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It is becoming habit for the Georgetown College-University of Cumberlands football games to come down to final drives. A year ago, the then No. 2 Tigers needed a pick late against then No. 9 Patriots to salt away the victory in Georgetown.
Saturday, it was No. 2 UC converting a fourth and inches to hang on against No. 11 GC, 38-35.
Adam Craig's second effort with just more than a minute remaining resulted in the Patriots first down. The freshman then got to call for victory formation as time ticked away. It was the team's first win over Georgetown since 2008.
The Tigers faced a 10-point deficit with 5:02 remaining. Junior quarterback Neal Pawsat engineered a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a five-yard strike from him to Branden Burdette. With 2:25 remaining, GC coach Bill Cronin elected his third ranked defense have a chance to shut down UC and get the ball back.
Craig rushed for no gain on down one. Iquan Deed picked up three on the next play. Terrence Cobb netted six and seemed motoring for the sticks when freshman Kody Kasey hauled him down and forced the tough decision for UC coach John Bland.
The veteran coach put the ball in his freshman quarterback's hands. He had already run for 143 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. He also had 95 yards in the air with a touchdown and two receptions for 20 yards and a score.
This game was tabbed to be high scoring and full of highlight reel plays – it didn't disappoint – but it did take a quarter for the powerhouses to feel each other out. After 15 minutes of play, the game remained locked at 0-0.
Georgetown got on the board first as Pawsat worked the offense 66 yards down the field. Zach Soweder capped it off with a six-yard rush for the lead.
UC responded with a touchdown drive of its own and two-thirds of the way through the second quarter added a field goal for the 10-7 lead.
The Tigers responded with a seven-play drive that Sowder punched in from the one-yard line, 14-10 Georgetown.
Craig tallied his first rushing touchdown just 14 seconds before halftime to be up three, 17-14. After an interesting opening set of series for both teams, Craig rushed for another touchdown and a 24-14 advantage.
Late in the third quarter, Georgetown responded as Pawsat found Burdette for a six-yard passing score. The teams began to trade scores as UC took a 38-28 lead with 5:02 remaining.
Pawsat finished the day with 341 yards on 21 completions with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Sowder had 54 yards and two scores on 17 carries. Ben Patenaude had a break out game with seven catches for 155 yards and a score. Logan Crockett had four catches for 65 yards and Burdette had three catches for 30 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Brock Messina and Jaylan Bailey each had 11 tackles. Messina finished with six solo tackles and 1.5 sacks. Bailey had four solo tackles and one interception.
Josh Downing tallied double-digit tackles with 10, while Kasey, Channing Gordon, Tommy Campbell and DJ Lemons also had a solid day against the No. 3 rushing offense in the nation.
Georgetown returns home 1:30 pm Saturday hosting University of Pikeville.