To put Landon Corolla’s performance Saturday night into perspective … well, there really isn’t any way to do so.
Corolla’s six-and-a-half quarterback sacks are believed to be a Georgetown College school record, and they represent one of the most prolific pass rushing performances by anyone in college football history.
He enjoyed plenty of help, too. GC took down Campbellsville quarterback Talaileva Sufia 10 times in a 23-14 win Saturday night at Finley Stadium.
The smothering defense set up two fourth-quarter touchdowns and a come-from-behind victory for GC (2-2), which has now beaten Campbellsville 25 out of 30 tries to dominate their in-state rivalry.
Jonathan Bothen sacked Sufia on the first play of the final stanza, stripping the ball to the turf. Riley McKown fell on it at the 11-yard line.
Zach Dampier, making his first start after a stellar performance in relief of the injured Hunter Krause to secure last week’s win over St. Andrews, provided the lead with a quarterback sneak.
Campbellsville (1-4) didn’t give up the go-ahead score without a fight. It took a fourth-down conversion by Dampier on fourth-and-2 from the 3, then two additional tries and a holding penalty against the hosts before GC produced the necessary surge.
Mario Nicholson blocked the extra-point to keep the margin at 16-14.
Corolla fashioned four solo sacks and an assist in the fourth quarter alone, beginning with a third-down stop to force a punt on the next Campbellsville series.
A roughing-the-passer penalty bailed out Georgetown on third-and-31 to keep the next march alive. Facing another third down from his own 43, Dampier dropped a dime to tight end Shawn Gilliam for a 55-yard pickup.
Parish Howell made the touchdown-saving tackle, but Nick Conley collected the short TD run for a Georgetown rushing attack that was otherwise limited to two net yards on 35 carries.
Thanks to Corolla’s repeated presence in the backfield, Campbellsville never nudged past midfield on either of its final two drives.
The Tigers’ previous school record in a single game was five tackles for loss, meaning that Corolla smashed both that and the sack record, which is unofficial.
NAIA’s record book does not feature individual sacks, either, listing only a team single-game record of 14.
Kevin McNamara of NCAA Division III St. John’s (Minnesota) owns the single-game mark for all collegiate levels with 7½ sacks in a 2005 game. The NCAA Division I record of six is shared by four players, including former University of Louisville and Denver Broncos’ star Elvis Dumervil against UK in 2005.
Sacks have been harder to achieve (and judge) in recent vintage due the proliferation of spread offenses, because tackles for loss are not considered sacks when they stop a designed running play by the quarterback.
In addition to the Corolla stops and Bothen’s strip-sack, Elijah Johnson, Sander Roksvag and Payton Standifer all had a piece of GC’s double-digit total.
Most of the night’s scoring took place early, with Georgetown charging out to a 10-7 lead.
The Tigers wasted an early opportunity after William Thomas forced a fumble and Derek Wellman recovered it at the Campbellsville 15 on the opening kickoff.
Darius Moore knocked the ball out of Daric Pugh’s hands to set up a Marcus McCants takeaway in reply at the 8-yard line.
Starr Thompson intercepted Sufia to put GC back in business. Scott County graduate Trey Binder brought down Thompson after a 22-yard return to Campbellsville territory.
Dampier (14-for-31, 263 yards) found Gilliam six times on the evening, including a 12-yard toss to put GC on the board.
Campbellsville answered with a seven-play, 70-yard scoring march, Sufia hit Arian Belt for 25 yards and Blake Baker ran for 21 more. A pass interference penalty later put Sufia in position for a 2-yard keeper.
Third-down conversions from Dampier to J.J. Ogbogu (13 yards) and Darius Barbour (16) set up SCHS product Tyler Dummer’s 39-yard field goal to reclaim the GC lead early in the second period.
Howell’s interception and 25-yard run back to the GC 32 led to the host Tigers’ second touchdown and a 14-10 halftime advantage. Sufia capped the quick turnaround with a 24-yard TD toss to Zachary Cole.
Pooch punts after being stopped in rival territory — two from Georgetown, one by Campbellsville — characterized the third quarter, Joshua Edwards’ second boot kept the visitors in control of the field position battle and set the stage for the game-changing fumble recovery.
Ryan Woolf added eight tackles to Corolla’s Herculean effort for the Tigers’ defense.
Georgetown hosts Pikeville in its homecoming game Saturday. It’s the first renewal of that bluegrass rivalry since 2016.
The Tigers played three of their first four games on the road, all at night. This was their first win away from Toyota Stadium.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.