Georgetown College football: Bethel answers late Tigers' TD with a 92-yard kickoff return, upsets No. 1 team 45-44 in playoff opener

A game of dizzying momentum swings ended in a devastating one for Georgetown on Saturday.

Bethel answered a last-minute, go-ahead Tigers touchdown with a 92-yard kickoff return for a score and stunned the top-ranked Tigers 45-44 in the first round of the NAIA football playoffs in Georgetown.

Bethel (9-3) avenged a 63-21 loss to Georgetown on Sept. 29. The Tigers ended the season with a 10-1 mark.

Early in the third quarter, the Tigers appeared headed toward a similar blowout victory. Neal Pawsat's 11-yard touchdown pass to Adam Schmitz gave Georgetown a 31-13 lead with 10:25 left in the period.

But Bethel's Travis Smith rushed for consecutive touchdowns to pull the Wildcats to within 31-26 with 4:35 remaining in the quarter. And then things really got crazy.

Georgetown fumbled on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter, and Bethel returned each fumble for touchdowns and a 39-31 lead with 8:12 remaining.

Georgetown committed turnovers on its next two drives — one nullified by a penalty, the other erased when a Bethel defender fumbled his interception return — yet still managed to score two touchdowns and regain the lead at 44-39 with 26 seconds to play.

That's when Bethel's Jahron Reynolds received a kickoff and ran it back 92 yards with 0:13 on the clock.