond Richardson (Euless, Texas/Grant[Euless Trinity]), Hugh Masterson (Invernees, Ill./Saint Viator) and Bryan Jefferson (Vienna, Va./Annandale) will also bring experience up front.

OFFENSE RETURNS KEY STARTERS: All-Patriot League running back and senior captain Jo’el Kimpela (Kinshasa, D.R. Congo/Euless Trinity) highlights a strong returning group of skill players on the offensive side of the ball. Kimpela rushed for 838 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry and is expected to lead the GU rushing attack in 2015. Senior quarterback Kyle Nolan (Branford Conn./Branford[Choate Rosemary Hall]) completed 176-of-343 pass attempts for 1,763 and nine touchdowns a season ago. He returns four of his six top receiving targets, including senior Jake DeCicco (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) (43 receptions, 446 yards in 2014) and junior Justin Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) (31 receptions, 401 yards in 2014). Junior tight end Matt Buckman (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional) excelled as a first-year starter in 2014, finishing with 29 catches for 369 yards and tied for the team lead with three touchdowns.

Senior captain Kevin Liddy (Garden City, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) leads a young offensive line unit that could feature four sophomores.

ABOUT SAINT FRANCIS (Pa.): The Red Flash is led by senior running back and preseason All-American Khairi Dickson, who led the nation in rushing (155.3 yards/game) last season for a school-record 1,708 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is joined in the backfield by second-year starting quarterback Zack Drayer, who doubles as the team’s punter.

On defense, SFU features a strong returning linebacker corps that helped them rank among the top 50 rush defenses in the nation (162.1 yards/game). Similar to Georgetown they will be young up front, having graduated five defensive linemen.

Saint Francis (Pa.) is coached by Chris Villarrial, who is in his sixth season at the helm of the program. SFU finished 5-6 overall with a 3-3 record in the NEC, good for fourth place.

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