For the past three years, the crosstown football rivalry between Georgetown and Catholic universities has been wild, wacky and unpredictable. Yesterday was no exception.
Georgetown finally won the Steve Dean Memorial Trophy game, 28-19, before a crowd of 5,000 at Brookland Stadium. But Georgetown's seemingly safe 28-3 lead, built on Bob Sitz's quarterback, turned into a nail-bitter when the Cardinals blocked three GU punts.
Sitz, beginning his third year as quarterback of Georgetown's wishbone offense, completed nine of 11 downs, made big plays on keepers when needed and generally exploited a CU team that started 10 freshmen, six on defense.
"It's about time. We're seniors. We deserved it," said Sitz after his most productive college game. His 274 passing yards was a Georgetown one-game record.
Catholic managed an early 34-yard field goal by Jim Wilton but it took the Cardinals their fifth possession inside the Georgetown 30 before they scored a touchdown.
In taking a 21-3 halftime lead, Georgetown strung together three straight drives of 75 yards each, averaging a nine-yard per play.
Andy Murray scored three touchdowns for Georgetown, on runs of one and six yards and on a 69-yard screen pass from Sitz on the third play of the second half. Sitz's other touchdown pass found Clayton Wagner, a teammate for seven years at Springbrook High and Georgetown, wide open for a 34-yard play.
That reception gave Wagner Georgetown's all-time receiving record with 1,133 yards. He later caught another pass for 30 yards.
The Hoyas came back after the field goal gave CU a 3-0 lead and drove 75 yards in 12 plays, Sitz keeping the drive alive with a 13-yard inside run on fourth down from the CU 36. He ran the same play at least three other times, one setting up Georgetown's third touchdown and the other helping take four minutes off the clock after CU closed to 28-19 with 11:25 to play.
"They were playing the halfback and the fullback, looking for outside wishbone," Sitz explained.
Murray, who later left the game complaining of dizziness, scored the first of his three touchdowns from the one.
At this point, Georgetown Coach Scotty Glacken made a most significant defensive change. Showing no respect for CU's running game, he used seven men in pass coverage, always double-teaming both wide receivers. The result: CU went more than 21 minutesw with only one first down. By then, it was 21-3.
Then CU wasted the first of its three blocked punts, two by John Fallon and the other by Richard Frazier, when Steve Stanislav threw the second of three interceptions in a 15-for-33 passing day.
The Cardinals turned the other two blocked punts into 16 points, including a safety and a two-point conversion. Tailback Sam Lofaro scored both touchdowns, on runs of 20 and 11 yards off tackle.
But cornerback John Davis, who also intercepted a pass hurt CU's momentum when he turned Lofaro's attempt to run wide for a two-point conversion inside and into a wall of Hoya defenders. That left the score at 28-19 meaning CU had to score twice to win.
Charles Steele and Paul Zimmerman also had interceptions for Georgetown, now 1-0. CU is 1-1.