GEORGETOWN — It took a quarter for Belton and Georgetown to find their offensive footing Friday night in the season opener. But once they did, each team proved almost equally difficult to stop.
In the end, though, it was a key interception and pass breakups by Belton on two drives that made the difference in the Tigers’ 35-31 win over the Eagles at Birkelbach Field in a game that was delayed 45 minutes before the start because of lightning.
It marked Belton’s first win in a season opener since a 49-12 decision against Waco University in 2015.
Just before the snap, Morgan motioned to Brown to draw his attention then streaked past his defender as Brown delivered a pass into his hands, and Morgan ran to the end zone for the go-ahead score, creating the fifth and final lead change of the night. There also were three ties in the back-and-forth affair.
Morgan led all players with 120 yards receiving on eight receptions, including a pair of touchdowns.
He also scored the Tigers’ first touchdown on a 28-yard grab from Brown with 8:20 left in the second quarter, capping a seven-play, 73-yard drive to tie it at 7.
Brown, who came on in the second quarter while sharing time under center with junior Slade LeBlanc, had a stellar varsity debut, completing 18 of 22 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. Neither Belton passer threw an interception.
On Georgetown’s final drive, Belton senior Kage Carmichael broke up a Darson Herman pass on a fourth-and-4 with just more than a minute left to seal the win.
The Tigers’ Connor Whitman had an interception earlier in the fourth to set his team up with a short field. Belton capitalized with LJ Underwood’s 16-yard touchdown run up the middle to provide a 28-24 lead with 6:12 remaining.
Underwood set up his scoring run with an 18-yard scamper through the middle of the defense on the previous play. The junior led the Tigers with 93 yards rushing, 66 of which came in the second half.
Georgetown answered Underwood’s score with a four-play drive, capped by Herman’s 61-yard run on a quarterback keeper to reclaim the lead at 31-28 with 4:45 left.
It marked the longest run by anybody all night.
Herman finished with 90 yards rushing to go along with 242 yards passing and two scores, although Belton intercepted him twice.
Devin Ross led the Eagles on the ground with 92 yards rushing on 19 carries.
Both teams woke up quickly in the second after trudging through a scoreless first. They matched scores on four consecutive possessions that started when Herman found Petter for a 37-yard score to open the quarter.
Belton responded with its seven-play, 73-yard drive that ended in Morgan’s 28-yard score when he caught Brown’s pass at the 20-yard line, juked his defender, then proceeded down the sideline untouched to tie the game.
Brown earlier found Angel Guerrero for a 13-yard strike on a third-and-11 to keep the drive alive, marking the Tigers’ initial first down of the night.
The Eagles again struck quickly three plays later, capped with a 65-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline from Herman to Hayden Doering, making it 14-7 with 7:17 showing in the second.
Belton then put together an eight-play, 56-yard scoring drive that included first down passes from Brown to Henry and Underwood. Henry finished the drive off with a 5-yard TD grab.
The senior ended the night with 91 yards receiving, including a pair of touchdowns, on five receptions.
Belton’s Aaron Bain also intercepted Herman in the first quarter.
BELTON 35, GEORGETOWN 31
Belton 0 14 7 14 — 35
Geo — Andrew Petter 37 pass from Darson Herman (Carson Sauseda kick)
Bel — Seth Morgan 28 pass from Ty Brown (Zach White kick)
Geo — Hayden Doering 65 pass from Herman (Sauseda kick)
Bel — Bryan Henry 5 pass from Brown (White kick)
Bel — Henry 48 pass from Brown (White kick)
Geo — Caylen David-Mosse 2 run (Sauseda kick)
Geo — Sauseda 35 field goal
Bel — LJ Underwood 16 run (White kick)
Geo — Herman 61 run (Sauseda kick)
Bel — Morgan 44 pass from Brown (White kick)
First downs 16 20
Rushes-yards 24-77 39-190
Passing yards 289 242
Comp.-Att.-Int. 21-27-0 16-34-2
Punts-average 5-42.8 1-25.0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 9-70 4-25
RUSHING — Belton, Underwood 14-93, Elijah Warner 2-6, Slade LeBlanc 4-( minus 2), Brown 1-(minus 3), Team 3-(minus 17). Georgetown, Devin Ross 19-92, Herman 11-90, Petter 7-12, David-Mosse 1-2, Team 1-(minus 6).
PASSING — Belton, Brown 18-22-0-270, LeBlanc 3-5-0-19. Georgetown, Herman 16-34-2-242.
RECEIVING — Belton, Morgan 8-120, Henry 5-91, Underwood 2-17, Mason Ramm 2-11, Angel Guerrero 1-39, Javier Luna 1-10, Garrett Oliveira 1-(minus 2). Georgetown, Marquis Dominguez 6-47, Petter 5-81, Drayden Dickmann 4-17, Doering 1-65.