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Colonels Capture 39-28 Road Win at WashU

Colonels Capture 39-28 Road Win at WashU

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CentreColonels.com) - Senior running back Nolan Coulter (Knoxville, Tenn.) rushed for a career-high 223 yards, the Centre offense tallied 641 yards of total offense and the Colonel defense had four interceptions as Centre earned a 49-38 victory at Washington (Mo.) on Saturday afternoon at Francis Field.

The Colonels improve to 3-0 for the fourth consecutive season and open conference play with a win for the fourth straight year as well. The Bears drop to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) action with the loss.

Centre snapped WashU's nine-game home winning streak on Saturday, handing the Bears their first defeat at Francis Field since Sept. 6, 2014.

The Colonels have also now won eight games in a row dating back to last season. Centre's 641 yards of total offense on Saturday are the most since the Colonels finished with 769 yards in a 63-7 rout of Hanover on Sept. 5, 2015. Centre has now tallied at least 500 yards of total offense in seven games since the start of the 2015 season, including three games with 600-or-more yards.

Coulter got the Colonels on the board first with a five-yard touchdown run with 13:26 showing on the first quarter clock, capping a six-play, 75-yard opening drive for Centre.

WashU would answer with a pair of first quarter scores to take a 14-7 lead on two touchdown passes by quarterback J.J. Tomlin, the first to Harding Fears and the second to Matt Page.

The second quarter belonged to the Colonels, as Centre scored 20 unanswered points in the second stanza.

Sophomore kicker Ben Logsdon's (Louisville, Ky.) first career field goal from 19 yards out minimized the deficit to 14-10, before Coulter's second score of the day on a two-yard touchdown run gave the Colonels back the lead at 17-14 with just over six minutes remaining in the half.

Centre would extend its lead to 24-14 later in the quarter when junior quarterback Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) found junior wide receiver Noah Dziedzic (Richmond, Va.) on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Logsdon's last second field goal then pushed the Colonels' advantage to 27-14 at the break.

The Bears would outscore Centre 7-3 in the third quarter, as WashU opened the period with a touchdown pass and Logsdon connected on his third field goal of the day, this one from 22 yards.

On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, the Colonels tacked onto their lead when sophomore running back Colin Burnam (Bowling Green, Ky.) found the end zone from three yards out, making the score 36-21 with 11:23 remaining in the game.

The Bears shrunk the deficit to a one-score contest at 36-28 when Austin Smestad scored on a 34-yard touchdown run to, but Logsdon put the Colonels back on top by 11 with a 39-yard field goal with just under five minutes to play, securing the win for Centre.  

Coulter finished with a career-high 34 carries in the win. His 223 yards shattered his previous career-high of 186 yards set against Hendrix on Nov. 1, 2014. Saturday's performance was just 31 yards shy of the single-game school rushing record of 254 yards set by Harry Meisner against Hendrix in 2013.

The Colonel defense had four interceptions in the win, the most since tallying four picks in a win over Millsaps on Oct. 10, 2015.

Senior defensive back Conor Linneen (Roswell, Ga.), senior linebacker Anthony Kersey (Winchester, Ky.), freshman defensive back Cal Lewellyn (Louisville, Ky.) and sophomore defensive back John Wilson (Brandenburg, Ky.) each posted an interception for Centre.

Linneen paced the Colonel defense with a career-high 12 tackles, including a half tackle for loss. Senior defensive back Bradley Combs (Shepherdsville, Ky.) recorded a career-high nine tackles, while Kersey had eight tackles and a pass breakup to go along with the pick.

Senior wide receiver Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) caught a career-high 10 passes for 104 yards, while Dziedzic also had a career day with 102 yards receiving.

Hayes completed a career-high 32 passes (32-of-43) for 348 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.  

Tomlin finished 36-of-71 passing for 365 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. His 71 passing attempts represent a WashU record.

Page had a game-high 133 yards receiving on nine catches for the Bears.

Nick Doctors led four WashU players with double-digit tackles with 15 stops, followed by Max Barnett with 13 tackles.

The Colonels outgained the Bears 641-440 in the win, including 298-75 on the ground. Centre posted 37 first downs and held a 38:00 – 22:00 advantage in time of possession.

With the win, the Colonels also even the all-time series with WashU at 10-10-1. Centre has won three straight games against the Bears, averaging 41 points in those games.

Centre returns home to host Chicago next Saturday, Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m. at Farris Stadium. The Colonels are looking to avenge a defeat at the hands of the Maroons from last season.