By Eric Balmer
Last year, the Georgetown College football team hosted the University of the Cumberlands in a high scoring duel. GC came out on top in the nerve-racking contest, but this year our Tigers couldn’t claw their way to victory. Last Saturday UC, ranked No. 2 in the nation, edged out No. 11 GC by the score of 38-35.
UC was able to accomplish something they haven’t been able to for several years; for the first time since 2008, the Patriots defeated the Tigers. Possibly the biggest difference between the two teams was in rushing yards: Cumberlands ran for 309 yards while Georgetown only managed 48 yards. Although neither team’s defense was outstanding, the amount of rushing yards given up may have been GC’s downfall.
Even though Georgetown was down 10 points with just over five minutes to go, they fought back. Quarterback Neal Pawsat led the Tigers on a 75-yard drive, which ended with a touchdown reception by Branden Burdette.
Cumberlands got the ball back with just under three minutes left to play in regulation. Several running plays landed the Patriots close to first down territory, but they still needed a few inches. Faced with a tough decision, their coach, John Bland, put his trust in his freshman quarterback to get the job done.
Although this game was high scoring, the first quarter was scoreless. Georgetown was the team to finally get on the scoreboard after Zach Sowder ran it in for six. After the first score, each team traded blows. UC then responded with a touchdown of their own and, a few minutes later, a field goal. GC responded to that with another rushing touchdown by Sowder. At halftime, Cumberlands scored a rushing touchdown to be up by three.
The first score of the third quarter was from UC’s star freshman, Adam Craig, who ran for the touchdown. As the second half wore on, each team traded off scoring.
Several GC players had solid contributions. Pawsat threw for 341 yards with 21 completions, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Logan Crockett ended the day with 65 yards receiving. Burdette had 30 yards receiving and two touchdowns, and Ben Brandon Patenaude had an incredible seven catches for 155 yards.
Defensively, Brock Messina and Jaylan Bailey both had solid games with 11 tackles, along with an interception by Bailey.
Georgetown hopes to turn around their luck against the University of Pikeville. The game is 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at home.