Leopards Shut Down Georgetown, 17-3
EASTON, Pa. Lafayette scored 14 third-quarter points to break a 3-3 tie and run to a 17-3 Patriot League win over Georgetown on Saturday at Fisher Stadium.
Two sophomores, strike linebacker Jerry Powe and tailback Tyler West, were key performers for the Leopards. Powe led the defensive effort with 12 tackles (including two sacks) on a day when the Lafayette held Georgetown to 173 total yards and 40 rushing yards. West made the most of his opportunities, carrying 15 times for a career-high 117 yards and a touchdown. His 40-yard TD run late in the third quarter put away the game for Lafayette's first conference win of the season.
Both teams opened the game strong defensively as neither team entered opposing territory until their second possessions. Just as the defenses had locked in, Drew Reed (18-of-28 for 245) and Joey Chenoweth connected for a 37-yard pass play down the home sideline that, coupled with a late hit and targeting disqualification on Hunter Kiselick, set up the Leopards up in the red zone at the Georgetown 15. Lafayette settled for a field goal, that Bissel knocked through from 28 yards out to put the Leopards in front, 3-0.
The defense continued to hang tough and Lafayette took the ball back to open the second quarter on its own 20. After falling into a 2nd-and-26 hole, Reed found Vangelas and C.J. Amill on the next two plays to move into Georgetown territory. The Hoya defense wouldn't break and a blocked punt put the Hoyas in position to light their side of the scoreboard, taking over at the Lafayette 45-yard line.
Again, Lafayette's defense stood up, keeping the Hoyas out of the end zone and forcing a 26-yard field goal from Henry Darmstadter to knot the game at three with 6:56 left in the half.
After taking possession at their own 25, the Leopards moved the ball offensively late in the half, using a pair of long sideline pass plays of 11 and 18 yards to Matt Mrazek to move over midfield with just over four minutes remaining. The drive stalled and a turnover on downs gave the ball back to the Hoyas at midfield.
A sack from linebacker Rob Hinchen (12 tackles) on a delayed blitz off the left side of the line put a stop to the final Hoya drive of the half. Georgetown punted it back to Lafayette with less than a minute left and the two teams went into the break tied at 3-3.
A 20-yard pass from Reed to Dylan Wadsworth opened the second half, but the drive broke down, forcing a Ryan Forrester punt. The senior punter booted a 51-yarder and a stifling tackling from Yasir Thomas pinned the Hoyas at their 11. Thomas made the first defensive start of his brief career, starting at strong safety after moving from wide receiver.
The visitors gained just 11 yards before kicking it back to Lafayette, who used a 14-yard pass to Vangelas to get the drive going with a first down near midfield. Another sideline look for Mrazek moved the ball into Georgetown territory and a deep pass toward the left pylon on 3rd-and-6 resulted in a leaping, juggling catch from Franzese for 34 yards to place Lafayette 1st-and-goal at the one.
Then, it was all Reed, who took a quarterback keeper to his right, and reversed course to the left where he beat the corner to the goal line for the first touchdown of the game and a 10-3 lead with 5:28 left in the third.
Lafayette continued that momentum on the defensive end as Eric Mitchell's pass breakup fell right into the hands of Draeland James to give the Leopards the ball right back on the Georgetown 23. Freshman, Mike Dunn, who started the game at tailback, carried for six before West finished off the final 17, rumbling through the middle of the Hoya defense to make it a two-touchdown game at 17-3.
Lafayette put together another drive, moving the ball through the visiting half early in the final period. A 40-yard touchdown grab from Reed to Palumbo was called back for holding, stunting the drive at the 40 and forcing a Lafayette punt.
The Leopard defense never wavered and the Hoyas couldn't stay on the field on third downs, going 3-for-15 on the afternoon. Lafayette took over with less than two minutes remaining and a 40-yard run from West iced the second win of the season for the Maroon and White.
It was the longest run from scrimmage for the Leopards this season. West's 100-yard rushing afternoon was the first since Nov. 21, 2015 when DeSean Brown had 146 at Lehigh.
The Leopards have the week off before their final two contests of the season against Colgate and Lehigh. Lafayette travels to Hamilton, N.Y. on Nov. 12 for a 1 p.m. game before returning home for the 152nd meeting of college football's most-played rivalry, hosting Lehigh at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 19.