Weather requires game to be played over two-day period. Centre shows pluck and resolve to escape with victory.
If feels like Hanover beat Centre College all over the field, particularly on Saturday prior to the lightening suspension, yet the plucky, little team from Boyle County, Kentucky just seemed to ‘hang around’ and find a way to win. Championship caliber programs do that!Fletcher W. Long, KPGFootball’s Senior Scout
We were talking with (then) defensive line coach, Justin Robinson, at Hanover College before the Centre opener at home to commence the ’21 football season. He told the magazine, “You know, in D3 football there are about 15-programs which are at the top of the game competitively with the remainder of the programs clawing to get to the mountain top.”
Coach Robinson went on to tell KPGFootball, “I feel that Centre College is among those 15-programs and Hanover College is on the cusp of getting there. If we could just get over the hurdle and beat you guys, I feel it would be a statement win for our program.”
Over this past weekend, the Panthers from Hanover, Indiana, the fictional home of Woodrow Tiberius Boyd, from the TV franchise, “Cheers,” showed the world it may well be even closer than their former DL coach believed a year ago. Using players “Coach Jay” helped recruit to Hanover, including Kentuckians plucked from our veritable back-yards like VJ Anthony, WR/TE, (So., Male High) and Austin Oppel, RB, (So., Brandenburg, KY, Meade County High), the Hanover football team made a very credible showing for itself over the two-day period, almost arresting victory from our clutches at the end of the proceedings.
Still, close only counts in two games, horseshoes and hand grenades. Centre and Hanover were playing neither this weekend.
Paul Bear Bryant, former legendary head football coach at the University of Alabama once said if kickers weren’t important they would call the game, “Armball.” Cam Tegge, added an exclamation to the Bear’s sentiment giving those words the ring of truth.
The sophomore PK from Louisville’s St. Xavier High, converted a 41-yard field goal heading into the half. This may have been the turning point in the game.
Centre was trailing 13-7 at the time. The margin felt like it should have been much larger in Hanover’s favor.
Centre intercepted a ball, with Hanover driving to take what would have been a commanding lead and a deep hole. Centre then drove down the field to inside the Hanover 25 where Tegge came on and kicked the 41-yard FG to end the half. These would prove to be huge points.
On an interesting side note, the HCAC (Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) announcers, on its game of the week, thought Tegge was DL, Kyle Yarger (No. 55, So., from Ryle High). Tegge might need to start watching his diet if he is physically mistaken for Yarger. Tegge is listed at 5’11,” 206. Yarger is an inch taller, but (according to the roster) is 79-pounds heavier.
Just kidding, Tegge; the way you’re kicking it, you can weigh anything you want!
Austin Gough (So., 6’1,” 220-pound LB, Owensboro Sr. High) looked all over the field including, delivering some huge special teams hits. These bombs may not have been credited as “tackles,” but they were intimidating and getting in the head of some of the Panther players.
There was one scene during the game where Gough got into a jawing match with Austin Oppel. Oppel, Gough, Will Long, VJ Anthony, all played Team Kentucky together back in the day. We are sure Gough’s getting in Oppel’s face was intentional. Gough, the UK transfer, registered 3-tackles and logged some very significant PT for the Colonel defense. Gough also seemed to shake Oppel up a bit.
The game was lightening delayed with about 7:42 left to go in the 3rd Quarter on Saturday evening. It would resume today around 1:30 p.m. EST. Centre would have the football, trailing 13-10, at the Hanover 21-yard line with it 3rd-down with six (6) yards to go.
Hanover would force a 4th and four (4)-yards but then would commit the kind of composure gaff one doesn’t expect from a college ranked among the top liberal arts institutions in the country. Centre, benefitting from a dead ball, unsportsmanlike penalty called on Hanover, would see sophomore, Will McDaniel, RB (Boyle County), race into the end zone from the five (5)-yard line to stake Centre College to its first lead of the game!
Then, compounding on the dead ball foul, Hanover made yet another huge misstep. On Hanover’s first play of the resumed ballgame, the Kentuckian, Oppel, fumbled. It was, you guessed it, Centre football.
QB, Nick Osterman, who had struggled getting his passing game uncorked the previous day, then found Colt Marbaugh for the TD from 28-yards away, leaving the Colonels’ prayers answered. Centre now would be staked to a 24-13 lead.
After Hanover drove the field and converted a 39-yard FG to make it 24-16, the 5’6,” 176-pound RB called “K-Mart” from Peewee Valley, KY (Keaton Martin, Sr., South Oldham High) clipped off a 60-yard run to stake the Colonels to a 31-16 lead. Hanover would make it interesting; but, in the end, the 31-points to which the Martin scamper staked the “Praying Colonels” would be enough.
Nick Osterman, in his debut as the starting QB, threw for 135-yards and ran for another 57. Keaton Martin led the Colonels in rushing yards with 67 in only 6-carries and a pair of rushing TDs. Sophomore, Will McDaniel, would gain 25-yards and score a pivotal TD in the first half where points were at a premium.
Colton Marbaugh would lead the receivers with 5-catches for 69-yards receiving and a 28-yard hookup with Osterman for the final tally offensively for the Colonels over the two-day period. Sam Murray caught a pair of Osterman tosses for 48-yards receiving.
Defensively, it should surprise no one Armon Wells, LB, (Louisville, Fern Creek) led the Colonels in tackles with 11. Ollie Hunter (Sr., Franklin, TN) had 7-stops, 0.5-sacks, and Dallas Douglas had 5-stops and a QB-sack to his credit. Duerrell Bard, the transfer from Carson-Newman College (Lexington, TN, 5’11,” 227) split a sack with Hunter, accounting for both of the defense’s sacks over the weekend.
The all-conference QB from Hanover College, Matthew Weimer, shredded the defensive secondary to the tune of 292-yards passing and darn near engineered the come from behind, 4th-Quarter, heroics. Going forward, this is something we need to monitor.
Jack Colosimo had little trouble plaguing the all-conference QB from the Indiana Liberal Arts College. The 5’11,” 188-pound defensive back from Hickory, N.C.’s Fred T. Foard High (John Reep also went to Fred T. Foard and Reep won the fifth season of Last Comic Standing on NBC) picked Weimer not once, but twice on the afternoon. Colosimo’s second pick (In honor of Reep) was no joke as it came at a particularly critical moment in the game with only 5:32 left on the clock.
As for special teams, Tegge wasn’t the only star in the marathon opener. Nick Whitlow (Jr., Clarksville, TN, Clarksville Academy) averaged 57-yards per kick-off and 41-yards per punt in a game where filed position was PARAMOUNT.
Looking ahead to Maryville College
Who wants to bet us, when Berry College entered a home and home contract to open the ’21 and ’22 seasons with Maryville College, they weren’t expecting any amount of trouble commensurate with what the Scots have dished out over the past two seasons. If you will recall, Berry struggled in Valhalla with the Scots. This time they were almost dropped on the Scottish plains in Maryville, Tennessee.
Berry had to pull out a TD in the waning seconds of the ball game to hold off a Maryville team which had the football at midfield with the score tied with a chance to drive 30-yards or so and kick itself to a huge opening win. Alas, Berry College, like Centre College, did what bone fide programs at this level of play do…found a way to win.
Maryville compiled 19-first downs against Berry College’s defense a number which is cause for alarm. The Scots rushed for 161-yards and threw for 228-yards with a true freshman under center.
Bryson Rollins (Elizabethton, TN; 6’0” 195 FR.) was 15 for 29 for 228-yards and 2-TDs but was sacked 3-times on a day where any Viking coach would report his being a monumental headache during the ball game. Rollings, though a freshman, didn’t throw an INT and showed mobility and escapability in running for 38-ayrds in 16-carries, including the team’s lone rushing TD.
The kicking game was a bright spot for the Scots too. They averaged 36.9-yards over 9-punts and 52.6-yards over 5-KO’s.
Kevon Samuels was the lead receiving threat with 78-yards receiving including a 33-yard TD catch. Steph Carter caught the other TD toss from 18-yards out.
Cody Estep (Sr. Grace Christian, Knoxville, 5-10, 210) led the rushing attack with 84-yards on 22-carries with a long of 18. Estep is similar to former UT great, Travis Henry, in that he has a low center of gravity and is hard to get to the ground. Estep is like attempting to tackle a big ole block of cheese.
Cameron Spivey (5-10, 185, Jr., Carthage, TN) led the team against the Vikings with 8-tackles. Devon White, Shot Rice, Keshon Seay, and Carson Goodwin all had half sacks and Alex Mase and Tyler Barrett had the full variety. Jake Whitten forced a fumble among his 9-stops which led the entire team in the tackles category.
Readers seem to like it when we bottom line things for you. Bottom line is this…this is a vastly improved football team from the version we beat on the plains last season.
The Scots have recruited well. Coach Fox seems intent on playing his young talent where it gives the club a chance for heightened performance over the players who have “been there.”
We have to contain Rollins and he will test us both with his arm and with his legs. If he gets loose on us like Weimer (Hanover’s QB) did, it could be a long day in Danville, Kentucky.
Estep will really test our run-box defensively too. Frankly, he is as big as many of the defensive linemen we count on along the front and he will NOT go down easily.
We don’t have to wonder where he will be running. He’s coming down hill, right at us.
Defensively, they gang tackle well and swarm to the football. If there is a susceptibility, they are susceptible to getting beat over the top if you have the speed to stretch the back end and
Berry College was successful running against the front.
This is a game Centre can win and run its record to 2-0. It is a game Centre can lose just as easily. It will take a maximum, concerted effort like what we saw out of the boys in the last half of the 3rd-Q on Sunday for us to come away with the result many of us have come to expect.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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