DANVILLE, Ky. – Trailing by 16 points, the No. 18 Centre football squad came from behind to defeat visiting Maryville, 27-22, in their home opener at Farris Stadium.
The Colonels improve to 2-0 and win their 12th consecutive non-conference regular season game. The Scots, who trail the all-time series 28-35-1, fall to 0-2 for the year.
- Maryville opened the game with a 61-yard kickoff return to set up in Centre territory, but the Colonel defense held the Scots to a field goal.
- After a fast start last week at Hanover, the Colonel offense sputtered early on Saturday. The first four possessions resulted in a turnover on downs, a punt and a pair of turnovers.
- Meanwhile, the Scots scored consecutive touchdowns to increase their lead. After a rushing touchdown from Jacob Bunch made it 16-0, Centre's Austin Mitchell got a hand on the ensuing PAT.
- The Colonels would finally break through on a Jay Becherer catch-and-run from Clark Payne, with Tanner South's point after bringing the score to 16-7.
- Centre then pieced together a late drive, capped by Patric Edwards' one-yard touchdown plunge, making it 16-14 seconds before the half.
- A 33-yard kickoff return by Corey Russell to start the third set up a quick two-play, 51-yard scoring drive from the Colonels. Payne found Jordan Gunter in the back corner of the end zone, giving Centre a 21-16 advantage in the blink of an eye.
- Following a Maryville field goal, Dameon Jones Jr. scored from three yards out to raise the lead to 27-19 early in the fourth.
- The Scots' Ian Hubbs hit his third field goal midway through the quarter to trim the deficit to 27-22.
- Maryville threatened the lead late in the fourth, starting a drive on Bunch's 59-yard run. The Centre defense would eventually force a three-and-out, as Cruze Kerrigan made a big tackle on third down and Nate Johnson broke up the pass on fourth down.
- Centre's ensuing possession stalled, but Jake Holloway smashed a 56-yard punt to flip the field.
- A Clayton Bell sack all but ended any comeback bid from the visitors.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Maryville's offense managed only a 1-for-13 effort on third downs against the Colonel defense. Centre also limited the Scots to just 54 yards through the air.
- Carter Smith's 10 tackles led all individuals, while Cal Lewellyn and Cole McCarson finished with nine each. McCarson wound up with two tackles for loss – including a sack – as well as two QB hurries.
- Dameon Jones Jr. set a personal best and led Centre with 103 yards on 16 carries (6.3 per rush) with a long of 40 yards.
- Payne finished 15 of 25 for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His primary target once again was Gunter, who hauled in five passes for 74 yards and a score.
The Colonels open Southern Athletic Association play next week, traveling to Sherman, Texas, to take on Austin.