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Georgetown College football never trailed, but needed a last second touchdown before the half to break the backs of a feisty Kentucky Christian University team on the Knights Homecoming day. It was a Mid-South Conference East divisional showdown, the first for the Tigers and second for KCU.
The No. 6 Tigers (2-1, 1-0 MSC East) drove the length of the field off the opening kickoff and punched one in from the one-yard line. The very next drive it was a pass play from Neal Pawsat to Jesse Morrell for a quick two score lead. However, the Knights (2-3, 1-1 East) cut it to seven early in the second quarter. Georgetown responded, but it was a Logan Crockett catch with six seconds before the half that broke the Knights' back.
It gave the Tigers a three score lead, and they would tack on three more in the 49-7 victory.
"We came out strong, but I think that touchdown just before the half was really huge," said GC coach Bill Cronin. "We grabbed the momentum and didn't allow KCU back into the game.
"They have been really physical with us the past few years, and we came out with the plan to be the stronger team. I think we accomplished that. We are taking steps each week, and that's what we need to see."
Pawsat, who got his first start two years ago in Grayson, threw for 232 yards and three scores against what has been in the opening weeks one of the best defenses in the country.
But, Saturday it was the GC defense that held down the Knights and helped set up two scores. Late in the third quarter, the Tigers forced KCU into poor field position. The tigers capitalized with a two-play drive that culminated in Nebraska transfer Mike Marrow's first touchdown. The senior carried it 10 yards and a 35-7 lead. Not a minute later, Jake Blust returned a fumble 40 yards and a 42-7 advantage.
Georgetown held the Knights to just 52 yards on 63 plays, and a negative 73 yards rushing.
"It was a tough day for a freshman quarterback to face our front seven," Cronin said. "It is tough when your top two quarterbacks go down. KCU is a good team and had a great start, but are having to make adjustments know with injures at the quarterback position."
Three-year starter Graham Johnston and his replacement Shaun Jones were both sidelined for the game with Georgetown.
On the flip side, GC saw senior wide receiver Branden Burdette back healthy and ready to go. The Lexington native caught four passes, including the first play from scrimmage, for 68 yards with a long of 40.
A 37-yard strike from Pawsat to Bobby Chan-Chan on a third in long kept the first drive alive which eventually ended in a wild score. With the Tigers on the KCU 1-yard line, Zach Sowder dove over the line. The initial signal did not come until after lineman Wes Smith came up with the ball. The referees conferred and while Georgetown was calling for a touchdown, KCU was claiming to have recovered the ball. In the end, the refs confirmed the touchdown and said Sowder broke the plain before losing the ball and giving him the touchdown not Smith. None the less it was seven on the board on an 80-yard drive.
As the lead grew to five scores, Tiger offensive coordinator Eddie Eviston took the opportunity to rest Pawsat and give sophomore Tanner Evans a shot under center. He did not disappoint, throwing a 38-yard strike to freshman Jacob Clair for the final margin of victory.
Georgetown returns to action 4:30 pm EST Saturday against Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala.