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Hoyas Comeback Attempt Falls Short in 27-19 Loss to Lehigh

Nov. 1, 2014

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WASHINGTON – The Georgetown University football team (2-7, 0-4 Patriot League) scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, but could not overcome a 17-point third quarter deficit in a 27-19 loss to Lehigh University (2-6, 1-2 Patriot League) on Saturday afternoon at Multi-Sport Field.

Junior running back Jo’el Kimpela (Kinshasa, D.R. Congo/Euless Trinity), who finished with 92 yards on 13 carries, scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter following a Georgetown safety to close to within nine points, at 20-11. Junior quarterback Kyle Nolan (Branford, Conn./Choate Rosemary Hall) scored on a nine-yard touchdown rush midway through the fourth quarter to bring the Hoyas within eight points. Nolan’s touchdown would be the Hoyas last, as GU turned the ball over on downs during the team’s final two possessions.

Senior linebacker Nick Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit/The Hotchkiss School) registered a career-high 18 tackles, including a half sack and forced fumble. Alfieri became the third player in program history to record over 300 tackles, joining Robert McCabe and Nick Parrish.

Junior linebacker Matthew Satchell (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) added 12 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss, a half sack, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup, while freshman safety David Akere (Carrollton, Texas/Hebron) recorded his first interception.

The Mountain Hawks drove deep into Hoya territory on their first possession, as Ryan Pandy put them on the board with a 23-yard field goal. They added to the lead quickly after recovering a fumbled kick-off return. LU quarterback Nick Shafnisky connected with Troy Pelletier on the seventh play of the drive for a 16-yard touchdown, giving Lehigh a 10-0 lead with four minutes left in the first quarter.

Sophomore placekicker Henry Darmstadter (Alexandria, Va./George Mason) answered for GU, connecting on a 34-yard field goal to cap a six-play drive with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter, making the score 10-3.

Pandy added another field goal, this time from 21-yards, to give Lehigh a 13-3 lead at the half.

Shafnisky tossed his second touchdown pass of the day, finding Rich Sodeke for an eight-yard touchdown to complete a 10-play 91-yard drive with 5:35 remaining in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 20-3.

Georgetown recorded a safety with 59 seconds remaining in the third quarter, when a snap from the Lehigh nine-yard line sailed over Shafnisky’s head and out of the back of the end zone. Nolan led the Hoyas’ following drive down to the Lehigh one-yard line, where Kimpela plunged across the goal line for a touchdown. Darmstadter’s extra point was blocked, making the score 20-11 with 13:48 remaining in the game.

Lehigh added a touchdown just over a minute later, when Sodeke rushed in from six yards out to give the Mountain Hawks a 27-11 lead.

The Hoya offense went back to work, as Nolan completed two passes to senior wide receiver Michael Cimilluca (Fairfield, N.J./West Essex) and sophomore wide receiver Justin Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour)had a 12-yard rush to work inside the Lehigh 20-yard line. On the ninth play of the drive, Nolan scrambled to the right, then rushed in from 13 yards out. He completed a two-point pass in the back of the end zone to junior wide receiver Jake DeCicco (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) to bring GU within eight points, 27-19, with 8:49 remaining in the game.

Georgetown gave itself two more opportunities as the defense forced two quick Lehigh punts. The Hoyas could not convert a fourth down and two with 3:01 remaining in the game. A pair of holding penalties wiped out potential big plays on GU’s final drive, as they turned it over on downs with 29 seconds remaining in the game.

The Hoyas have a bye next week before returning to action when they travel to Bronx, N.Y. to take on Fordham on Saturday, November 15. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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