“The people make the place.” I use this theme constantly in recruiting. Our potential student-athletes have the opportunity to attend one of the best academic institutions in the country. Those institutions have common elements; great academics, prime locations and beautiful campuses. But the true identity of each school is found in the people who make up the community and the very best of Georgetown was on display during Homecoming weekend.
On Friday afternoon, we had our first “4 for 40” lunch of the year where our players had a chance to visit with a number of our local alumni. The conversations centered on career development with the alumni providing perspective and advice. Special thanks to Kris Cooper, Mark Ivevic, Paul Miller, Chris Murphy, Michael Murphy, Brandon Small, and Mike Schrama. Our alumni support continues to be amazing and for that I am extremely grateful.
Prior to Saturday’s game, I talked to our team about “controlling the controllables.” This is a concept I learned from Hoya alum and current Ball State head coach Pete Lembo. We challenged our players to focus on their individual task and play one play at a time. The result was the most complete game we have played to date, a 38-7 victory over Lafayette. This is the largest margin of victory over a Patriot League opponent ever.
Our running and passing attack benefited from a solid performance from our offensive line. We established a consistent running attack with our No. 35 Jo’el Kimpela. Kyle Nolan had an outstanding day, both on the ground and in the air, completing 28-of-36 attempts to eight different receivers for 311 yards. Matt Buckman and Jake DeCicco each had two touchdown catches. Justin Hill had an impressive catch in the back of the end zone for the final touchdown (pictured).
Defensively, we forced three turnovers and limited Lafayette’s rushing offense to nine yards for the day. Ettian Scott and Leo Loughery both had interceptions and Hunter Kiselick and Phil Novacki had solid days rushing the passer. The two combined for 3 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and a number of quarterback pressures. I felt the defense played its best game of the season.
Henry Darmstadter continued his solid play in the kicking game. He hit a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter and was 5-for-5 on extra points. Ben Priddy had his most consistent performance of the season handling the kickoff duties. Harry McCollum averaged over 40 yards per punt and our coverage units were solid for most of the contest which allowed us to control the field position.
On the negative side, we turned the ball over on a fumbled snap and committed 11 penalties for 130 yards in the game. This is unacceptable and will be addressed this week. We cannot commit these errors and expect to be successful in the future.
One of the turning points of the game came at the end of the first quarter. Leading 10-0, we dropped the snap while punting from our 30-yard line. Lafayette had great field position and was poised to make the game 10-7. Our defense did not give up a yard and on fourth and 10, senior Garrett Powers came off the edge and blocked their field goal attempt. Our offense took over and went on a nine-play, 73-yard drive, which ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Nolan to Matt Buckman. A highlight film the game can be found here. The postgame interview can be found here.
Congratulations to Kyle Nolan for being named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week after his performance. Also, congratulations to Phil Novacki for being named to the Patriot League Honorable Mention for his dominant defensive performance. A link to a short highlight can be found here.
This win signified a few firsts. It was the first win at Cooper Field and our first Patriot League win of the season. But we always talk to the team about the concept of “next play.” We have already started preparations for a very good, physical Colgate team who will visit the Hilltop this weekend.
Last week is a testament to the character and strength of the Georgetown community. The Cooper family, our alumni, families and supporters are what makes Georgetown a special place. The people truly do make the place.