DANVILLE, Ky. (Centre Athletics) – In a day dominated by both defenses, the Centre football team lost its first home game of the year, falling to the Trinity Tigers by a score of 20-13 as special teams mistakes proved costly.
– The Tigers took the opening kickoff and advanced to the Colonels’ 7-yard line, but Centre came through with a big play on special teams as Karim Kimble blocked Trinity’s short field goal attempt and the Colonels took over.
– After a 35-yard put return put the Tigers in good field position inside Centre territory, the game’s first score came when Trinity’s Charlie Sheppard converted a 23-yard field goal.
– Trinity quickly got on the board again as Mike Edmonson blocked a Jake Holloway punt and Sam Hinojosa scooped up the loose ball for a score.
– A 42-yard dash by quarterback Clark Payne set up Centre’s first score of the game as Dameon Jones Jr. marched in from four yards out to cut the Trinity lead to 10-7 at the end of the first period.
– The Colonels got a short field of their own to start the second quarter as Jaylen Jones forced and recovered a fumble to give Centre the ball at the Tigers’ 35. Centre capitalized with a Tanner South field goal to tie the score.
– On the ensuing kickoff, the Tigers returned the ball 70 yards, and despite losing yardage on their following drive, Sheppard connected on a 47-yard field goal to put Trinity back on top 13-10.
– Another Trinity blocked punt put the Tigers in Centre territory to start their drive, but this drive lasted just one play as Nate Johnson picked off a deep pass in the end zone to give Centre possession once again.
– A Centre interception gave the ball back to Trinity and this time the Tigers took full advantage as they drove down the field and Wyatt Messex connected with Tanner Lacy to give Trinity a 20-10 lead going into halftime.
– The third quarter lacked the explosiveness of either of the first two periods as both offenses bogged down and traded punts for the entire period. The Colonels got their best chance when Kimble picked off a pass, but the drive stalled at midfield.
– In the fourth quarter, the stalemate continued, but thanks to strong defense and some long punts by Holloway, the Colonels finally flipped the field and got the ball just shy of midfield with seven minutes left. Payne and Patric Edwards picked up first downs on the ground and South connected on a 38-yard field goal to pull Centre within a score at 20-13 with just under eight minutes left.
– The defense forced the Tigers to go three and out and Centre threatened to score again after Payne connected with Jay Becherer for 28 yards for the longest completion of the day for either team, but Trinity sacked Payne at the Tigers’ 29, jarring the ball loose and falling on it to kill the drive.
– The Tigers ran out most of the rest of the clock, but Centre had one last chance after Cal Lewellyn blocked what would have been a game clinching field goal and Centre took over at their own 33 with 55 seconds left, but Payne’s desperation heave was picked off by Nic Hover to seal the win for Trinity.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– The defenses shut down the respective passing games, as Payne completed just 15 of 33 attempts for 96 yards, while Messex went 8 for 28 for 96 yards.
– Today’s game was the first time this season that Centre did not sack the quarterback.
– The Colonels converted only one of 15 third downs for the game.
– Special teams made a huge difference in the outcome as the Tigers averaged 44 yards on kick returns and 21 yards on punt returns to go along with two blocked punts and a 47-yard field goal.
– Jones tied a game high with ten tackles for the Colonels, with Johnson and Andre Evans adding eight each.
– In addition to his blocked field goal and interception, Kimble added five tackles and two pass breakups.