Georgetown 28, Cumberland 7
GEORGETOWN, Ky. - Quarterback Ozzie Mann tossed four touchdown passes Thursday night to lead 18th-ranked Georgetown College to a 28-7 victory over Cumberland at Toyota Stadium.
The Phoenix (0-2) gained just 31 yards in the first half, but the CU defense kept the Tigers (1-0) out of the end zone after the opening drive of the game until the final seconds of the half.
Georgetown ran 44 plays in the first two quarters for 194 yards.
"The credit goes to Georgetown and their coaching staff," said CU head coach Donnie Suber. "We had 'em in a third and long and wound up giving them a 17 yard pass play -- that kind of stuff got us in the first game too.
"We battled, but I'm disappointed with how we finished the game.
Mann finished 26-for-36 for 330 yards and four TDs, including four and six-yard passes for Ross Cox in the first half.
"Mann is a good player," Suber said. "We tried to mix up the coverage some but it was hard getting pressure on him because I didn't want to leave our secondary in man coverage.
"He made the plays when he had to, they had pretty good check downs. Our tackling isn't very good right now either.
"It boils down to our game plan wasn't what it needed to be. We didn't practice the way we needed to this week. With an open week coming, we need a little break from each other."
The Tigers tossed a 37-yard TD throw on fourth down in the fourth quarter and Bart Bell broke one tackle and went 56 yards for a score later in the final period.
Cumberland's lone bright spot on offense was Michael Green, who caught three passes for 143 yards, including a 45-yard reception late in the third quarter and a 92-yard catch-and-run for a score early in the fourth period.
Dezmon Huntley completed 7-of-19 passes for 194 yards and was picked off twice.
Linebacker Nathan Jernigan finished with 12 tackles and safety DeAnthony Patrick added 11 stops for the defense, who spent almost 40 minutes on the field.
Georgetown marched 72 yards on 10 plays on the opening drive of the game, with Mann completing passes for a combined 41 yards to Kyle Longworth and JJ Jude. A pair of penalties backed up the Tigers, but Mann found Bell for 22 yards and hit Cox on a fade route from four yards for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead just over five minutes into the game.
The Tigers missed a golden opportunity to add to the lead late in the first quarter, taking over at the CU12 after Matthew Alter fumbled a low snap on a punt. A pass interference penalty gave Georgetown a first down at the four, but a shotgun snap sailed well over the head of Mann, all the way back to the 31.
The home team completed two passes to the five, but Mann's pass to Cox on fourth down was incomplete, giving the ball back to the Phoenix.
Late in the second period a roughing the passer penalty on Cumberland moved the ball to the CU40 and Cox caught a 13-yard pass for another first down, but Mann's pass to the end zone was intercepted by David Emanuel, ending the threat.
The Phoenix gave the ball right back, with Huntley's pass over the middle picked off by Brandon Napoleon, who returned it to the CU24. Mann was sacked by Jernigan on first down, but consecutive completions and a nine-yard rush by the Georgetown QB moved the ball to the five.
A pass interference penalty in the end zone gave the Tigers another set of downs in the final minute of the half and Mann found Cox on a slant pass from six yards out just 14 seconds before intermission, giving the home team a 14-0 lead at the break.
Georgetown ran 44 plays in the first two quarters and outgained the Phoenix, 194-31. The Tigers also held the ball for over 21 minutes.
In the second half the Phoenix moved the ball with more regularity, completing a 45-yard pass from Huntley to Green at the end of the third period. Huntley rushed twice for 18 yards, but false start and illegal substitution penalties backed up the Phoenix to the Georgetown 16. On fourth down Kendall Johnson dropped a pass that might have turned into a first down.
The Cumberland defense held again and the Phoenix took over on its down 37, but the Tigers held on fourth down, this time knocking down Kris Parker on 4th-and-1.
Georgetown hit the big play on its next possession, hitting Joe Ganci down the middle on fourth down for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Huntley and Green hooked up again on the ensuing drive, with Green getting behind the defense for a 92-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 21-7 with 7:52 remaining.
Georgetown answered right back, with Bell catching a short pass along the sideline before breaking a tackle and going 56 yards for the TD, extending the Tigers lead to 28-7.
Cumberland has next week off before returning to action at home September 17 against the University of the Cumberlands at 1:30 p.m.