Lafayette Football Rallies for 17-6 Win at Georgetown

Go Leopards! Sophomore Rick Ziska hit a 48-yard field goal just before halftime at Georgetown on Saturday.
Sophomore Rick Ziska hit a 48-yard field goal just before halftime at Georgetown on Saturday.

Sept. 11, 2004

EASTON, Pa. ( - Lafayette rode a sterling defensive effort and the right legs of Mike Davis and Rick Ziska to a come-from-behind, 17-6 win at Georgetown in the Patriot League opener on Saturday.

The Leopards (2-0, 1-0 Patriot League) scored twice in the final 11 minutes, once on a two-yard interception return by Andrew Brown, to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2002 and just the second time since consecutive 2-0 starts in 1992 and 1993.

With the Leopards trailing 6-3 in the fourth quarter, Davis dropped a punt inside the 10-yard line that was downed by Larry Johnson inside the one. On third down from the two, Hoya quarterback Keith Allan rolled left and was hit by Dion Witherspoon in the end zone. The ball fluttered out of Allan's hand, off the hands of Lafayette linebacker Maurice Bennett and was gathered in by Brown, who fought his way into the end zone for the Leopards' first touchdown of the day.

Brown's score was the first interception return for a touchdown by a Lafayette player since 2001, when Jeff Werrell and Adriel Linyear combined to return a pick 100 yards for a score against Colgate.

Georgetown (1-1, 0-1) was forced to punt for the ninth time on the ensuing possession, and the Leopards promptly put the game away with an 11-play, 74-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Pat Davis to Joe Ort. Ort beat his defender on a fade route down the left sideline on the third-and-11 play.

The first half was a defensive slugfest that featured nine punts, one of which was blocked by Lafayette's Trey Martell, and a pair of turnovers. Martell roared through the left side untouched for the Leopards' first blocked punt since Blake Costanzo blocked a pair at Towson last season.

The Leopards opened the scoring with just 12 seconds remaining in the first half. Following a touchback on a punt, Brad Maurer completed four straight passes and Joe McCourt galloped for 26 yards to set up a first-and-10 at the Hoya 18. Maurer was sacked on second and third down, but Ziska nailed a 48-yard field goal to give Lafayette the advantage at the break.



Ziska's kick was the second-longest at Lafayette in the modern era and equaled a 48-yard dropkick by Frank Grube in 1926.

A Maurer interception midway through the third set Georgetown up at the Lafayette 35, but the defense stiffened and allowed only a 31-yard field goal by reigning Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week Michael Gillman.

On Lafayette's next possession, Davis's third-down pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Maurice Banks. Georgetown took over at the 23, but again the Leopard defense surrendered only a field goal, this one a 25-yarder.

The game turned two minutes later, when Davis pinned the Hoyas inside the one.

McCourt eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards for the 17th time in his career, grinding out 104 yards on 24 carries. He finishes his career against Georgetown with three 100-yard rushing days in four outings against the Hoyas. Chad Walker hauled in three passes for 38 yards, including a key 22-yarder on third down on the touchdown drive.

Bennett led the way defensively with 10 stops, while Bryan Kazimierowski, Tye Murphy and Witherspoon were all in on six tackles. The defense recorded six sacks, including a pair by Marvin Snipes.

The Leopards held their second-straight opponent under 140 total yards, limiting the Hoyas to 61 yards rushing and 71 through the air on Saturday.

Mehdi Hassan and Michael Ononibaku both collected 12 tackles for Georgetown, with Ononibaku tallying three sacks.

Lafayette visits Princeton next Saturday at 7 p.m., while Georgetown heads to Duquesne for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff next week.

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