The Centre football team wrapped up the regular season and celebrated its senior day by jumping out to an early lead and holding on to defeat Rhodes College 41-28 in a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference contest Saturday in Danville, Ky.
Centre finishes the regular season with an 8-1 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the SCAC. Though Trinity finished 6-0 in SCAC play and received the league's automatic playoff bid, Centre will find out its postseason fate in the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday at 6 p.m. Rhodes finishes the year at 3-6 with a 1-5 record in the SCAC.
Against Rhodes, the Colonels scored the first 34 points of the game and rolled up 507 yards of offense with 314 coming on the ground. Senior quarterback Tyler Osterman (Monroe, Ohio) hooked up with his brother Jason on three touchdown passes, and senior running back Jonathan Pinque (Athens, Ala.) added another three scores on the ground.
The Colonels dominated the first half of play, going up 27-0 while holding Rhodes to just 72 yards of offensive. They first got on the board late in the first quarter by marching 80 yards in eight plays, capped by a five yard touchdown run by Pinque. In the second quarter, Centre began to pull away by taking advantage of favorable field position to score on drives of 41, 50 and 41 yards. Jason Osterman scored on 41 and eight yard receptions in the quarter while Pinque added a three yard touchdown.
Midway through the third quarter, Centre went on to extend the lead to 34-0 when it went 43 yards in four plays with Jason Osterman hauling in an eight yard touchdown for his third score of the day.
The Rhodes passing game began to come alive at that point, but the 34-point defecit proved to be too much. Quarterback Brett Stoops went on to complete 40 of 65 passes for 424 yards, finding wideout Jack Lartigue on touchdowns of two, five, 23 and 46 yards, but the Lynx would never get the margin any closer than two touchdowns.
Early in the fourth quarter, Centre got its final score when Tyler Osterman got free and scrambled 81 yards to set up a four yard touchdown by Pinque. That touchdown made the score 41-14, and though Rhodes found the end zone twice more Centre was able to hold on for the win.
Overall, Centre gained 507 yards of total offense to 423 for Rhodes, and held the Lynx to -1 yard rushing. Tyler Osterman went 13-of-27 passing for 193 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 128 yards on the ground. Pinque finished with 132 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Rob Melillo (Louisville, Ky.) led the receivers with five catches for 105 yards while Jason Osterman caught four balls for 74 yards.
Les Bolden (Duluth, Ga.) and Thomas Kent (Cincinnati, Ohio) tied for Centre's team lead in tackles with seven. Javod Sewell (Duluth, Ga.), Tami Aderoba (Columbia, Tenn.) and Alex Savage (West Chester, Ohio) all recorded sacks while Casey Vatter (Okeana, Ohio) had an interception.