This past Saturday, we travelled to Loretto, Pennsylvania to play Saint Francis. On the first drive of the game, Saint Francis had the ball on our 20-yard line and on a pass play, our junior linebacker, Ty Williams, broke on the ball and collided with the Saint Francis receiver. Ty seriously injured his neck on the play. Our medical staff, in particular our head trainer, Travis McCormack and team surgeon Dr. Will Postma, did a tremendous job of immediately caring for Ty on the field.
Ty is a tremendous student-athlete and even better person. He is a valued member of our football family and we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with him during his recovery. All of our thoughts and constant prayers are with Ty and his family.
Entering the game against Saint Francis, I knew we would have to play a smart and balanced football game to come away with a win. They entered the game with the top returning rusher in the country in Khari Dickson and an experienced quarterback in Zack Drayer. To be successful Saturday, we would have to tackle well and put some points on the board offensively to force them to throw the ball. After the first three drives of the game for each team, we were down by a score of 21-0. Defensively, we gave up three consecutive drives of seven, 10 and five plays respectively for Saint Francis touchdowns. Offensively, we had drives of three, three and five plays. Two of these drives were ended due to a holding penalty and an interception on the Saint Francis 32-yard line. Early in the game, we also did not control the field position with our kicking game.
On the positive side, Ettian Scott had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown. In his first collegiate start, Jelani Williamson recorded six tackles, two tackles for loss and had an interception. Leo Loughery had eight tackles including 1.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and a critical fumble recovery. On the offensive side, Kyle Nolan ran for two touchdowns and No. 35 Jo’el Kimpela averaged six yards per carry. Isaac Ellsworth accumulated 213 all-purpose yards in his first significant collegiate appearance. Matt Buckman had five catches for 45 yards. Punter Harry McCollum had an average of 39 yards per punt with a best of 59 yards.
At the end of the day, we did not tackle well on defense. Offensively, we were not consistent enough to move the chains and keep the potent Saint Francis running game off of the field. As a result of our inconsistent play on offense, defense and special teams, we finished on the wrong end of a 48-20 score.
We constantly talk to our players about the concept of “next play.” If you have a great play – do not live on that play, move onto the next play. If you have a bad play – do not relive the mistake, move on to the next play.
Our goal is to learn from this weekend’s contest and make sure we use the experience to help us prepare for our home opener this Saturday night against Marist.
Finally, I would like to thank the entire Georgetown community for their genuine concern and outpouring of support for Ty Williams. Father Kemp said a Mass for Ty on Monday with our team, and a number of other athletic teams in Dahlgren Chapel. Everyone prayed for Ty’s speedy recovery. I would also like to thank the entire Saint Francis University community. Over the past two days, their university president, Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, athletic director, Bob Krimmel, head football coach, Chris Villarrial, as well as four of their current players, have visited with Ty and his family at the medical center. I cannot tell you how much that means to me and our program. We are eternally grateful for the kindness and compassion they have shown to Ty and his family.
Ty is a very strong person who understands the true meaning of SISU. I know he will be an incredible example of grit and courage in the face of adversity for the entire Georgetown community as he begins his journey to recovery.