Oct. 14, 2016
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University football team (3-2, 0-0 Patriot League) will host Lehigh University (4-2, 1-0 Patriot League) on Saturday afternoon in its first Patriot League contest of the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Cooper Field.
Live stats and a link to the live broadcast on the Patriot League Network will be available at www.GUHoyas.com. The pregame show, which will begin at 1:50 p.m., will simultaneously be aired on the Georgetown Football Facebook page. Jeremy Huber will provide the play-by-play while Emory Hunt will give color analysis and Anna Tarullo will be reporting from the sideline.
Friends of Jaclyn Game
Saturday will serve as Georgetown's annual Friends of Jaclyn (FOJ) game. The FOJ Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric brain tumors and other childhood cancers by pairing them with local high school and college sports teams. The program was founded in 2005 by the family of Jaclyn Murphy, a then-10-year old who had been diagnose with a malignant brain tumor. Today, FOJ has helped nearly 700 families to of children with brain tumors and other childhood cancers.
On April 7, 2014, the Hoya football family grew by two when Jackson and Elijah, two young pediatric brain tumor survivors, became Hoyas for life in a special "Signing Day" ceremony. On Friday, Georgetown officially welcomed a third FOJ youngster to the football program with the addition of Willie Hughes.
For more information on the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, please click HERE.
Last Time Out
In a 31-17 setback to Princeton last Saturday, Clay Norris (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) made his first-career start and finished 13-of-26 for 106 yards. Alex Valles (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) rushed 13 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Justin Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) led the receiving corps with four catches for 35 yards. Leo Loughrey (Glenshaw, Pa./Central Catholic) led the GU defense with 13 tackles while Matthew Apuzzi (Princeton, N.J./The Lawrenceville School) and David Akere (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron) each added 12. Hunter Kiselick (Nutley, N.J./Bergen Catholic) blocked his third field goal of the season, tying him for the nation's lead.
Junior defensive back Jelani Williamson (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel) was named the Corvias Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. He recorded his second interception in as many weeks, picking off a pass in the end zone for a touchback to halt a Princeton drive in the first quarter. He also recorded six tackles on the day, four of the solo variety, and scooped up a blocked field goal and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown to give the Hoyas an early 7-0 lead.
Lehigh arrives on the Hilltop with a 4-2 overall record and a 1-0 mark in Patriot League play after a 45-31 victory over Colgate last weekend. After dropping its first two games of the season to Monmouth and Villanova, the Mountain Hawks have scored at least 42 points in each of its past four games -- all victories. Lehigh ranks second in the Patriot League, averaging 40.2 ppg while the defense is giving up 28.5 ppg.
Nick Shafnisky leads the Lehigh offense, passing for 263 yards per game and already has 14 passing touchdowns. Dominick Bragalone is fourth in the Patriot League with 79.5 rushing yards per game and is tied with Shafnisky for the team led with five rushing touchdowns. Troy Pelletier and Gatlin Casey both average more than 100 receiving yards per game and have combined for 14 touchdown receptions.
About the Matchup
Saturday will not only feature the Patriot League's second-ranked offense (Lehigh) against the top-ranked defense (Georgetown), but it will also be a showdown of the top two special teams units. The Hoyas and Mountain Hawks are tied for the league lead in kickoff returns, averaging 25.5 yards per return. Individually, Lehigh's Casey (28.6 yards/return) and GU's Isaac Ellsworth (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) (23.9 yards/return) are ranked first and second in the league, respectively. The Hoyas (42.0) and Mountain Hawks (40.9) also rank second and third, respectively, in average yards per punt.
Georgetown is 5-16 all-time against Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks have won each of the past 15 meetings since the Hoyas joined the Patriot League in 2001. Prior to being conference opponents, Georgetown and Lehigh had not met since 1925 which was GU's last victory in the series, 40-0.
After three-straight matchups against Ivy League opponents, Saturday will be Georgetown's first Patriot League contest of the season. In the past five years, the Hoyas are 9-19 in league play, while holding a 3-9 record under third-year head coach Rob Sgarlata.
Oh Captain, My Captain
Each week, Sgarlata and his staff select game captains to serve alongside 2016 team captains David Akere (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron) and Tim Barnes (Oradell, N.J./River Dell Regional).
This Saturday, the Hoyas have chosen the three members of the football program from the FOJ Foundation - Jackson Dundon (offense), Elijah Davis (defense) and Willie Hughes (special teams) --- as the game captains. Jackson and Elijah joined the Georgetown football family back in 2014 while Willie joined the Hoyas on Friday.
What's up Next
Following Saturday's game against the Mountain Hawks, Georgetown's second-straight home game, the Hoyas will travel to Fordham for their first Patriot League road contest. Kickoff in the Bronx is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 22.