A pair of debuts were successful if not easy yesterday for Catholic University.
Head Coach Rick Novak won his first game and transfer running back Debraire Meekins carried 25 times for 107 yards and a touchdown as Catholic won its opener, 22-20, against Johns Hopkins before 2,500 at CUA Field.
The Cardinals finally jumped ahead of the surprisingly pesky Blue Jays (1-9 in 1989) seven minutes into the second half. Following a long drive featuring mainly the running of Meekins (formerly of McNamara and a transfer from Fordham), quarterback Darin Dinello found wideout Steve McClatchy in the corner of the end zone for an 11-yard score. The two-point conversion gave CU the 22-14 lead.
Hopkins (0-1) narrowed the score to 22-20 with 40 seconds left in the third quarter, as quarterback John Guglielmo dove in from the one. Catholic safety Ben Clark broke up the two-point conversion, preserving the CU lead.
Hopkins mustered one last drive, but with 1:19 left, backup quarterback Scott Cade fumbled after scrambling for a 10-yard gain. Catholic linebacker Jack McConnell recovered to clinch his team's win.
"We still have some question marks with our defense," Novak said. "And our offense sputtered several times near the goal line. I'm still excited about my first win, though."
Catholic's first scoring drive covered 96 yards in 15 plays, with the key combination Dinello and tight end John Gavin. Gavin, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior from Gonzaga, caught three passes for 53 yards, the most crucial coming near the end of the first quarter. Dinello, forced to scramble to his left, found Gavin towering over the secondary and open for 33 yards.
With the ball on the 2, Dinello dove one yard into the end zone, giving the Cardinals a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
The Blue Jays surged ahead at 4:46 of the second quarter, following a drive dominated by sophomore running back Paul Ferreri (111 yards on 19 carries).
Ursinus 42, Georgetown 24: In Collegeville, Pa., the Hoyas battled back before falling to the Bears in the season opener for both teams.
Georgetown trailed, 21-0, in the first quarter before rallying for 24 straight points to lead at halftime, 24-21. But the Bears responded with 21 unanswered fourth-quarter points.
Hoyas backup quarterback Bill Jenkinson replaced starter Craig DeGruchy and completed 21 of 37 for 201 yards and three touchdowns of 18, 22 and nine yards.
Jersey City State College 19, Gallaudet 3: The Bison (0-1) were held to only 130 total yards and were led by junior running back Karl White with 74 yards rushing on 19 carries in Jersey City.
Hampton 21, Bowie St. 6: Pete Holloway, Derek Croom and Tim Dudley ran for touchdowns to lead Hampton (1-1) to victory at Armstrong Field in Hampton, Va. Bowie, in losing its opener, drove inside Hampton's 20-yard line six times but had only two field goals by Mark Fitzpatrick to show for it.
Montgomery-Rockville 17, Potomac St. 7: John Kaleo threw 14 completions for 124 yards and a touchdown as Montgomery-Rockville won their season opener at Richard Montgomery High School.
Carlos Smith had five receptions for 59 yards. Anthony Bailey had 84 yards on 10 carries for Potomac.