WASHINGTON - Freshman quarterback Eric Williams passed for 250 yards, including a 98-yard score to Cameron Sandquist for the longest pass play in Yale's 140-year football history, and the Bulldogs opened their season with a 24-21 victory at Georgetown on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (1-0) overcame five turnovers by forcing three fumbles and intercepting a pass in the final seconds.
After Georgetown coughed up possession deep in its own territory late in the third quarter with a 21-17 lead, Yale running back Tyler Varga scored the game-winning touchdown from nine yards.
Georgetown (2-1) crossed midfield three times in the fourth quarter. Yale stuffed quarterback Aaron Aiken's fourth-and-one run at the Bulldogs' 29 with 7:11 remaining and defensive back Collin Bobb intercepted Aiken's end zone pass from the 17-yard-line with 33 seconds left.
Sandquist caught nine passes for 187 yards and Varga rushed for 100 yards on 21 carries for the Bulldogs, who opened their sixth straight season with a victory.
Trailing, 14-10, inside the final minute of the first half, Yale forced a Georgetown fumble and recovered at its own two-yard line.
Not content to run out the clock, Williams tossed a long pass down the right sideline toward the double covered Sandquist. Georgetown's defenders deflected the pass, but right to Yale's junior wide receiver, who raced for the touchdown and a 17-14 lead with 33 seconds left in the half.
The 98-yard touchdown broke a 37-year-old record.
Aiken totaled 77 of Georgetown's 260 rushing yards, but threw for only 94.
The 140th season of Yale football also marked the head coaching debut of Tony Reno, who spent the last three seasons assisting at Harvard after a similar stint for the Bulldogs.
After an exchange of opening possession fumbles, Yale's no-huddle attack marched 90 yards on 14 plays for the opening score, capped by Varga's first touchdown run from two-yards out,
Midway through the second quarter, Georgetown took the lead without its offense stepping on the field. After consecutive drives ended in missed field goals, the Hoyas scored on Kevin Macari's 79-yard punt return, tying the game, 7-7, with 8:42 remaining.
Only 77 seconds later, cornerback Kevin Moore returned his second interception of the half 41 yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 Georgetown lead.
Philippe Panico's 41-yard field goal with 4:28 left in the second quarter pulled Yale closer at 14-10. Georgetown's offense threatened again before halftime, but Aiken fumbled inside the five-yard line, setting up the Sandquist's record breaking score.
Yale's first drive of the second half ended with a fumble following a botched snap. Taking over near midfield, Georgetown went ahead, 21-17, on Dalen Claytor's 32-yard touchdown run.
NOTES: Eric Williams completed 19-of-30 passes, but threw three interceptions. ... Last season, Yale finished 5-5 under former coach Tom Williams, who resigned in December amid allegations he falsified his resume. ... Georgetown lost to Yale for a third straight season after opening 2-0.