The decision to play for the win instead of the tie after scoring a last-minute touchdown went awry for Arkansas at Ole Miss on Saturday, but it proved brilliant for Bethel University in an upset of previously undefeated No. 8 Georgetown College, 25-24, at McKenzie, Tennessee.
De'Ontay Tate capped a six-play, 68-yard match with a 3-yard run that cut the Wildcats' deficit to one point with 56 seconds remaining.
Bethel (4-2) sent its offense back onto the field, and Nolan Chowbay found James Dixon with the two-point conversion pass.
Georgetown didn't gain a first down with its last-ditch drive. A third-down connection from Brandon Burgess to Jake Johnson made it fourth-and-1 from the Tigers' 34, but a false start penalty set GC back five yards, and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
GC (4-1) led 16-7 after a sack for a safety in the final minute of the third quarter. Bethel twice rallied to reclaim the lead.
Chowbay and Dieuly Aristilde hooked up for their second touchdown of the afternoon, a 22-yarder, and Luis' Morales extra point made it a two-point margin with 12:29 to play.
The Tigers went three-and-out on their next series, also foiled by a false start, and the Wildcats took advantage by driving into range for a 30-yard, go-ahead field goal by Morales.
Burgess scored on a keeper for the third time from six yards out to put the Tigers back on top with 5:10 to go. GC went for two and converted on a strike from Burgess to Johnson.
It was the toughest throwing day of Burgess' senior season. He went 8-for-28 for 94 yards with an interception while rushing for a team-high 41 yards on 15 attempts.
Aristilde and Chowbay gave Bethel an early 7-0 lead with a 79-yard bomb. Burgess answered with a 17-yard score late in the first quarter, and that 7-7 score held up through the half.
A flanker option pass — 44 yards from Johnson and Aaron Maggard — christened the second half and set up a 12-yard scoring run from Burgess for the Tigers' first lead.
Davon Starks and Chad Holleran had interceptions to led the Georgetown defense. DJ White delivered three of the Tigers' 12 tackles for loss.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.