Teamwork makes the dream work

Zyan Bethel, left, and Kyren Simpson of Georgetown combine for the tackle of Lindsey Wilson's Joshua Lewis during Friday's game at Toyota Stadium. Three turnovers foiled the Tigers in a 35-14 loss.

If you told Georgetown College it would pile up 505 yards in Friday afternoon’s Mid-South Bluegrass Conference football showdown against Lindsey Wilson College – almost double the total the Blue Raiders allowed in two previous games – the Tigers would have taken it, run, and felt great about their chances of victory at Toyota Stadium.

But beating Lindsey Wilson, as GC has learned the hard way for seven seasons running, requires more than consistent gains. Finishing drives and avoiding unforced errors are both essential.

No. 19 Georgetown fell shy in both those departments in a 35-14 loss that left No. 4 Lindsey Wilson with the inside track to yet another division title.

A botched snap on a punt that led to a Lindsey Wilson touchdown, an interception at the goal line and a lost fumble inside the 10 all threw the Tigers for a loop.

And GC repeatedly ran into a concrete wall any time it sniffed the LWC red zone. Six tries on fourth down all failed to extend promising series.

Some of those difficulties were a consequence of being in constant catch-up mode. Lindsey Wilson (3-0) went the distance with its first two possessions to build a 14-7 lead.

Cameron Dukes capped the Blue Raiders’ opening nine-play, 91-yard march with a 16-yard touchdown strike to Terrill Cole Jr. GC initially dodged disaster when Lindsey Wilson’s apparent runback of the opening kickoff for a score was nullified by a block in the back.

Georgetown answered promisingly with a score on its opening drive, a 1-yard sweep by Darius Barbour. Four consecutive completions from Hunter Krause to Noah Kremer and Jake Johnson, the longest a 43-yard strike to Johnson, set up the short run.

Dukes (13-for-21, 240 yards) hit Cole for 29 yards to ignite the Blue Raiders’ next march. He capped it with a 2-yard keeper on fourth down with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter.

Latrell Streater increased the halftime advantage to 21-7 when he scooped up the errant snap that sailed over the head of GC punter Webb Bates and covered the remaining 15 yards into the end zone with 2:38 to go in the half.

It was deflating to a Tigers’ defense that had finally settled in against the Blue Raiders, serving up three straight three-and-outs while surrendering 11 net yards.

The Blue Raiders scored on two of their first three drives of the second half to put it out of reach.

Joshua Lewis grabbed an 8-yard toss from Dukes in the back left corner of the end zone with 8:03 remaining in the third quarter. Michael Leslie set up that score by picking off Krause and reaching midfield down the home sideline before Sam Dingle made the tackle.

Darius Clark banged in from three yards out at the 12:33 mark of the fourth, finishing what Kaine Yates started with a 67-yard catch over the middle from Dukes. That followed a turnover on downs after the Blue Raiders stopped a run by Isaiah Cobb one yard shy of the stick at the LWC 21.

Zach Dampier, who engineered an unforgettable comeback from the same 35-7 deficit against Cumberland last year, rallied GC with a 37-yard TD toss to Tamir Jones.

After another three-and-out from the Tigers’ defense, Dampier delivered a 31-yard dime to Johnson and scrambled 12 yards to get the Tigers inside the 5. A strip sack by Cameron Thurman slammed that door, though. Luke Bowman made the recovery.

Krause (24-for-38, 309 yards) and Dampier (16-for-21, 179 yards) combined for staggering numbers through the air. Aaron Maggard caught a team-high 10 passes for 86 yards. Barbour had eight receptions for 98 yards, while Johnson snagged five for 102.

Marcus Omosule, Chad Holleran and DJ White combined for four sacks of Dukes. Rob Sheffield’s six solo tackles led the Tigers, who out-gained the Blue Raiders by 187 yards. Lindsey Wilson logged 154 of its 318 yards on its first two series.

Georgetown is scheduled to host division rivals each of the next two Fridays – Campbellsville on March 12, followed by Bethel on March 19.

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