Catholic University, trailing by a point just before halftime, scored 18 points in a 4 1/2-minute span late in the third period and early in the fourth to defeat crosstown rival Georgetown University, 40-23, yesterday on the windy Hilltop.
Led by quarterback Tony Gallis' four touchdown passes and 236 yards, Catholic (4-4) retained the Steve Dean Trophy, named in memory of the school's late sports information director. Georgetown is 2-4.
It was Division III football and neither team has a winning record, but the play was intense.
"It's the big intracity rivalry," said GU's graduate assistant coach, Mike Hutchison, who played last year.
"Kids who don't come out for any of the other games come to see this game. It's for bragging rights within the city.
"Catholic scheduled us for their homecoming last year expecting an easy mark. They beat us on the scoreboard, but we missed a couple extra points and a field goal and lost by one."
Georgetown took a 23-22 lead with seven seconds left in a wild, pass-filled first half when Erich Beringer kicked a 23-yard field goal.
But the Hoyas suffered after Beringer missed an against-the-wind 38-yarder late in the third period that would have expanded their lead to four.
Catholic's Gallis threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to John Hildreth with 3:23 left in the third period and Cannon kicked the conversion to give Catholic's Cardinals the lead for good at 29-23.
On Georgetown's next possession, Catholic's Robert Forrest blocked a punt by substitute Rob Tappan and Catholic recovered at the Georgetown 10.
On the next play, Gallis passed to a wide-open Walt Kalinowski for a 10-yard touchdown. On the conversion attempt, Catholic faked a kick and holder Chris McMahon threw a pass. Teammate Rich Martinez tipped it, then caught it to build the Catholic lead to 37-23.
Georgetown's woes continued on the final play of the third quarter when McMahon intercepted a pass by quarterback Mike Boland and returned the ball to the Georgetown 16.
With 13:50 remaining in the game, Catholic's Raymond Hoeymans kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Cardinals a 40-23 lead and its followers were singing, "Hey, hey, goodbye," to the Georgetown faithful.
Georgetown's starting punter D.J. Patenaude suffered a broken left ankle when his punt was partially blocked and run back for a touchdown midway in the opening period.
On that play two CU players deflected the punt and the Cardinals' Roger DeBonis caught the ball and ran 54 yards for a touchdown.
Among the first-half big plays was a school-record, 80-yard touchdown pass from Boland to wide receiver Nate Simms.
It bettered the same pair's 79-yard record set earlier this season. Simms, who averages 26.9 yards per catch, caught five passes for 151 yards.
With 6:58 left in the first half, Gallis passed to Hildreth on a fly pattern for a 47-yard scoring pass play that left GU's star defensive back, Alex Poulos, face down on the AstroTurf in dejection.
That play and Cannon's extra point kick gave Catholic a 22-20 lead, which stood up until Beringer kicked his field goal just before halftime.
Catholic's defense limited Georgetown to 28 yards on the ground.