WASHINGTON, D.C.—Down 17-0 at halftime, Columbia battled back with renewed energy in the second half but it was not enough as Georgetown escaped with a 17-14 win before 2,367 Homecoming fans Saturday at Cooper Field. Georgetown earned the right to the rivalry’s Lou Little Trophy and improved to 3-0 with the win, while Columbia dropped to 0-2.
After a first half in which saw Columbia commit three turnovers, miss a 34-yard field goal and advance only one drive past the 50-yard line, the Lions were a different team in the second half. In the game’s final 30 minutes, Columbia dominated play on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Hoyas 251-94 yards and totaling 20 first downs to Georgetown’s three.
At halftime, Columbia’s Patricia and Shepard Alexander Head Coach of Football Al Bagnoli said that the coaches challenged the Lions.
“That first half was as poorly as we’ve played since I’ve been here,” Bagnoli said. “We’ve got to do a better job of preparing, but the kids have got to respond better than they’ve responded. We all take the blame for a clunker 30 minutes. We got the message across at halftime and played a lot better, but we still gave up way too many opportunities that we could’ve converted on. We’re not satisfied with a close loss. We turned the ball over four times today. That just can’t happen. Until we correct those mistakes, we’re going to have the same outcome.”
Trailing 17-0 at halftime, Columbia came out with energy in the second half and battled back into the game. It cut the deficit to 17-7 on an 11-yard touchdown run by Chris Schroer. It was freshman Josh Wainwright who started things off and showed his speed as he wove through the Georgetown coverage for a 54-yard kickoff return. Led by quarterback Anders Hill, Columbia’s offense drove 46 yards on 11 plays fueled by Schroer’s strong running. A screen pass to Wainwright gave the Lions a first down at the 11-yard line. Schroer then rambled through the Hoya defense for his first career touchdown, an 11-yard scoring run.
The Lions made it 17-14 in the fourth quarter when Hill carried the ball nine yards through the Georgetown defense for a touchdown with 14:55 left to play. The score culminated a five-play, 50-yard drive that featured the running of Alan Watson. Watson ran for eight yards followed by a five-yard gain and first down run by Hill. Then Watson bolted through the middle of the Georgetown defense for a 25-yard run to setup Hill’s touchdown rush.
Momentum was on Columbia’s side as its defense limited Georgetown’s offense into multiple three-and-outs. The Lions had three more opportunities to score, but couldn’t convert the possessions into points. It had a fourth and four situation where it was stopped one yard short of a first down, then fumbled a punt return with 2:56 left in the game.
Columbia turned the ball over three times in the first half, an interception and fumble in the first quarter and an interception in the second quarter. In the second quarter, Columbia quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg moved the Lions down the field in a 16-play, 66-yard drive which ended in a missed 34-yard field goal. At halftime, Georgetown had outgained Columbia in yardage 156-137.
Georgetown grabbed a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 44-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Barnes to Michael Dereus. The play capped a seven play, 70-yard drive after receiving the opening kickoff. The Hoyas took a 10-0 lead on a 47-yard field goal by Henry Darmstadter. Barnes gave Georgetown a 17-0 second quarter lead on a nine-yard touchdown run after the Hoyas drove 36 yards on three plays.
For the game, Columbia outgained Georgetown in yardage 314-195 and finished with 20 first downs to the Hoyas’ eight. Offensively, Columbia was led by Hill, who completed 11 of 21 passes for 81 yards and ran for 45 yards on 11 carries. Schroer rushed for 51 yards on 16 carries, Scooter Hollis caught eight passes for 42 yards and Wainwright finished with five catches for 36 yards and a game-high 198 all-purpose yards (52 punt return, 91 kick return, 36 receiving and 19 rushing). Defensively, Gianmarco Rea led the Lions with 13 tackles, including two for losses, Christian Conway added eight tackles and Landon Baty contributed with seven tackles. The Lions also totaled 10.0 tackles for loss for 21 combined yards.
Georgetown was led by Tim Barnes, who completed 16 of 30 passes for 124 yards. Justin Harrell caught seven passes for 44 yards. Three Hoyas totaled double figure tackles.
Columbia is back in action next Saturday when it opens Ivy League play at Robert K. Kraft Field against Princeton. Kickoff is at noon.
POST GAME NOTES
·Columbia was represented at the coin toss by its three 2016 captains: seniors Scooter Hollis (WR), Skyler Mornhinweg (QB) and Christian Conway (LB). Captains were selected by the team earlier in preseason.
·Today’s weather at kickoff at Cooper Field was 72 degrees and cloudy.
·Columbia and Georgetown met for the fourth time in series history and the second time in as many years. With the loss, Columbia moves to 2-2 all-time vs. Georgetown. The first game in the series was played in 1901.
·Freshman running back Lynnard Rose and senior Toure Douglas both made their first career starts.
·Chris Schroer scored his first career touchdown in the third quarter on an 11-yard touchdown run.
·Freshman placekicker Oren Milstein saw his first career action and converted his first extra point in the game.
·Freshman Josh Wainwright registered a career-long 54-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter. He totaled 198 total all purpose yards, including 91 kickoff return yards and 52 punt return yards.
·Wide receiver Scooter Hollis finished with eight catches for 42 yards, the most he has made since last year’s Georgetown game.
·Quarterback Anders Hill scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on an eight-yard run in the fourth quarter. He totaled 81 passing yards on 11 of 21 attempts.
·Columbia’s two quarterbacks combined for 142 passing yards and completed 21 of 36 passes.
·Punter Matthew Panton averaged 41.5 yards per punt and put five of his six punts inside the Georgetown 20-yard line.
·At halftime, the Lou Little Trophy was presented to athletics directors at both schools: Columbia’s Peter Pilling and Georgetown’s Lee Reed.