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Centre’s offense stalls in 28-14 loss at Berry

Centre’s offense stalls in 28-14 loss at Berry

MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – The Centre College football team lost their first game of the season Saturday night, falling 28-14 on the road against Berry in a much-anticipated Southern Athletic Association matchup at Valhalla Stadium.

After totaling more than 1,000 yards of offense and 113 points over the last two games, the Colonels (3-1, 1-1 SAA) were stifled by the Vikings (4-0, 2-0) for much of Saturday's contest.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Berry scored an early touchdown when quarterback Slade Dale snuck in from the one-yard line, and the Vikings defense picked off a Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) pass on Centre's ensuing possession to get the ball back quickly.

A defensive struggle followed, as both sides forced three-and-outs and battled for field position.

The Colonels finally cracked the scoreboard on a 12-play, 50-yard drive that ended when Hayes found sophomore Mack Cox (Danville, Ky.) for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Defenses dominated the rest of the half, as the final six possessions all ended in punts and the two sides took a 7-7 draw into the break.

The Vikings scored 14 unanswered out of the half to take a 21-7 lead by the fourth quarter, capitalizing on a handful of Centre punts and a lost fumble.

Hayes would eventually find tight end Austin Hayes (Henderson, Tenn.) for a late score to bring the Colonels within 21-14, but a failed onside kick on the following kickoff set the hosts up with ideal field position. The Vikings quickly found the endzone again, effectively burying Centre's comeback bid.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

The Colonels committed four turnovers on the night, the same amount they had in last season's narrow 21-19 defeat against the Vikings.

Centre entered the night as one of the best running teams in NCAA Division III averaging more than 270 rushing yards per game, but complied a season-low 104 Saturday night.

Austin Hayes led the Centre receivers with five catches for 64 yards and a score.

Freshman punter Jake Holloway (Franklin, Tenn.) averaged 45.6 yards per punt on seven tries, with a long of 56.

The Centre defense had a solid night, limiting the Vikings to their fewest rushing yards (102) of the year.

Reigning SAA Defensive Player of the Week Andrew Busby (Chattanooga, Tenn.) paced the Colonels with eight total tackles.

UP NEXT

Centre is off next Saturday, and returns home Oct. 7 to host Austin for Family Weekend at Farris Stadium.