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‘Cats claw Hoyas

Late TD Pushes Davidson Past Georgetown, 27-20

DAVIDSON, N.C. — With the score tied late at Richardson Stadium Saturday afternoon, Will Wicks had his hands on the football and his eyes on the end zone.

“I had to get in the end zone right there,” he said. “I couldn’t be that close to the goal line and not score.”

Angling to his left, Wicks was cut off going wide, but he cut back to his right to shake defenders and score the game-winner in a 27-20 victory over Georgetown. His 2-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal secured the Wildcats’ third straight season-opening victory.

“What a great team win,” said Davidson coach Scott Abell, now in his second year. “I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this.”

Throughout its first win over the Hoyas since 2005, Davidson showed signs of the record-setting offense of 2018 and an improved 2019 defense.

All three of the Wildcats’ first-half possessions ended in touchdowns, including a 19-play, 99-yard drive late in the second quarter, which was capped by James Story’s second scoring run and secured a 20-0 lead at the half. The other scoring drives went for 87 and 91 yards as the Wildcats had the ball for 46 plays and nearly 23 of the first 30 minutes.

“I’m really proud of the perseverance,” Abell said of the sustained drives. “Put all the talent out the window. That takes guts, that takes determination.”

Meanwhile, the Davidson defense shut out the Hoyas in the first half, holding them to 74 yards and four first downs.

“I know we’re improved defensively, and I was excited to see it today,” said Abell. “I saw a group of guys really flying to the football and just playing with a ton of confidence and intensity.”

Georgetown made it interesting in the second half by capitalizing on three of its first four drives, with the aid of three Wildcat turnovers, and tied the game at the 1:58 mark of the third quarter on Gunther Johnson’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Michael Dereus on fourth-and-goal. 

“We never got flustered,” said Wicks. “We just kept saying, ‘Next play, next play.’”

After Wicks’ go-ahead touchdown capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with 4:54 left, the Wildcats had a few more plays to make. The defense held the Hoyas on a fourth-and-2 play near midfield, and the offense closed the door by running out the final 3:22, thanks in part to a Story 3-yard run on a fourth-and-2 in the edge of Hoya territory.

The Wildcats finished with 188 rushing yards on 42 carries, led by Wicks’ 88 yards on 10 runs. Wesley Dugger’s 1-yard touchdown run capped the game’s first drive.

Up Next

The Wildcats will host Virginia-Lynchburg on next Saturday at 6 p.m.

“We’ve to get right back at it and fix our mistakes and try to be the best version of ourselves next week,” said Abell.

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