Georgetown News
Starr Thompson elevates for one of his two interceptions. Photo by Ryan Bartels/Faulkner
Starr Thompson elevates for one of his two interceptions. Photo by Ryan Bartels/Faulkner
Football - Sat, Sep. 2, 2017

Georgetown College football had big moments in all three phases of the game resulting in a program first – a road win at Faulkner University. The No. 21 Tigers (1-0) had not won in Montgomery, Ala. in their previous two games there. The most recent being the only shutout ever in the coach Bill Cronin era. Saturday, the Tigers used all it had in a 40-39 overtime win.

Riley Hall went 17-of-33 with 234 yards and two passing touchdowns. Daric Pugh rushed nine times for 40 yards and scored twice.

The stiff defense turned one goal line opportunity into a turnover on downs. They kept FCU to just 68 rushing yards. The Eagles (1-1) opened the season with 241 yards on the ground at Kentucky Christian University. Starr Thompson and Isaiah Walker also came up with timely interceptions (three) to stall Faulkner's offense.

Special teams will stand out the most, though, blocking two Blake Levin extra point attempts during a particularly rough day for FCU kicker's Ryan Curren and Liven. Curren started the troubles, pushing a 19-yard field goal attempt wide, which would have given the Eagles a two-score lead. Levin also pushed an extra point wide – the one in the overtime period.

Levin's second blocked extra point was the final momentum swing. Cameron Oshodi knocked it down and Max Nussbaum picked it up and rumbled 97 yards for two points which tied the game at 33. With 62 seconds remaining, Cronin elected to go conservative and force the extra session.

In the overtime, Faulkner struck first as GC picked defense off the coin toss. Clayton Nicholas found Alex Pina-Rhoden for a 25-yard score on the first play from scrimmage. However, Liven pushed the extra point wide, leaving the door open for the Tigers.

The visitors banged their way toward the goal line, capping the drive with a 1-yard plunge from Pugh and Jack Nguyen ended the misery in Montgomery.

Early in the game it appeared GC would once again heavily rely on defense. The unit forced the explosive Eagles (scored 63 points against KCU) to punt after three plays. Unfortunately, Georgetown muffed the catch, Faulkner landed on it and were back in business on GC's side.

Defense bowed up and forced a second three and out. The Tigers held FCU to just seven points during a 20-minute stretch where the offense struggled to move and field advantage was in the home team's favor – rough average start of 50-yard line.

Hall came to life when a busted play led to the Tigers second first down of the game. He scrambled for 13 yards, starting a seven-play drive with five first downs and a nine-yard strike to Bart Bell for a 7-7 game late in the second quarter.

Faulkner struck right back, completing a two-play drive that was highlighted by a 49-yard score.

Neither team scored in the final waning minutes and went to the locker room FCU leading 14-7.

Tigers received the opening kick of the second half, but Hall's pass to Darius Barbour was broken up and picked off. FCU stormed toward the goal line and stood in its shadows with first down and goal from the two. Tigers' defense stood tall, stopped three straight rushing attempts and even pushed the Eagles back to the four. Curren' only field goal attempt started the kicking troubles. His ball went wide right and no points came from the turnover.

Georgetown used that for an 80-yard drive and a tying score – 14-14 – as Pugh blasted it in from the two-yard line.

Thompson had his first of two interceptions. This one looked as though he returned it for a score, but the officials said he stepped out. Three plays later, Nguyen nailed a 27-yard field goal for a 17-14 GC lead.

Faulkner responded with another big pass play – 51-yards to Terrance Simms for the score. FCU back in front 21-17.

Last year, that would have been a difficult strike to GC, relying so heavily on the defense. However, Hall-showed poise in orchestrating a response. Five plays, 65 yards that was capped by a 50-yard bomb to Shawn Boykin. Tigers ahead 24-21.

The see-saw continued, but when Nicholas found Pina-Rhoden for a 13-yard receiving touchdown the eerie feeling of coming up short set in for Tiger fans. Not for the players though. Oshodi blocked the kick, Nussbaum made the return and anything seemed possible.

Georgetown returns to the friendly confines of Toyota Stadium for its home opener 1:30 pm Sept. 9 against Southeastern University.

 
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