While Georgetown Prep slogged through a sub-par season last year, Marcus Dowtin was experiencing similar disappointment on a Bishop McNamara team that won just one game. After transferring to Prep, Dowtin entered the fall more than ready for a turnaround, and he was one of many reasons the Little Hoyas captured a 28-7 victory yesterday at Gonzaga.
The sophomore running back rushed for 131 yards and scored three touchdowns -- including an 84-yard interception return in the fourth quarter -- as the Little Hoyas bounced back from last year's loss to their Jesuit school rival. Gonzaga beat Georgetown Prep, 17-14, last season, the first meeting between the schools since 1988.
Georgetown Prep improved to 2-0 with the win, played before a capacity crowd packing the bleachers and stacked along the sidelines and endlines in Northwest. The loss to Gonzaga last season was part of an 0-6 start for the Little Hoyas; they finished 4-6.
"I wasn't here last year, but I watched the tape" of the Gonzaga game, Dowtin said. "I saw how much of a big loss it was to the Prep community. We came out with a mind-set that we were going to give it to them, and respectfully. We're trying to let people know that Georgetown Prep football is back."
The Little Hoyas made a strong statement early, when senior quarterback Andrew Aldrich connected with Michael Shackelford, who scampered down the right sideline for a 59-yard score with 9 minutes 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter. A two-yard touchdown run by Dowtin capped an eight-play, 60-yard drive that gave Georgetown Prep a 14-0 lead with 8:34 left in the second quarter.
Gonzaga (1-1) made it 14-7 on a one-yard run by junior quarterback Joey Orfini with 5:23 remaining in the half. Georgetown Prep had another scoring chance in the half, but missed a 33-yard field goal.
Late in the third quarter, Dowtin ignited Georgetown Prep when he turned a nifty option pass from Aldrich into an 18-yard score and a 21-7 lead. Gonzaga's Isiejah Allen returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards and the Eagles moved to the Prep 15-yard line on a defensive pass interference call. But two plays later, Dowtin broke in front of a Gonzaga tight end who was running a shallow pattern across the middle of the field, made the interception and returned it for the game's final score.
"That's the staple of" Prep, Gonzaga Coach Kenny Lucas said. "They play that kind of defense: aggressive. They went downhill and made the plays when they had to. We gave ourselves a shot, and didn't take advantage."