Tony Gallis' three touchdown passes and Chris McMahon's three interceptions led Catholic to a 56-6 romp over Georgetown yesterday before 5,000 fans at Brookland Stadium in the 17th renewal of this passionate crosstown rivalry.

With "Hoyabuster" T-shirts the hottest selling item in the stands, the Cardinals came out like gangbusters, scoring the first two times they touched the ball. On the game's opening kickoff, Catholic's Chris Veno ran 96 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown to set a school record.

The Cardinals knew it was to be their game: the snap on the extra point attempt was high, but the holder, McMahon, reacted by running around left end for the conversion.

The next time Catholic got the ball, Gallis threw a hook pass to brother Ed for 35 yards and a touchdown. Thus Catholic led, 15-0, after 2 minutes 12 seconds. "Those two quick touchdowns set the tone for the game," the Cardinals' coach, Joe Pascale, said.

Catholic took a 22-0 lead when Gallis threw to Walt Kalinowski (eight catches, 136 yards, two scores) for a 22-yard touchdown. But it was the Cardinals defense that helped build this large lead, especially McMahon, whose second interception of the quarter, at the Hoyas' 32, set up Gallis' touchdown pass.

For a moment, Georgetown appeared ready to try to make this a close game. With 25 seconds left in the quarter, freshman Peter Clays returned the kickoff 101 yards, breaking the old Hoyas record of 90 yards, to put Georgetown within 16 points.

"If they had scored another touchdown at that point," Pascale said, "then it would have been a different game."

The Hoyas, however, couldn't build momentum. Instead, they yielded 13 points in the second quarter, two field goals by Ray Hoeymans and Gallis' third touchdown pass, a 23-yarder to Kalinowski. Again McMahon set up the touchdown. He intercepted Clays' halfback option pass at the Hoya 45, and returned it 31 yards. McMahon's three interceptions give him nine this season, tops in Division III.

The Cardinals kept pressure on Hoya quarterback D.J. Patenaude, who suffered his second straight poor week (seven for 20, 70 yards, three interceptions), but he was not solely at fault for his inept offense. The Hoyas netted only one rushing yard all afternoon.

CU did not let up in the second half. Fullback John Middendorf plunged over from two yards for a 42-6 lead. Five minutes later, Gary Lento scored from 21 yards to make it 49-6.

With eight seconds to play, the Cardinals' third-string quarterback, Jack Alexander, called time, then threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joe Logue, to make the final score 56-6, the biggest margin of victory since 1971 (Georgetown won, 69-8, then).

"It was a bush-league play," said Hoyas Coach Scotty Glacken.

Pascale apologized to Glacken after the game and "took full responsibility" for the timeout although he said he told Alexander to run it out. But Glacken wasn't in the mood.

"I thought we had a better relationship than that," Glacken said to Pascale. "That was unconscionable, inexcusable," Pascale said, then walked away. "That showed no class," Glacken fumed.

"I didn't expect the game to be so lopsided," said Pascale. "I thought Georgetown would be much stronger. They are just having a down year."