GEORGETOWN — This one lived up to the hype.
County rivals? Check.
Large crowd? Check.
Big hits? Check.
One of the largest crowds in Thomas L. Smith, Sr. Stadium history watched as county rivals Georgetown and Carvers Bay squared off in a slugfest on Friday night. In the end, the Bears handed the Georgetown Bulldogs’ their first loss of the season with a 22-14 victory.
“Last week, we played flat,” Carvers Bay coach Nate Thompson said. “I think we took some things for granted. This week, we knew we could not take it for granted. We knew if we didn’t come to play [Georgetown was] going to blow us off the field. Our kids have a will about them, they got some pride. They came to play tonight.”
The turning point came early in the fourth quarter when Georgetown quarterback Jarvis Brown rolled right and fumbled at the Georgetown 1. Carvers Bay recovered the ball and Hykeem Hampton scored on the next play to give the Bears a 22-14 lead that the Bulldogs could not overcome. On Brown’s fumble, the sophomore tried to throw the ball, but the ball popped loose right when he started his throwing motion, and the official ruled it a fumble instead of an incomplete pass.
Georgetown coach Bradley Adams wasn’t happy about the call or the effort from some of his players.
“It was not a good call, at all,” Adams said. “It was a blown call. [The game] was very physical. It was gut check for us tonight and some people responded and some people didn’t. It is that simple. … Those that didn’t respond they won’t be playing next week.”
In a game dominated by defenses, especially the Bears’ defensive line, the ruling loomed large. After Hampton’s scoring run, Georgetown had the ball three more times, but only managed minus-1 yard on 10 plays. The Bears offense also did its part after the go-ahead score, taking over with 6:39 left in the game and not giving the ball back to the Bulldogs until 21 seconds were left.
The win provides a little redemption for the Bears, who were coming off a loss to fellow county rival Andrews last week.
“It kind of solidifies us,” Carvers Bay coach Nate Thompson said of the win. “We had to find ourselves after the loss to Andrews. When we come out and play a good ballgame, good things happen. Tonight we played a good ballgame.”
All throughout the night, big hits were coming from all over the field. Georgetown registered 10 tackles for loss while Carvers Bay had five. Georgetown ended the game with three turnovers and Carvers Bay had two. In the end though, the Bears’ had better results, holding Georgetown to 125 total yards on 53 plays. Carvers Bay’s offense managed 328 yards on 66 plays.
“If you were here, you knew it was physical because neither team wanted to lose,” Thompson said. “Georgetown is a good team, do not ever underestimate them. We came in here tonight prepared to play.’
Georgetown was buoyed by the return of senior linebacker Jordan Ward, who had missed the previous two games with an ankle injury but registered 20 tackles against Carvers Bay. However, the Bulldogs suffered a big setback late in the first half when junior running back Michael Billings suffered an injury near the goal line. Billings had 61 yards rushing in the first half, but finished the game with only 72 yards.
“We had to take [Billings] out,” Adams said. “We had to play with a very young guy. We lost both our tailbacks tonight.”
In the first half, every time Georgetown would appear to seize the momentum Carvers Bay had an answer. Georgetown scored first as Billings walked in from two yards out, but the Bulldogs missed the extra point. Just two minutes later, Carvers Bay went ahead 7-6 on senior Devin Cuttino’s 45-yard scoring run.
The Bulldogs’ second score was set up by Javon Leake’s 39-yard fumble return. The junior linebacker gathered up a mishandled pitch in the Carvers Bay backfield and returned it to the Carvers Bay 30. Junior offensive lineman Jalil Smith got the call at the goal line and put the Bulldogs up 12-7. Ward added the two-point conversion run to make it 14-7.
Once again Carvers Bay quickly answered. The Bears’ ensuing drive ended when Lewis Morant rumbled around the right side for a 28-yard score. On that drive, Carvers Bay faced a 3rd-and-20 situation, but an 18-yard pass play and then a 2-yard run gave the Bears a first down. The next play Morant tied it up.
Mobley had a game-high 127 yards rushing on 15 attempts while Morant had 89 yards on 16 carries.
Georgetown will travel to Loris next Friday for its final non-region game of the season. The Bulldogs open up Region VII-AAA on Oct. 4 with a visit to St. James. Carvers Bay will host St. James next Friday.