Leopards Open Patriot Play With One-point Loss
Sept. 10, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lafayette's potential game-winning drive ended in the only turnover of the game, cementing a 14-13 loss at Georgetown in the Patriot League football opener. The Leopards held Georgetown to 269 yards of total offense in the game led by 10 tackles from Ben Eaton and nine by Leroy Butler.
Lafayette (0-2, 0-1) opened the scoring on Austin O'Brien's first career field goal, which gave the Leopards a 3-0 lead with 3:17 left in the first quarter. O'Brien nailed a 36-yarder to close out a seven-play 32-yard drive after a Georgetown punt.
With nine minutes left in the half, Georgetown (2-0, 1-0) looked to tie the game with a 48-yard field goal attempt that had the distance, but missed wide right. Georgetown's last-minute drive in the first half resulted in a score with 25.6 seconds left. Isaiah Kempf hit Max Waissenegger for a 19-yard touchdown and a 7-3 halftime lead. The drive took five plays and covered 47 yards in just 59 seconds, handing Georgetown the momentum.
Early in the third quarter, starting QB Ryan O'Neil was knocked from the game with a concussion sustained on a four-yard run. Backup Andrew Shoop stepped in and things got things moving. The junior completed passes of 13 yards to Brandon Hall and six yards to Jet Kollie before zipping a 38-yard play-action action pass to Mitchell Bennett. The freshman O'Brien added the PAT to claim a 10-7 advantage with 9:57 left in the third quarter.
The Leopards ended the third quarter by pinning Georgetown on its own 13-yard line following Ethan Swerdlow's 46-yard punt and timely downfield coverage by Greg Stripe who was there to meet the ballcarrier as he caught it.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter, the Leopards faced a crucial 4th-and-1 on the Georgetown 40 and Alan Elder picked up six yards for the conversion. On 4th-and-6 from the 30, Lafayette elected to keep the offense on the field. Shoop faced pressure from his left and scrambled away for 14 yards and a first down, extending the drive. The Leopards were forced to settle for a 31-yard field goal by O'Brien to lead 13-7.
O'Brien saved a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff, wrestling down Jeremy Moore at the Hoyas 45. Georgetown had luck on its side when McFarlane tipped an Isaiah Kempf pass that Jeff Burke caught for a 22-yard pick up, setting up the Hoyas inside the red zone at the Lafayette 18.
The Hoyas kept moving the ball, with Nick Campanella picking up a first down on 3rd- and-1, positioning themselves in a 1st-and-goal situation from the eight. A motion penalty put GU back to the 13 and two incompletions brought up third down. Kempf connected with Waizenegger, who made three Lafayette defenders miss before taking it into the end zone. Georgetown tacked on the PAT to lead 14-13 with 6:09 left. The winning drive spanned nine plays, totaling 55 yards in 3:44.
The Leopards took over at the 12 after a blocking penalty on the kickoff. Elder ran twice for six and four yards and Ross Scheuerman carried the ball for three yards on first and second down, respectively. On 3rd-and-4, with three minutes remaining, Shoop fired across the middle to find Mark Ross for a 39-yard gain to the Hoyas' 33.
Lafayette then converted on 3rd-and-1 from the 24 on a Scheuerman rush. With fewer than 90 seconds left, the freshman tailback took the handoff from Shoop and was stripped of the ball, ending the game.
Shoop completed 6-of-12 passes for 116 yards and one score in relief of O'Neill. Before leaving the game, O'Neill threw for 61 yards, connecting on 7-of-11 attempts. Elder rushed for 45 yards on 15 carries while Vaughn Hebron made a successful return to game action, carrying seven times for 44 yards with a long of 16. Bennett hauled in five passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. Swerdlow punted seven times, averaging 40.9 yards per kick, with a long of 49.
Lafayette returns to action on Sept. 17 when it travels to Philadelphia to take on the University of Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Franklin Field.
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