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Georgetown College football traveled to one of the toughest places to play in the NAIA Football Championship Series First Round, and had Carroll College on the ropes early. The Fighting Saints (11-1) lived up to their name, fought back, and escaped 38-28. CC has advanced to the quarterfinals 13 of 14 years since 2000 and has never lost a first round home game.
A pair of fumbles proved costly for the No. 13 Tigers (7-4) in the fourth quarter, which started with the teams knotted at 28.
The first came on the ensuing drive after Carroll took the lead for good at 35-28. Six plays into the drive, GC was facing a fourth and one. Neal Pawsat plunged forward for the Tigers fourth fourth-down conversion on the day. The very next play was a hand off to Zach Sowder. The senior had scored all three of Georgetown's first half touchdowns, but after a four yard gain lost the ball. Carroll fell on it on its own 36.
The Tiger defense flexed its muscle, forcing a three and out. The punt went to Ryan Sowder, who mishandled the catch and Carroll recovered.
This time the Fighting Saints capitalized on the miscue for a field goal and 10-point advantage with just 3:37 remaining.
Georgetown had a few last gasps to try and score, but came up empty.
The Tigers opened up a quick 14-0 lead, but when the dust settled in an explosive first half the two powerhouses were tied at three touchdowns apiece. Zach Sowder rushed for the first two scores and after Carroll responded with a touchdown and missed extra point, scored a receiving touchdown for a 21-6 lead. With 11:44 left in the second quarter, CC began to rally. It scored the next 15 points for the first of two ties.
The Fighting Saints then took the second half kickoff, drove three plays and Dakota Stonehouse scrambled loose for a 47-yard touchdown run. It was Carroll's first lead of the day.
Georgetown responded two drives later with a 12-play drive, a conversion of fourth and four, capped off by a Pawast to Branden Burdette for an 11-yard score. Josh Depp kicked the extra point and with 2:41 left in the third, it was 28 all.
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