NAIA football: Georgetown's regular-season unbeaten streak snapped

mmaloney@herald-leader.comSeptember 5, 2013 

  • Next game

    Georgetown at Bethel (Tenn.)

    When: Sept. 14, 1:30 p.m.

GEORGETOWN — The streak is more than over. It's turned over. Ohio Dominican capitalized on four turnovers Thursday night to bring Georgetown's 27-game regular-season unbeaten streak to a crashing halt, 41-14, at Toyota Stadium.

The loss also snapped the Tigers' 14-game regular-season home winning streak.

The Panthers forced three fumbles, setting up two touchdowns, and returned an interception for six more points.

"We're just young right now. We've got a lot of guys who've got to grow up," Georgetown Coach Bill Cronin said. "I think we learned a lot of lessons; we learned a lot about ourselves tonight. I think we've got the potential to be a pretty good football team. We're just going to have to wait and see.

"... We'll learn. You can't have four or five turnovers and win any ball game anyway. So we've got some things we've got to clean up."

Ohio Dominican, an NCAA Division II team that went 8-3 last season, scored twice in a 20-second span to lead 14-7 at halftime.

Georgetown, whose only loss in 11 games last year came in the NAIA playoffs, actually led 7-0. The Tigers got a 2-yard touchdown run by Zach Sowder with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.

ODU came back with a hurry-up, no-huddle offense.

The Panthers drove 62 yards in eight plays, capped by Brandon Schoen's 1-yard touchdown run with 14:23 left in the half.

On the next play from scrimmage, ODU's Paul Wesselhoeft recovered a fumble on the Tigers' 27-yard line.

The Panthers cashed in the next play, a pass in the right flat from Mark Miller to Mark Nichols with 14:03 to play.

ODU added a third-quarter field goal and Cody Culbertson's 38-yard interception return to increase its lead to 24-7.

Neal Pawsat, who finished 21 of 37 for 244 yards, kept Georgetown close briefly by hitting Logan Crockett with a 26-yard TD pass with 4:48 left in the third quarter.

Just 59 seconds later, though, ODU countered with a 58-yard scoring pass from Miller to Dez Stewart. The latter finished with seven catches for a school-record 179 yards.

"We thought it would take a couple games for us to be totally into it offensively with all the youth we have," Pawsat said. "We just made too many mistakes in the ball game. ... We'll take it and learn from it. It's not the end of the road. It's going to be a good film for us to watch tomorrow, and learn from."

Georgetown tried to stay with the Panthers, driving to the 2-yard line. But Wesselhoeft made his second fumble recovery of the night at the 5, killing the Tigers' last deep drive of the night.

Brent Whale's second field goal of the night made it 34-14 with 5:29 left, and Wesslhoeft forced a final fumble — recovered by Nikko Tanksley — to set up a 26-yard TD toss from Miller to Nick McKnight.

Miller finished 23-for-38, good for 341 yards.

"Georgetown's a great football team, well-coached," ODU Coach Bill Conley said. "It wouldn't shock me if they win the rest of them because they're a really good football team.

"But our guys, the second half, we started making plays. We didn't get off the blocks well the first half — we had some chances to score and didn't. ... But we got better and kind of controlled things midway through the second half."

Notes: Georgetown's NAIA men's basketball national championship team was honored at halftime.

Ohio Dominican 41, Georgetown 14

Ohio Dominican 0 14 17 10—41

Georgetown 7  0  7  0—14

GC—Zach Sowder 2 run (Josh Depp kick); OD—Brandon Schoen 1 run (Brent Whale kick); OD—Mark Nichols 27 pass from Mark Miller (Whale kick); OD—Whale 27 field goal; OD—Cody Culbertson 38 interception return (Whale kick); GC—Logan Crockett 26 pass from Neal Pawsat (Depp kick); OD—Dez Stewart 58 pass from Mark Miller (Whale kick); OD—Whale 47 field goal; OD—Nick McKnight 26 pass from Miller (Justin Bonchek kick).


Next game

Georgetown at Bethel (Tenn.)

When: Sept. 14, 1:30 p.m.

Mark Maloney: (859) 231-3229. Twitter: @MarkMaloneyHL. Blog: markmaloney.bloginky.com.

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