Turnovers Prove Costly In Howard Loss To Georgetown
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Howard University committed five turnovers-including a costly one late in the game--as the Bison dropped a 12-7 decision to Georgetown University in the First Annual DC Mayor's Cup game at Greene Stadium. This was the first meeting between the two schools.
Needing only a touchdown to pull out the win with 1:32 left in the game, Howard quarterback Floyd Haigler moved his team from its own 23-yard line to the Georgetown 34 with 46 seconds remaining. During the drive, Haigler completed three straight passes. But then disaster struck as Haigler dropped the ball before attempting a pass.
The Hoyas' Chris Parker fell on the ball and Georgetown ran out the clock to secure the victory.
"I look at it as a game of miscues," said Howard second year coach Carey Bailey. "You can't turn the ball over five times and put yourself in a position to win a ball game. We had some missed opportunities on offense and also two big plays which led to the final score on defense."
The Bison got their only score of the game on their second possession of the opening period when Haigler (17 of 30, 183 yards, 1 TD) engineered a seven-play, 47-yard drive that was punctuated by a 5-yard TD pass to freshman wide receiver Willie Carter (4 receptions for 23 yards).
Meanwhile, the Howard defense proved to be dominant in the early going, limiting the Hoyas to 9 total yards of offense in the first quarter.
Howard squandered opportunities, but they did not prove to be costly until the turnovers started. A Floyd pass was picked off by Paul Sant' Ambrogio and returned to the Howard 47-yard line. A 15-yard penalty was tacked on, giving Georgetown its best field position at the Howard 38-yard line.
Rejuvenated, the Hoyas drove down to the Bison 2-yard line, but the Howard defense stiffened and forced a 19-yard field goal by Casey Dobyns that made it, 7-3 with 5:57 before halftime.
Although Georgetown did not get the TD, it subtly changed the momentum of the game. The Bison began to struggle on offense to get anything going and they compounded their problems with some poor punts.
"I thought our punting was horrendous," noted Bailey.
A 22-yard punt gave Georgetown excellent field position again and the Hoyas seemed to take advantage of it when they drove to the Bison 19-yard. But a Dobyns' 36-yard field attempt that would have cut into the deficit, hit the upright.
The Bison came out of the locker room with a lot of energy in the third quarter, outgaining the Hoyas, 79-17 on offensive yards while holding the ball for over 9 of the 15 minutes. Yet it went for naught as they failed to take advantage during a scoreless third quarter.
Georgetown was finally able to take control. On the Hoyas'first possession of the fourth quarter, James Brady (12 of 20, 131 yards) found Kenny Mitchell behind the Bison secondary for a 31-yard TD. It capped off a 69-yard drive, but more importantly gave Georgetown a 9-7 lead and some boosted confidence.
"We've been doing press techniques all summer in practice and James looked at me when he called the play and he said it's one-on-one, so use your speed," explained Mitchell. "So I ran and looked up and the ball was there. All I had to do was catch it. That score was big for us."
The Bison (0-1) moved the ball some on their possession, but Floyd was sacked on third down and Howard was forced to punt.
Georgetown (1-0) put together an energy-sapping 14-play, 67-yard drive that ate up over six minutes. The Hoyas had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Dobyns that made the score, 12-7 Georgetown.
"As the game went on, I thought our tackling wasn't as good at times," said Coach Bailey. "We had the opportunity on the South end to get a sack and ended up letting them get a plus two yards. Those are the type of opportunities that you can't get back."
The mistake bug hit the Bison again on the ensuing kickoff when the return team failed to field a short kick, thus allowing the Hoyas to recover at the Bison 29.
The Howard defense which played tough all day, forced a 40-yard field goal attempt by Dobyns that went wide left. That set up the Bison's last possession that ended in its fifth turnover.
"The majority of our problems right now are that we have to do a better job of securing the ball and making the right decisions," said Bailey.
For Georgetown, the win is big for a team that is coming off a 1-10 season.
"This game could have gone either way," said a happy Georgetown Coach Kevin Kelly. "Howard played an excellent football game as well. We just made a few more plays than them."
GAME NOTES: The loss overshadowed an outstanding performance by senior middle linebacker Endor Cooper...The senior MEAC pre-season defensive player of the year, finished with 18 tackles, including 2.5 for losses...the Bison defense held the Hoyas to 233 yards of total offense...other players who had fine days on defense were junior safety Martin Corniffe (5 tackles), sophomore linebacker Patrick Jean-Mary (5 tackles), red-shirt junior Arando Jamison (4 tackles, 2 for losses) and junior defensive lineman James Carter (4 tackles, a tackle for a loss)...senior RB Karlos Whittaker came off the bench to lead all rushers with 74 yards on 17 carries, but he fumbled twice...senior wide receiver Arlandus Hood had the best game of his career, grabbing 9 passes for 114 yards.
NEXT UP: The Bison travel to MEAC rival Hampton University next Saturday for a 6 pm class with the Pirates while the Hoyas travel to Lafayette for a 1:30 game.