With 70% of the regular season in the books, Centre still running its conference title race
Center College is 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA). The Colonels will host Trinity University (TX, 7-0, 4-0) and then will travel to Birmingham to contest Birmingham Southern University (BSU, 5-2, 3-1). The Colonels, seven (7) games into the season, are still very much in the title hunt. In fact, the Colonels hold their own destiny in their hands. Those who have counted this bunch out, have been premature. The question is…how are the men in the locker room feeling right about now?Fletcher W. Long, KPGFootball’s Senior Scout
Saint Paul once wrote about having fought the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith. He was facing much more dire consequences at the time than the Centre College Colonel football team faces today.
However those words do hearken the ring of truth on the Sunday on which this article is being submitted. You see, after losing to Berry, and especially the way we did, there were those in our fandom ready to throw in the towel, or call it a day. We heard a lot about “Well, our boys fought the good fight this year.”
Those sentiments seemed then, and definitely look now, to have been a bit premature. The reality is, we aren’t out of anything.
The entire scenario reminds this author of the time Samuel Clemons, better known as “Mark Twain,” reportedly opened up a newspaper only to be treated to reading his own obituary. It was 1897 and the paper was the New York Journal.
Twain wrote the paper’s editor and said, “The reports of my death are grossly exaggerated.” So, too, are the reports of Centre’s death.
Centre is 3-1 in SAA play. Berry has lost twice.
Should Centre beat both Trinity University (Trinity) and Birmingham Southern University (BSU), they would win the entire conference race outright, as we would win the “head to head” with Trinity and our winning next week against BSU would give BSU two conferences losses.
Of course, we would need to win our finale with Millsaps in Danville. We are also assuming BSU overcomes Hendrix, in Birmingham next week, before playing Centre the week after and then survives its trip to Memphis to play Rhodes on November 12, 2022.
Looking back at the Hendrix game
All of this would have fallen by the wayside had the Colonels gone down to Conway, Arkansas and fallen on its sword yesterday. Without a truly Herculean offensive effort, that may well have been the result reached.
Centre College put on the offensive show of the year. As luck would have it, all 45-of its points and 506 of its total yards would be required to outpace the 42-points the Warriors boarded themselves.
Nick Osterman was brilliant. For a QB whose play has been as maligned and criticized as his has been this season, his game-play Saturday was remarkable and a sight for sore eyes.
It is hard to follow a legend. Having to fill the shoes somewhat unexpectedly for a QB who was projected to be first team all-conference, if not an all-American, is hard for any player. Osterman proved himself up to that challenge on Saturday in Arkansas.
Osterman’s stat-line was 25 for 33 for 294-yards and 4-TD’s with 2-INT’s. How do you like them apples?
Sophomore, Will McDaniel, is rounding into the star running back we expected of him coming out of the prep ranks as the Coaches Kentucky 4A Player of the Year in 2020. McDaniel went over 100-yard mark for the second consecutive week.
McDaniel carried it 17-times for 109-yards with a long on the day of 33-yards. McDaniel, who has a quiver full of talents useful on a football field, also caught 2-passes for 39-yards and a TD while returning the only kickoff foolishly angled his way for 40-yards.
Quinton Moss scored a rushing TD for the Colonels. So did Nick Osterman, as if he hadn’t already done enough.
Sam Murray had a break-out game yesterday (for this season) though his capabilities can never be questioned with the career he has had in the Gold and White. Yesterday being Murray’s seasonal “break-out” is really the only way to describe it. The senior caught 8-passes on the afternoon for 83-yards and a TD.
Christian Biliter caught 3-balls for 60-yards and a TD. Scotty Brown caught 3-passes for 22-yards and a score.
Centre had 506-yards of offense to Hendrix’s 371. Centre rushed for 212-yards on the day while allowing 114.
Centre passed for 294 while allowing 257. Centre had 28-first downs to 21 for Hendrix.
Twenty-eight (28) first downs…remember the week we managed only seven (7)? Sure you do, it was the week our play was so poor we had to “gut out” a win against Rhodes.
We have linked the article for you in the preceding paragraph. Just double click “Rhodes.”
Our defense scored twice to only once for the offense that week. We called the offense’s performance, offensive.
Centre was 7 for 12 on 3rd Downs while converting both of its 4th-down tries in the Hendrix game. Centre ran 72-plays from scrimmage and averaged 7-yards per play.
Centre was a perfect 5 for 5 from the Red Zone. Each team turned it over twice, Centre scored 7-points off its two turnovers while the Warriors scored 14-points from off of their two.
Now Hendrix was the host team. Therefore, according to custom about which we learn more daily at KPGFootball, that means they were responsible for the stats posted online. Well, guess what? The Warriors didn’t post any defensive stats.
This might have been the week for such a lapse. Just being brutally honest here, this wasn’t a very good day for the defense. We can tell you a few things.
Centre had two (2) sacks and five (5)-TFL’s. Hendrix had no sacks but tackled us behind the line of scrimmage three times.
Jack Colosimo had another interception on the day. He has to be leading us in INT’s on the year as he has four (4) on the season by our count, though admittedly our count could be skewed.
Here is the most important statistic of the day. Centre is 5-2 on the year and 3-1 in conference play with Trinity (7-0, 4-0) at home this week, and BSU (5-2, 3-1) in Birmingham the week after, with the conference crown still within our grasp.
Looking forward to Trinity University
Next up for Centre College is highly regarded and nationally ranked Trinity College. Trinity is 7-0 on the year and 4-0 in the SAA.
So what can we tell you about the game between Trinity and Berry yesterday in San Antonio, TX? We can tell you Berry blocked a FG and returned it 54-yards to tie the game yesterday in the third quarter.
We could tell you Berry could only muster 190-yards of total offense on the day. We could tell you No. 7 Trinity downed the Vikings, 21-14.
We could also tell you Whitewater went down yesterday. Therefore, Trinity is bound to move up even higher in the NCAA top-25 poll than the No. 7 ranking it wore into the Berry showdown (As we were writing and editing this article the new top-25 came out and Trinity University has moved up to No. 6 in its most recent poll).
Tucker Horn threw two touchdowns for the Tigers, including the go-ahead score to Caleb Crawford with 6:37 to play in the third. From there, the Tigers defense stood tall, as they held Berry to 8-for-19 passing for 72 yards.
Berry never got closer than the Trinity 40 and the Tigers were also able to run out the final 6:28 to win the game after Berry punted from midfield.
Horn has played very well for Trinity on the year. Against Berry College, he passed for 280-yards on 24 for 38-passing with 2-TD’s and 2-INT’s. He was only sacked one time which speaks mighty well for his offensive line.
Justin Carmouche and Winston Hutchinson are the work horses in the backfield for Trinity as they have led the team in rushing from scrimmage most of the season. Horn is not really a runner. He is more of a drop-back guy who loathes to take off with it, but will when needed.
Horn won’t beat you with his feet. He will beat you with his arm and brain.
Ryan Merrifield is the guy Horn looks to vertically. Caleb Crawford is also a favorite target of Horn’s.
I want to make something abundantly clear here at this juncture. Trinity University will not win any awards for being explosive offensively.
Slow and steady wins the race could be the offensive coordinator’s motto, and these guys have bought into the fable. That being said, these boys are darn good on defense as we saw in the NCAA’s a year ago when they held Mary Hardin Baylor to 13-points in the first round.
James Ogunrin is as good as they come. Ogunrin had 11-tackles and forced a pair of fumbles on Saturday in Trinity’s game with Berry.
Ezra Gore seems to unload on QB’s much of the time and had one of the team’s four (4) QB-sacks on the day.
Jacob Munoz had 8-stops and a QB-sack. Mac Douglas and Harris Good had the other two sacks.
Trey King makes a ton of big plays in the third level. He had the ball club’s lone INT against the Vikings.
Eli Gehman will punt and he averaged 41-yards on his 6-punts this past Saturday.
Blake Lin kicks FG’s. Teams have been successful pressuring and even blocking Lin attempts this season and this may be a place to make a little hay. Lin is very reliable in PAT’s and handles kick-offs for Trinity University.
KPGFootball‘s Final Analysis: We want to stress something here for just a minute. All of these men playing the games on which we report are college football players. All of them were high school superstars. All of them were among the best players in the states or commonwealths in which they competed.
There is no such thing as a week off in college football. Any team, on any given Saturday, can beat the other.
This will be true when Trinity pulls into Danville. It will be true when our team bus heads to Birmingham the following week.
Trinity University is the class of the SAA. We saw it last season. We have seen it again this season.
However, Centre College is good enough, talented enough, to beat Trinity (and BSU, but first things first) if the team limits its mistakes, doesn’t commit too many dead ball fouls, and executes its offensive and defensive schemes. We contacted sophomore defensive lineman, William Long, out of Breathitt County and asked him about the game with Trinity.
What did Long tell KPGFootball? “Our coaches like the matchup next week… we could shock the world!” Then Long added, “…or at least the portion of the world that follows D3 football.”
From the mouth of babes…
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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