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Rams get painful lesson from Georgetown

The high-powered Georgetown (Ky.) Tigers showed why they’re the fourth ranked NAIA football team in America

September 2, 2012

Original content provided by Brian Woodson of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

 

BLUEFIELD — Bluefield College found out how far they have to go as a football program on Saturday afternoon at Mitchell Stadium.

 

It really was men against boys.

 

“They are strong, they are physical, they are not overly huge, but they are all juniors and seniors and in two or three years we hope to be at that level,” Bluefield head coach Mike Gravier said. “Their freshmen don’t even have a number in their program and that is the point where we have got to get as a program.”

 

The high-powered Georgetown (Ky.) Tigers showed why they’re the fourth ranked NAIA football team in America with a 77-9 Mid-South Conference rout of the Rams, who played in just their second game since 1941.

 

Bluefield’s roster included 66 freshman players, including 25 first-teamers and 28 backups on the depth chart prior to the game.

 

“It is just an experienced team versus a bunch of sophomores and freshmen,” Georgetown head coach Bill Cronin said. “I have got all the respect in the world for them because this is what it takes and they are going to go through some tough times and it is just about the growth part of this thing.”

 

Georgetown, a three-time national champion and a national semifinalist last season, rolled up 528 yards on offense, scoring 11 touchdowns, while playing everyone on the roster, including four quarterbacks.

 

“I was pleased with our guys, they came out and they played hard,” Cronin said. “It was a great first game, we didn’t have a whole lot of mistakes, the few mistakes that we did have we have got to clean up and in time will do that. It is a great day and a great opportunity for us to get out and see what we have.”

 

Bluefield (0-2) saw it too. The Tigers scored 21 points in each of the three quarters, outgaining the Rams 528-143, including 152-8 in the opening period.

 

“That is a great football team and we knew it coming in, but you know what was disappointing is that a lot of those points were self-inflicted,” Gravier said. “Special teams, missed tackles, the offensive line didn’t fire off like off the way we expect them too.

 

“Give Georgetown a lot of credit because they are a very good physical football team, but a lot of those points we gave to them.”

 

Sophomore quarterback Neal Pawsat, who was taken out of the game in the second quarter, threw for 140 yards and a touchdown. Thirteen different players ran the ball for the Tigers, led by Melvin Posey, who had 121 yards and two scores — one of which went for 88 yards — while Blake Naylor had three touchdowns.

 

Georgetown also scored on an 87-yard kick return by Zach Sowder to open the third quarter, and then scored to open the final period when Ryan Vaughn blocked his second punt of the game, picked up the pigskin and jogged into the end zone for a touchdown.

 

“I didn’t know what to expect, I thought they played well last week and I thought they did a lot of the same things that they did last week, but it is just our guys just overwhelmed them a little bit,” said Cronin, who was in Bluefield for the Rams’ 42-28 loss to the University of Pikeville last week.

 

“We have a little bit more experience and a little more of depth on the defensive side and they just played hard. You can’t substitute when guys are playing hard and that is all it is was.

 

“I can’t ask my kids not to go out and play hard. When you go out and don’t play hard. you start getting injuries. I thought it was a real good sign of a disciplined football team and that is what all coaches are looking for.”

 

Bluefield punted 10 times, with two those blocked, and managed to score twice. The Rams went 3-and-out nine times, and didn’t get a first down until their fourth possession on a Georgetown penalty.

 

By then they were already down 21-0. That deficit grew to 35-0 before Bluefield finally got its lone sustained drive of the game, with Greg Hampton connecting with four different receivers late in the second quarter, finally hitting Rodrell Smith from 35 yards out in the end zone with 2:13 on the clock to narrow the margin to 28.

 

It quickly grew back to 35. Georgetown’s Adam Schmitz took a short pass from backup quarterback Van Isaac, walked a tightrope down the sidelines and dashed 57 yards to the Rams’ 4. Two plays later, Posey scored on a 1-yard plunge for the 42-7 halftime lead.

 

“We are very fortunate to have a little bit depth, I think everybody got in and got ample time...,” Cronin said. “I was really pleased with the way the guys stayed focused. It is not easy to do, to stay focused for four quarters like we did. We had a few mistakes and we rebounded after them and that is always a good sign.”

 

It was more of the same after the break, with Bluefield getting on the board when Georgetown was forced to punt for the first time. However, the snap sailed over Cody Parker’s head and into the end zone, and Harry Casseus tackled him in the end zone for the safety to pull within 49-9.

 

Georgetown answered again with four more scores, two of which were set up by blocked punts from Vaughn.

 

“You are going to have these moments, but I just told the team special teams is all about desire and wanting to run down and make something happen,” Gravier said. “We didn’t have that desire from some of our guys today so we have got to make some changes.

 

“This whole season is very fluid. We said that from the very beginning and some guys will kind of rise and fall and games like this and experiences like this you really see what you are made out of.”

 

For those who might look at the score and wonder about all those points, there was never any evidence of running up the score.

 

It was simply the Tigers dominating from the start to finish, with an opportunity at the 7 in the final seconds to reach the 80-point plateau.

 

“Bill is not going to do that, he is a classy guy,” Gravier said. “I have known Bill for 20 years and he is not going to do that. They took a knee, they could have easily scored another one. They were running the same play over and over again so I never once questioned they were running up the score.”

 

Cronin said that Georgetown (1-0), which has won the last two MSC titles, wasn’t trying to send any kind of message to the rest of the league.

 

“That wasn’t what we were looking for at all,” Cronin said. “We just came out to take a first step in what we hope will be a good journey this year and just like any other team we have to continue to get better each week and hopefully we can do that.”

 

Cronin expects Bluefield to continue to improve, having experienced a similar loss while an assistant at Georgetown, a 70-13 beating in 1982 in Michigan.

 

“They have to find a way to get better and sometimes it is hard to judge what that improvement is, but you have got to continue week in and week out to improve a little bit,” Cronin said. “We have been there before, I remember in 1982 up in Northwood, Michigan getting thumped just like this and you just have to continue to roll.

 

“You have to find a way to continue to improve and work at it and who knows where you will end up. I know Mike will do that, Mike is a quality coach and he has a quality staff and they will rebound from this I am sure.”

 

Up next for Bluefield is the Rams’ first road trip since 1941, a visit to Kentucky Christian. The Knights were 4-7 last year, but they’re 1-0 this year, having upset nationally-ranked Lindsey Wilson 27-20 two weeks ago.

 

“Now you have got to learn to put it out of your mind, you have got to forget about it and you just need to move forward and that is probably going to be difficult for some of these kids and as coaches we have got to make sure that we do keep things focused on Kentucky Christian,” Gravier said. “That is our next task and I told them if we sit around and say woe is me and dwell on this then Kentucky Christian can do the same thing to us.”

 

The work for Week 3 has already begun. That is just the way coaches are.

 

“We start working on Kentucky Christian, you have got to put this one out of your mind and move forward,” Gravier said. “That is the great thing about football, that is a why a bunch of ADD coaches coach it because we can’t focus on one thing for too long and now we have to focus on something new.”

 

Kickoff next Saturday in Grayson, Ky. is at 1:30 p.m.

 

—Contact Brian Woodson at

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