A Nov. 24 Sports article incorrectly reported who recovered the bad snap at Towson's 1-yard line that led to the Georgetown Hoyas' final score in their 24-16 win Saturday. It was the Hoyas' Brandon Small. (Published 11/27/02)
Georgetown 24, Towson 16
With its season-ending 24-16 victory today over Towson, Georgetown's football team showed it finally is beginning to feel at home in the Patriot League.
The Hoyas began this season, their second in the Patriot League, with a 69-0 loss at Lehigh but showed steady improvement, winning four of their last six games. After finishing last in the eight-team league a year ago, Georgetown (5-6, 2-5) ended this season tied for sixth with Holy Cross.
"This team has come a long way," Georgetown Coach Bob Benson said. "[The win] establishes us as the real deal. I said to [the team] after the game, 'We can't go back now. We are moving forward, and we're going forward fast.' There's no going back now. The history has been set. We have moved up in the standings from where we were. It's just a huge confidence builder and now we've just got to keep going."
Senior quarterback David Paulus completed 15 of 26 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns as Georgetown scored 21 points in the second quarter while holding Towson (6-5, 3-4) scoreless in the first half .
The victory, before 2,465 at Minnegan Field, did not come easily. Towson's second-half comeback fell just short. With nine seconds remaining, Tigers wide receiver Jamal White caught Jay Amer's pass in the end zone on fourth and goal from the 2-yard line, but was out of bounds. The Hoyas were able to run out the clock to preserve their victory.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, White set a Patriot League record for career receptions when he caught a 20-yard touchdown pass to cut Georgetown's lead to 21-16. White finished the game with seven catches for 91 yards, giving him 219 career receptions, breaking the conference record held by Lehigh's Deron Braswell, who had 217 from 1995 to '98.
Although the Hoyas' defense faltered after halftime, yielding 16 unanswered points, it came up with big plays at crucial times.
Linebacker Andrew Clarke made several of those plays. After Paulus threw an interception late in the third quarter that gave Towson the ball on Georgetown's 32-yard line, Clarke stopped tailback Matt Romeo on third and one from the 11. His play forced the Tigers to kick a field goal, which made it 21-10 and meant they had to score twice to take the lead rather than trailing by just a touchdown.
Clarke, who finished as the league leader in tackles with 119, recorded his fifth straight double-digit tackle game with 14 tackles, three for a loss. He also forced a fumble.
"You really have to give credit to the defensive line, especially the seniors Justin Haynes and Matt Korcinsky," Clarke said. "They've been doing an unbelievable job of keeping the guards and the tackles off the linebackers."
Georgetown took advantage of Towson's mistakes, which included a blocked punt that resulted in the Hoyas' first score and a bad snap that went over Amer's head and was recovered by Georgetown's Matt Fronzke on the Tigers 1.
Four plays later, the Hoyas' Michael Gillman kicked an 18-yard field goal for a 24-16 lead.
With a core group of experienced players returning and several quality recruits joining the team next season, the Hoyas believe their future looks bright.
"This team has grown up and we're playing well right now," Paulus said. "It's a shame that the season is over."