Centre’s ‘Praying Colonels’ may have played its best game this year besting Sewanee 35-16 in spite of some miscues
Lots of relieved Centre fans left Boyle County High collectively breathing sighs of semi-contentment as the team looked to have much more offensive life than it has all year. Centre ran its record to 4-1 on the year and 2-0 in SAA play. With a tough game with Berry College upcoming, hopefully in the newly built stadium, the improved play couldn’t have arrived any sooner.Fletcher W. Long, KPGFootball Senior Scout
First of all, we feel at KPGFootball we need to enter into the record a disclaimer. We have looked at the statistics of record on d3football.com, and they appear to contain more than a few discrepancies. All we can say here is we have nothing to do with the logging of statistics onto the official website of NCAA, Division III football.
Unless we are provided with an alternate set of stats, then we are forced to go with whatever is logged onto the official site above linked by whomever is charged with that duty. Now we are sorry about the stats, but what we have here is what was recorded; so on to the story.
Against the Sewanee Tigers, Centre was credited with 13-first downs, nearly twice as many as the team logged against the Lynx in Memphis a week ago. Centre rushed the ball 33-times and gained 221-yards on the day. Centre averaged 6.7-yards per rushing attempt and threw the football efficiently if not entirely effectively.
Centre two QBs threw a pair of picks, one of which was a “pick six.” Centre fumbled three times on the day, losing two of those. Both Nick Osterman and Beau Buchanan split the snaps at QB and the division appeared fairly even, at least in the first half.
Centre was two (2) for 11 on third down. Centre was one (1) for three (3) on fourth down.
Centre’s defense was staunch. Sewanee rushed it from scrimmage 38-times gaining a net 16-yards on the day. They threw the football for 76-yards, netting 92-yards of total offense. Any time a college football team can hold any college foe to less than 100-yards total offense, that defense has had a tremendous day.
Michael McGhee, who was among the league leaders in rushing on the season prior to the game with Centre, was credited with gaining 40-yards rushing on 21-carries with a long of 8-yards and a single rushing TD. We were surprised to see he gained positive yardage on the afternoon, if we are being honest. That was a heck of a quiet 40-yards, if he did actually gain 40.
Sewanee was 4 for 15 on third down. Sewanee was one (1) for one (1) on fourth down.
Centre recorded three sacks, one by Armon Wells, one by Miles Smith, and a sack split between Ollie Hunter and Blaine Hardin.
Nick Osterman led the passers with 49-passing yards and Beau Buchanan threw for 20.
The rushing stats are peculiar, but like we above stated, they are all we have to analyze. Osterman is listed as having netted 119-yards on the ground with a long rush of 99-yards. The statistics have him with 7-rushing attempts and scoring two touchdowns on the ground while averaging 17-yards per rushing attempt.
As for the 99-yard rushing score, we must confess we missed that play. We must have been visiting concessions when it happened.
Will McDaniel started at tailback on Saturday and is credited with gaining a net of 49-yards while having gained 76-yards on the ground in 19-carries. We have consulted a trusted source who had McDaniel with 81-yards rushing gross, and 75-yards rushing net on the afternoon. All told, rushing and receiving, McDaniel had 116-total yards, a very fine afternoon in deed.
According to the statistics initially logged onto the website, McDaniel had nine more yards net rushing than McGhee for Sewanee. We figured McDaniel had to have rushed for more than 80-yards on the day and we didn’t see McGhee gain a single net yard, so we wouldn’t have guessed the two were anywhere close in rushing production.
Keeton Martin (K-Mart) had an impressive burst through the middle for a TD. The senior from PeWee Valley showed tremendous explosion and speed, knifing through the Sewanee defense for what was registered as a 20-yard score.
Defensively, the “usual cast of characters” came through again Saturday. Armon Wells led all tacklers with 13-hits and was in on 5-tackles in the backfield. Oliver Hunter had 5-stops, two of which were for losses. Kerci Vincent collected six hits, two of which put the Tiger offense in a hole and behind the chains.
Jack Colosimo continued his strong defensive play. The senior DB from Hickory NC, registered 4-hits together with a TFL and several successfully defended passing attempts thrown his way. We would also credit Colosimo for having the “Coolest Dad” in the program. Dean’s the man. This isn’t really much of a contest.
We would like to mention the play of Blane Hardin. Blane is a senior DL from Lexington Christian and he gets consistent, though somewhat limited, snaps in every game. It just seems like every time he gets in the game, he does something spectacular, whether it shows in the official statistics or not.
Blane yesterday, against Sewanee, was only credited with one tackle in the backfield (TFL). However, he made consistent penetration and was in the QB’s face (it seemed) every time Blane’s number was called to enter the game.
Kudos to Hardin who demonstrates, week after week, the old adage attributed to the theater is true. There really are no small roles, just small actors.
Special teams continued its “especially good play.” Nick Whitlow downed another punt inside the 20, a key statistic at the D3 level of competition.
The transfer from Carson Newman, who is playing better and better each week at linebacker (3-registered tackles yesterday), Duerell Bard, returned one 44-yards on a Sewanee kickoff. Scotty Brown ripped a 15-yard punt return to set us up with enviable field position.
While we mentioned Blane Hardin’s efforts above we would be remiss if we didn’t mention sophomore, William Long, getting some cleanup snaps at the end of the game. Long has battled some nagging health issues this season but looks to be rounding into shape.
On Long’s first snap in the game, the 5’10,” 240-pound DL from Breathitt County, KY, broke straight through the interior OL, forcing the back to have to come up and block him, which applied considerable “heat” to the Tiger passer. The Sewanee QB was flushed from the pocket in what could have been credited as a “QB pressure.”
As above discussed at length, there are serious questions regarding statistics from this and even prior weeks which won’t be resolved here. Scorekeepers aside, we hope to see more of that from Long as the season marches forward.
Long is a player who draws raves from coaches and teammates alike for what he contributes in practice. We would like to see him get some opportunity to show these same attributes in game settings.
Next up for Centre is a homecoming date with Berry College. Berry is among the very best football programs in the SAA and a tough challenge on homecoming any year, particularly this year.
Rumor is this will be our inaugural game in the new stadium. If so, the excitement level should at “fever pitch.”
Berry is coming off a 34-0 dismantling of Rhodes College at Valhalla (Berry, GA). Yes that is the same Rhodes team with which we mightily struggled.
Berry is 3-2 on the year but that is a bit misleading. The Vikings have lost to traditional heavyweights, UW-Whitewater (Wisconsin White-Water) and Birmingham-Southern (BSU). Lots of folks would lose to those two opponents, like most teams in the country.
Berry travels to Danville to take on Centre then travels to San Antonio to play 5th-ranked Trinity College. Maybe they will be looking past the Colonels. One can hope.
Against Rhodes, Berry had 22-first downs while allowing seven (7), gained 169-yards rushing while allowing 64, Threw for 154-yards while allowing 91.
Against the Lynx, the Vikings were three (3) for 12 on third down and two (2) for three (3) on fourth down. We would be remiss in not remarking Rhodes fumbled 6-times losing two and threw an INT.
Berry’s QB, Blake Hembree, was 13 for 27 passing for 154-yards and a TD while throwing one-pick and being sacked once. He is a threat to extend plays with his feet as he rushed 7-times for 25-yards with a long of 13 against Rhodes. We wouldn’t say he is a weapon running the football particularly but he is shifty and hard to corral.
Jacoby Ray is the top down field threat for the Vikings. He averaged over 15-yards a reception Saturday. Bryce Herring was the leading receiving in number of catches and caught the lone TD.
Josh Rogers is the leading ball carrier for the Vikings and is similar to the kid from Sewanee we just faced in that he has gotten loose this season for some impressive runs and accumulated some impressive yardage totals. He had over a hundred yards rushing Saturday on 16-attempts, averaging 6.5 yards per rush with a long of 16.
Brandon Cade gets a ton of work in the redone around the goal line. He scored a pair of rushing TDs against Rhodes to lead the team.
Braeson Parker is the big stick on defense for the Vikings. The LBer generally leads the team in total hits. He gets down hill and makes plays in the offensive backfield too by way of TFL’s and QB-sacks.
Jaden Melville played a bunch of snaps this past Saturday running ball carriers and passers around the offensive backfield. He led the team with tow (2)-TFL’s and the team’s biggest QB-sack on the afternoon (loss of 12 on the play).
Kristofer Thomas, Andrew Nguyen, Chris Grant, and Destin Patrick patrol the defense back third for the Vikings and are active in the pass defense.
The place kicker is Mathew Syverson and he is a real weapon. He converted on two (2) of his three (3) attempts Saturday against Rhodes, averaged 60+ yards on kickoffs in 7-attempts, and made all four of his PAT’s. He punts too and averaged 38.7 yards per punt downing two (2) of his three (3) punts inside the 20-yard line. Like we said, he is a weapon.
Nate Lyons is a dangerous kick returner. He had close to 100-return yards Saturday (98) just in returned punts, with a long of 36-yards. Bryce Herring handles the kick return duties.
KPGFootball take: Centre will have to be at the top of its game in all three phases of football to overcome the challenge Berry presents. Berry College is a team much better than its 3-2 mark. Had they scheduled a bit easier, particularly out of conference, this would be a battle between two 4-1 ball clubs. We are going to have to continue to run the ball well and throw the ball credibly to beat the Vikings. We can’t afford fumbles, pick-sixes, and other miscues either or this one can go south on us pretty fast.
We look forward to seeing everyone back on Centre’s campus playing within the new friendly confines of our very own bright, shining, new stadium.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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