GEORGETOWN, Ky (WKYT) - Georgetown College football travels to Helena, Montana to play Carroll College in the NAIA Football Championship first round. The kickoff is set for 2 pm and will be broadcast on the CW Lexington.
The No. 13 Tigers (7-3) have played No. 3 Saints (10-1) on four previous occasions with the series tied 2-2. GC took the first two meetings en route to back-to-back national titles in 2000-2001, while Carroll won in 2002 and 2011.
From that Tigers' team three seasons ago are several marque players. Neal Pawsat was just a freshman quarterback in 2011 and he was surrounded by offensive weapons Zach Sowder and Branden Burdette. Brock Messina, Chaz Morton, Grant Keller and Patrick Dougherty also played a big role defensively three years ago. Pawsat went 18-of-38 for 173 yards in his first ever collegiate loss. Sowder was the leading GC rusher that day with 30 yards on eight carries. Burdette was the leading receiver with four catches for 55 yards.
Georgetown has already battle tested themselves this season, playing Ohio Dominican (NCAA Division II), University of the Cumberlands, Faulkner and Lindsey Wilson (all in the Top 25 rankings).
"We stepped our schedule up this season right off the bat with playing Ohio Dominican," Georgetown coach Bill Cronin said. "Hopefully our schedule has prepared us for this. We played No. 1 Cumberlands, No. 10 Faulkner and No. 15 Lindsey. We've had our backs up against the wall and fought back. We are happy to be in the playoffs and happy to play Carroll."
Sowder is the leading rusher this season. The senior has 631 yards on 131 attempts with 10 touchdowns. Pawsat has thrown for 2,177 yards on 157 completions with nine interceptions and 16 touchdowns. He also missed two games recently.
Defensively, the Tigers have 654 tackles, including 35.5 sacks for a loss of 243 yards. Georgetown is allowing an average of 20 points.
Dustin Rinker leads CC in rushing with 291 carries for 1,581 yards and 12 of the 23 rushing touchdowns. Dakota Stonehouse has thrown for 2,046 yards on 138 completions with five interceptions and 24 touchdowns. He is also the second leading rusher with 661 yards on 109 carries and five scores. Defensively, the Saints have 784 tackles with 31.5 sacks for a loss of 205 yards. Teams are averaging just more than two scores against CC this season.