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To say Neal Pawsat is not a running quarterback was pretty accurate until Saturday afternoon. The junior signal caller was bound and determined to not let Georgetown start 0-2. He threw two touchdowns and ran for two more, the second a 24-yard scamper that sealed the deal in McKenzie, Tenn.
The No. 6 Tigers (1-1) took a 33-14 win over No. 9 Bethel University (0-3).
"I'm not sure scamper is the word I'd use," Pawsat laughed. "I actually want to see it on film tomorrow to see how slow I ran. But this is a new wrinkle opposing teams are going to have to plan for. Our coaches trust me and today it worked."
It was a Pawsat interception late in the first quarter that allowed the Wildcats to take an early 7-0 lead, an advantage that did not last long.
The field general shook off one of the few miscues he has had in three seasons and went back to work. Georgetown scored 20 unanswered to secure the game. Bethel scored late in the third to make it a one-score game, but never got any closer. Pawsat responded with a shovel pass to Zach Sowder for an eight yard score and then his 24-yard run.
Coming into the game, the Maysville, Ky. native had just four yards rushing total and four touchdowns. Despite his 24 yards, he also had three sacks Saturday that gave him just four yards for the day. However, the two scores in just one shy of what he did all of this past season.
His new offensive coordinator flourished both through the air and on the ground. Georgetown great and NAIA Hall of Famer Eddie Eviston holds records for rushing and passing in yards and scores. His tweaks to the system seem to be showing up sooner rather than later.
"Coach Eviston brings an instinct for the game and a new attitude," Pawsat said. "I'm pleased with how he calls the game, and I think we mesh very well. We still have a lot to improve on, but it seems to be going well."
Pawsat finished the day 25-for-44 with 325 yards passing and four yards on five carries and two scores. He spread the ball around with his top two targets being true freshman Bobby Chan-Chan and sophomore transfer Ben Patenaude.
Coach Bill Cronin was pleased to see how his youthful bunch handled bouncing back from the disappointing loss to NCAA Division II Ohio Dominican and also being on the road.
"This is a much better feeling this week than last," Cronin said. "The guys came out to practice with intensity. I thought we traveled well, for most of these players it was their first overnight trip, and it all made a difference on the field.
"Our offense sputtered at times, but Neal did a good job today. Our defense stood tall and made some big stops all day."
The Wildcats managed just 209 yards of total offense. The two scoring drives were on short fields, each starting in GC territory. BU was on the 10 for the first strike and started on the Tiger 44 for the second.
Georgetown now enters the bye week with time to get ready for receiving votes Kentucky Christian University. The Knights also beat Bethel several weeks ago, but suffered a setback against Reinhardt in a wild 19-14 game in Grayson, Ky.
"This week gives us more time to get reps, which is what our young guys need," Cronin said. "We've got good athletes and can see the confidence; we just need to get the reps to keep building on that.
"I just want to see us maintain our intensity. We will need to be ready for Kentucky Christian."
Pawsat got his first action as a freshman against the Knights. He engineered a comeback to preserve the Tigers undefeated 2011 season and has been the starter ever since.
"Kentucky Christian is a very good football team and it is very tough to play in Grayson," Pawsat said. "They are a type of team that can make you play sloppy if you aren't careful."
Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm in Grayson on Sept. 28.