GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ – courtesy Georgetown College Athletics) – Resilient. Georgetown College football has weathered storms early this season – highlighted by a 35-21 win Saturday over No. 19 Faulkner University.
“They just don’t quit,” said GC coach Bill Cronin. “This team has been through so much and are learning through it all you have to start over the next day, the next play.”
The No. 14 Tigers (3-1) had their fair share of bad moments Saturday against No. 19 Faulkner University (2-2). But 14 points in one minute and nine seconds was the difference in the game. Tied 21-21 following a fumble on the previous possession as J.J. Jude tried to stretch for extra yards, Cronin went right back to the senior.
Jude caught a bubble screen and took it 44 yards to put GC in business late in the fourth quarter. The next play Kyle Longworth rushed for 11 yards and Zach Harris finished it off with a nine-yard touchdown run.
“I like coming back to a guy like Jude after something like that,” Cronin said. “He’s a veteran with a heart to win and he knew he probably should have tucked it away, but he was ready to go next series.”
Josh Depp then kicked his sixth touchback of the day to put FCU on its own 25 with 1:15 left down a score. Clayton Nicholas dropped back and tried a short pass. Max Nussbaum read it all the way, stepped in front and sealed the game. His pick six made a 14 point lead with just 1:09 left.
“I’m happy for our guys,” Cronin said. “It’s not an easy game to play or coach. You have to execute, be physical and a little lucky.
“Faulkner is a great team and there were times we looked down, but hopefully this will spark us. Spark us to continue working hard in practice and in our conditioning. I think that was another key to today with the weather. We are in great shape, still have to work on it, but today our work paid off.”
The Tigers marched down the field on their opening position for a nine-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a Zach Harris touchdown. Faulkner tied it up early in the second quarter, but Georgetown immediately responded as Ozzie Mann found Conner Ford for a 14-7 lead.
“I thought Ozzie was great today, showing a lot of poise,” Cronin said.
The senior quarterback went 17-of-29 for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Longworth was the recipient of six passes for 108 yards. He also rushed seven times for 38 yards.
On the other side, GC forced the Eagles into four interceptions – Nicolas three and Jordan Aubrey one.
All four of those picks came inside the waning moments of quarters and halves to really control and alter the game. Starr Thompson picked off a pass in the endzone to keep the home team up a score before halftime. The freshman also snagged a pass by Aubrey at the end of the game to allow GC to set up in victory formation.
CJ Williams had a pick in the endzone to end the third quarter to keep the game tied at 14. Then of course Nussbaum had one just north of a minute remaining for a score that all but ended the game.
“Our defense played extremely well,” Cronin said. “We gave up plays, but didn’t quit. I felt as though all three phases of the game were feeding off each other with tempo and energy. This was a good win over a very good team.”
Georgetown returns to action to action 1:30 pm Saturday at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Ky.