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Colonels Earn 45-30 SAA Road Victory at BSC

Colonels Earn 45-30 SAA Road Victory at BSC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CentreColonels.com) – Centre jumped out to a 38-0 lead before holding off a 30-point Birmingham Southern second-half surge, as the Colonels picked up a 45-30 Southern Athletic Association (SAA) triumph on the road Saturday at Kruslak Stadium.

Centre improved to 7-1 on the season with the win, including 5-1 in SAA play, while the host Panthers fall to 1-8 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

The Colonels have now won 12 of its last 13 games dating back to last season. Centre also now owns a 12-2 advantage in the all-time series against Birmingham Southern.

The Colonels have scored 35-or-more points to go with at least 400 yards of total offense in all eight games thus far this season.

Senior running back Casey Bradley (Acworth, Ga.) had a career day for Centre, rushing for a career-high 116 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns to lead the Colonel offense.

Bradley got the Colonels on the board on their second drive, finding the end zone from two yards out. The extra point attempt failed, giving Centre a 6-0 lead with just over four minutes to play in the first quarter.

Sophomore kicker Ben Logsdon (Louisville, Ky.) put the Colonels on top 9-0 with a 22-yard field goal on the Colonels' next march late in the first period.

In the second quarter, junior quarterback Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) found junior wide receiver Colin Bradley (Roswell, Ga.) on a 20-yard strike to extend Centre's lead to 16-0.

Later in the quarter, Bradley broke off a 23-yard touchdown run to give the Colonels a 24-0 advantage after the two-point conversion attempt was good on the Hayes pass to junior tight end Austin Hayes (Hendersonville, Tenn.). 

Centre would take the 24-point lead into the half.

In the third quarter, the Colonels tacked on a pair of scores as sophomore running back Trevor Carnell (Shepherdsville, Ky.) trotted into the end zone from 11 yards out followed by a 10-yard Hayes-to-Hayes touchdown connection on Centre's next drive, putting the Colonels ahead 38-0 midway through the third stanza.

The Panthers would commence their comeback on the ensuing kickoff, as a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown by Jamal Watkins sparked a 30-point Birmingham Southern surge.

The Panthers cut the Centre lead to 38-30 after quarterback Kerrigan Pennington's two-yard touchdown run just under two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Senior running back Amoh Kumengisa (Lexington, Ky.) responded with a seven-yard touchdown run on the Colonels' next march to give Centre a two-score lead at 45-30 with just over five minutes showing on the game clock.

The Colonels were able to hold onto this lead, forcing a Panther turnover on downs on Birmingham Southern's final possession of the contest.

Hayes completed 19-of-28 passes for 256 yard with two touchdown passes and an interception.

Senior wide receiver Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) tallied a game-high 93 receiving yards on seven catches for Centre.

Freshman cornerback Cal Lewellyn (Louisville, Ky.) and senior safety Conor Linneen (Roswell, Ga.) each recorded a team-high seven tackles for the Colonels, while senior linebacker Anthony Kersey (Winchester, Ky.) finished with six tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.

Senior defensive tackle Hunter Trenaman (Louisville, Ky.) had four tackles, including two tackles for loss and a sack. Sophomore defensive back Tommy Kaczocha (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) added an interception with a 35-yard return to go with a pair of tackles.

Centre finished with 435 yards of total offense, including 256 through the air and 179 on the ground. The Colonels posted 23 first downs compared to Birmingham Southern's 14.

Pennington tallied a game-high 144 rushing yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns for the Panthers.

Birmingham Southern tallied 287 total yards in the loss.

Centre returns to action with another SAA road game at Rhodes next Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. CT.

With The Lynx's 55-54 upset win over Hendrix on Saturday afternoon, the Colonels now control their own destiny to earn the SAA's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs with victories over Rhodes next week and Berry in the regular season finale. The Vikings picked up a 22-19 overtime win over Millsaps on Saturday.

Berry, Washington (Mo.) and Centre all sit tied atop the SAA standings with identical 5-1 ledgers in conference play.