- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2008

Kevin Kelly was nothing if not patient.

The often hot-tempered Georgetown coach had to wait an extra day after the long preseason before his Hoyas and Howard could make their 2008 debuts Sunday. But after the delay because of rain and then after playing it safe for three quarters, he brought his freshman quarterback back from the sideline and told him to let it fly.

Kelly’s reward for biding his time? A 12-7 victory in the inaugural D.C. Cup before 6,085 sun-drenched fans at Howard’s Greene Stadium.

A pair of deep fourth-quarter pass connections between Georgetown quarterback James Brady and senior wide receiver Kenny Mitchell - which netted 68 yards and one touchdown - proved the difference in a contest that included 14 penalties, five lost fumbles and sloppy play overall.

“We just kept scratching and clawing,” Kelly said. “This game could have gone either way.”

Georgetown trailed 7-3 and was having trouble moving the ball until Kelly called Mitchell’s number on the opening play of the final quarter.

“They were starting to creep up and play the run, and Kenny’s got great speed; he’s a weapon that we have got to utilize,” said Kelly, who moved the track star from Atlanta from a slot position to wideout during two-a-days.

After breaking the huddle, Brady recognized his receiver streaking across the middle on a slant pattern and heaved a 37-yard strike.

Three plays later, Mitchell blazed past Bison defensive back Brandon Bufford and reeled in a 31-yard pass for the touchdown.

“I told [Mitchell] that if he got one-on-one, I was going to go to him no matter what,” Brady said. “I just threw it up there and let him make the play.”

Casey Dobyns added his second field goal later in the fourth quarter, and Georgetown defensive back Chris Parker pounced on Floyd Haigler’s fumble to quell a late rally by the Bison, the end of a long and frustrating day for Howard coach Carey Bailey.

“I look at it as a game of miscues,” Bailey said. “You can’t turn the ball over [four] times and put yourself in position to win a ballgame.”

Although dismayed by the outcome of the first of at least four D.C. Cup games, Bailey said the Georgetown-Howard rivalry is something that “needs to happen year in and year out.”

Mitchell, who finished with 97 all-purpose yards, was pleasantly surprised as well. The Hoyas went 1-10 in 2007, while the Bison were 4-7.

“This was very special because this is the first time we have played each other to get the D.C. Mayor’s Cup,” Mitchell said. “It also shows D.C. that Georgetown can play a little football. I have been getting those questions my whole career, and it’s just very special to finally show people that we can play a little football.”

Until Brady came back into the game, the Hoyas had failed to take advantage of excellent field position. For the game, Howard had four turnovers and averaged just 28.8 yards a punt.

Mitchell had fumbled the opening kickoff, and the teams swapped scoreless opening possessions before Howard quarterback Haigler threw a fade pass into the waiting arms of receiver Willie Harris for a 5-yard touchdown.

Down 7-0, Kelly alternated fleet-footed sophomore quarterback Keerome Lawrence with the pure-passing Brady but saw little result. Georgetown started two first-half possessions in Bison territory but came away with only a 19-yard field goal from Dobyns.

The third quarter was more of the same, with Howard running back Karlos Whittaker fumbling twice and the Bison’s Dennis Wiehberg getting off a 15-yard punt.

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