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The KY Bank College Football Game of the Week was all it was billed to be when No. 2 Georgetown College hosted No. 9 University of the Cumberlands Saturday at Toyota Stadium. The Tigers' defense forced a fumble late, scooped and scored then intercepted in the waning seconds to hold on for a 41-35 win.
"It was fun," said Georgetown College coach Bill Cronin. "It was great for our players to feel the pressure down to the wire. We played hard and pulled it out."
With time running low and the game tied at 35, Cumberlands had the ball its own 31 with third and 11. Brock Messina came off the left side, hit Jay Bright from the back, popping the ball loose. Nick Seither came along as the ball bounced up and finished the play off with a touchdown. Georgetown missed the extra point, giving life to UC for a win.
An unsportsmanlike penalty was assessed on the kickoff and Alex Kreimer's kick went out of bounds, giving UC the ball on the 50 with 1:41 remaining.
"We believed we could win all day," said Patriot coach John Bland. "We came up 10 yards short."
UC went on a drive that put them inside the 20 with 14 seconds left and third down following the spike play. Bright dropped back and threw in the middle of the field where D.J. Lemons stepped in for the interception and sealed the win.
"This was a great lesson on penalties," Cronin said. "We are one of the most penalized teams in the NAIA and we need to clean that up."
The Tigers were flagged 11 times for 107 yards. Three of those were in the final two minutes as the unsportsmanlike, the kick out of bounds and then a pass interference that kept UC in business with under a minute to go.
"We couldn't have written a better script," Cronin said. "This builds a lot of self-esteem. We've played a lot of games that are over in the fourth, but someone was going to push us to the end and this was a good for us."
Neal Pawsat followed up his record day performance of a week ago with 383 yards on 25-of-47 and four touchdowns. Cumberlands did enforce its running game with 343 yards on 54 attempts. Coming into the game, GC was holding opponents to 51 yards per game on the ground.
Georgetown hits the road next week for a game with University of Pikeville. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm.