BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - No. 16 Union College's magical season continued Saturday with a 35-28 Mid-South Conference East victory over visiting No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.) College, marking the second year in a row the Bulldogs have defeated the Tigers.
The victory gives Union its first-ever 4-0 start to a season. The Bulldogs had been 3-0 seven times prior to this season but failed to picked up that fourth win.
That is, until Saturday.
"I'm just real happy for our kids," said Union head coach Tommy Reid. "They've been working really hard, focusing on getting better each week. They were ready to go today, and it was a good effort all around."
The win marks the first time since the 1930s that Union recorded back-to-back wins over Georgetown. From 1936-38, the Bulldogs took three in a row from the Tigers.
The seven-point victory was also key in that Union is now 1-0 in MSC East play.
"It's always nice to get a divisional win," Reid said. "We just have to keep doing the things that we've been doing and take each game one at time. This is a long season, and we are just four games into it."
Tied 21-21 at the half, Union forced Georgetown to go three plays and out on the opening drive of the second half. The Bulldogs then moved the ball 70 yards in 12 plays, eating up six minutes and eight seconds off the clock en route to the go-ahead score.
A pass interference call against the Tigers gave Union the ball on the Georgetown 9. Two plays later, Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) punched the ball in from 4 yards out, making it 28-21 with 7:21 left in third.
Early in the fourth, Marekus Smith (Lithonia, Ga.) picked off a Mike Lewis pass and returned it to the Georgetown 26. But a personal foul penalty against Union moved the Bulldogs back to the Tiger 41.
The penalty turned out to be a non-issue as Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) hit a wide open Rolando Dyer (Lawrenceburg, Ga.) down the middle of the field for a 41-yard touchdown pass, putting Union us 35-21 with 13:16 to play.
Georgetown answered on its next possession. Aided by a 42-yard kickoff return by A.J. Brooks, the Tigers needed only six plays to go 52 yards for a score. Lewis capped the drive by hitting Kaelin Ammons for a 24-yard strike with 10:19 remaining, cutting the margin to 35-28.
The Bulldogs went into ball-control mode, eating up a lot of the clock during the final 10 minutes of the game. However, Georgetown got the ball back with 44 seconds left on its own 27 and got within striking distance. A personal foul on Union with under 10 seconds to play put the ball on the Union 28-yard line. However, Terry Young (Orange Park, Fla.) picked off Lewis' pass on the 5-yard line to end the game and seal the 35-28 Bulldog victory.
With the loss, Georgetown dropped to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the MSC East.
Georgetown owned the time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for 18:18. However, in the second half, Union held possession for 8:00 in the third quarter and 8:58 in the fourth.
"That was something we did a good job on two weeks ago (against Malone (Ohio) College), and that's what we talked about at halftime," Reid said. "The kids realized it was a 60-minute ballgame. They kept it together and stepped it up in the second half."
Union outgained Georgetown 350-322 in total offense. Brinkley had his best game of the season as he completed 17-of-22 passes for 253 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
"Mike had a good day," Reid said of the Bulldog signal-caller. "As he's done all year, he managed a good game for us, eliminating mistakes from his play."
Dyer hauled in six passes for 98 yards and two scores, all of which are career highs for the sophomore. Pollock had a decent day as he ran for 76 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He also caught one pass for seven yards.
Defensively, Willie Williams (Miami, Fla.) led the way with a season-high 15 total stops with a half sack and three quarterback hurries. Smith helped out with eight total tackles, one sack, a pass breakup and an interception.
For Georgetown, Lewis completed 18-of-31 passes with two interceptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Ammons had six catches for 81 yards and a score, while Craig Vaugh pulled down four passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. Brooks led the ground attack with 63 yards on 12 carries.
Robert Catron led the Tiger defense with nine total tackles with one going for a loss of 3 yards.
The game didn't start off well for Union as Pollock fumbled on the second play from scrimmage and Jeff Gaby recovered the ball for Georgetown on the Union 33. Eight plays later, Ted Sberna punched the ball in from 8 yards out, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 10:51 on the clock.
Union bounced back by marching 77 yards in seven plays to even the score at 7-7. Brinkley hooked up with Dyer on a 13-yard scoring pass with 8:24 left in the first.
Starting on its own 40, Georgetown wasted little time in reclaiming the lead. The Tigers needed just seven plays to find the end zone again, taking a 14-7 advantage thanks to a Lewis-to-Vaughn touchdown pass with 4:55 to go in the first.
On the ensuing kickoff, Chris Thomas (Hopkinsville, Ky.) returned the ball to the Union 37, but a face mask penalty against the Tigers put the ball on the Georgetown 48. A 34-yard run by Pollock put the ball on the Tiger 2, setting up Pollock first touchdown of the game. Jacob Appleby (Harvest, Ala.) connected on the PAT, tying the game at 14-14 with 3:51 remaining in the period.
With 12:29 to go in the second, Nik Blair punched the ball in from 2 yards out to put the Tigers up 21-14.
Union tied the score at 21-21 when P.J. Burrowes hauled in a 25-yard pass from Brinkley with 37 seconds left before the half.
The Bulldogs (4-0 overall, 1-0 MSC East) travel to West Virigina Tech next Saturday for another MSC East battle. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.