NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan’s Kevin Macari returns to the region Saturday with the Georgetown University football team when the Hoyas play Fordham. The sophomore wide receiver can only hope the visit goes as well as it did last month when the Hoyas played Yale.
Macari returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown against Yale in a 24-21 loss. It was the first time he returned a punt for a touchdown as a collegian.
“The week before, I got the ball down to the 10 or 12-yard line, so it felt good to take it all the way,’’ Macari said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. “My parents were at the game along with a bunch of other people from New Canaan. It was definitely fun to have family and friends down there for that.”
Macari figures to have another big rooting section on hand for Saturday’s contest in the Bronx. The trip north will be the final appearance this fall in Connecticut or New York for Georgetown, which slipped to 3-2 last Saturday with a 37-10 homecoming loss to Brown.
“A lot of friends will be going, [New Canaan] coach Lou [Marinelli] said a lot of New Canaan players will be there, so I’m definitely looking forward to that,'' Macari said.
Macari, an all-state selection in 2010 while playing for the Rams, has made an immediate impact for the Hoyas. He appeared in all 11 games as a freshman, and led the Patriot League with a 15.3 punt return average. He also caught 14 passes and three touchdowns.
His role has been more pronounced this season. Macari has a team-high 19 receptions with one touchdown. He has returned eight punts for an average of 18.5 yards – he leads the Patriot League by a wide margin – and is also among the conference's top 10 in receptions and yards per game. Teams are even starting to take Macari away as a punt returner by kicking away from him. He has had just one return in the last two games in 13 punts by opponents.
Even so, Macari is having an impact as a receiver in Georgetown’s spread offense. His best game so far this year came against Princeton, when he caught eight passes for 76 yards. He caught three passes on the game-winning drive for 31 yards to help set up the go-ahead field goal by Matt MacZura with 14 seconds left.
“Last year, I had a chance to play and I made the most of it,’’ Macari said. “This year I feel like I’m contributing more. If you get the hot hand, they’ll keep throwing you the ball. We lost a couple of receivers from last year and I’ve kind of been the deep threat this year. We’re also running the ball well and that opens a lot of passing lanes.”
Macari said the biggest adjustment to college has been on the academic side. “I’ve been spending extra time doing that,’’ he said. “Learning the football terminology was tough at first, but now that’s getting easier.”
The losses so far this year for Georgetown do not impact its league standing. Georgetown closes the season with five straight games against conference opponents.
“We feel like we can contend in the league this year,’’ Macari said. “Every game will be circled. We’ll take it game by game and see where we are at the end of the season.”