16 Conference Titles | Two NCAA Playoff Appearances 27 All-Americans | Four Academic All-Americans | One Rhodes Scholar 1921 National Champions

Centre wins sixth straight, defeats BSC on Senior Day

Centre wins sixth straight, defeats BSC on Senior Day

DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre football wrapped up the 2017 regular season in style, defeating visiting Birmingham Southern by a 42-17 score Saturday at Farris Stadium.

Celebrating Senior Day, the Colonels improved to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the Southern Athletic Association with their sixth straight win. The Panthers end the season 3-7 (2-6).

HOW IT HAPPENED

Despite BSC dominating time of possession in the first half (21:19 to 8:41), the Colonels' bend-but-don't-break defense and big-play offense allowed the home side to jump ahead on the scoreboard.

Junior Colin Burnam (Bowling Green, Ky.) opened the scoring with a four-yard touchdown plunge on Centre's opening drive.

The visiting Panthers would answer with a 13-play possession, but managed only 44 net yards and settled for a 40-yard field goal.

BSC continued to move the ball in the first quarter, but again had to bring out kicker Ryder Andrews after stalling outside the redzone. The Colonels' Austin Mitchell (Alpharetta, Ga.) blocked the kick, however, marking the team's seventh blocked kick of the year.

Centre capitalized, as junior Cody Estep (Pikeville, Ky.) took a pass from senior Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) 77 yards to the house just two plays later.

Hayes – who hadn't thrown an interception since Sept. 23 at Berry – was picked off toward the end of the half, setting the Panthers up with a short field and a chance to close the 14-6 gap.

Centre's defense rose to the occasion, pushing BSC out of field goal range and forcing a turnover on downs.

The Colonel offense promptly marched down the field in 90 seconds, as Hayes found freshman Jordan Gunter (Louisville, Ky.), who climbed the ladder to make his sixth touchdown grab of the season.

Centre kept its foot on the gas in the second period, scoring three more touchdowns to put the game well out of reach.

Hayes found sophomore Eric Niemann (Louisville, Ky.) and junior Jaylon Hibbs (Louisville, Ky.) for two more passing touchdowns, and Burnam hit paydirt for the second time on a two-yard run that pushed the lead up to 42-9 in the fourth quarter.

BSC's only touchdown came on a punt return late in the fourth quarter.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

Despite the one pick, Hayes continued his excellence in the pocket with a 14-for-21 effort and four touchdowns. He's thrown 17 touchdowns in the previous four games.

Centre racked up a remarkable 13 tackles for loss, totaling 69 negative yards for the Panthers. Will King (Brandenburg, Ky.) led the way with three TFL and J.D. Dotson (Nashville, Tenn.) had two.

Dotson paced Centre with eight tackles (four solo), followed by Luc Gendreau (West Chester, Ohio) with seven stops.

Centre faced only eight third downs, converting half of them, while limiting BSC to just five conversions on 18 attempts.

Junior Trevor Carnell (Shepherdsville, Ky.) returned to action after missing time with an injury, carrying the ball six times for 56 yards.

Hibbs led the receiving corps once again, totaling four catches, 105 yards and a touchdown.

UP NEXT

Centre is not completely out of contention for the NCAA Division III Tournament. The selection show revealing the 32-team bracket will be tomorrow (Sunday) at 5:30 p.m. ET.