Centre hands Panthers second straight conference loss, 35-28

Box Score

The Centre College Colonels outscored Birmingham-Southern 21-7 in the second half this afternoon to hand the Panthers their second straight loss, 35-28, in Farris Stadium on the Centre campus in Danville, Ky.

Birmingham-Southern fell to 3-2 overall on the year, and 0-2 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Centre improved to 4-2 overall, and 3-1 in the conference.

The two teams entered the game among the leaders in several SCAC offensive categories, and they would not disappoint in the first half. BSC scored on three of its four possessions, and Centre on two of its first three.

After a Centre punt on its first possession, the Panthers would be the first to get on the scoreboard on an 86-yard, 11-play drive. Sophomore tailback Shawn Morris scored on a 16-yard draw play, and Ryan Laughlin’s point after touchdown put BSC up 7-0 with 8:03 in the first quarter.

Centre stormed right back on a 71-yard, 10-play drive behind the arm of junior quarterback Tyler Osterman. The Colonels would eventually find the end zone on a one-yard fourth down carry by junior running back Jonathan Pinque. Jordan Gay’s point after touchdown tied the game at 7-7 with 2:59 to go in the first quarter.

The Panthers scored again on their next possession, this time going 70 yards in eight plays with sophomore quarterback Jimmy Stainback scoring from the eight on the last play of the first quarter to put the Panthers up 14-7. Stainback got his first start for Birmingham-Southern, subbing for the injured Joe Thigpen, who is expected to miss at least three weeks with a leg injury suffered against Trinity University Oct. 2.

The BSC lead was short-lived, however, as the Colonel’s drove 80 yards in eight plays with Osterman hitting Pinque out of backfield on an 11-yard touchdown pass. The score was knotted again at 14-14 early in the second quarter.

After an exchange of punts, Birmingham-Southern drove 89 yards in 11 plays with senior tailback Walter Arrington scoring from the six with 38 seconds left in the half to put the Panthers up 21-14 at intermission. The drive was aided by a 30-yard scramble by Stainback and a15-yard personal foul penalty on Centre.

Centre wasted little time tying the game for the third time. Following a BSC punt to start the third quarter, the Colonels marched 56 yards in 10 plays for their third touchdown of the game, and the third by Pinque, this time from the two yard line. With 7:02 left in the third quarter, the score was 21-21.

The Colonels got the ball back three plays later at the BSC 26 yard line after senior defensive back Jimmie Warren picked off an errant Stainback pass. One play and six seconds later, Centre also had the lead on a 26-yard pass from Osterman to senior wide receiver Rob Pope. With 5:32 remaining in the third quarter the Colonels led 28-21.

Neither team would score again until the middle of the final stanza. BSC’s sophomore wide receiver John Lawroski returned a Centre punt 57 yards before being forced out of bounds at the Colonel’s three yard line. Three plays later, BSC’s Morris scored from the two on an option pitch and the game was tied again, this time at 28-28 with 8:36 remaining.

Centre muscled the lead right back from Birmingham-Southern on its next possession, driving 62 yards in 11 plays, but more importantly burning more than five minutes off the clock. Osterman punched it in on a quarterback sneak from the four, putting the Colonels up 35-28 with 3:10 to go.

BSC tried to mount one final game-tying drive, but ran out of downs at the Centre 36 with 1:07 on the clock, giving the Colonels the 35-28 victory.

Birmingham-Southern finished the day with 342 yards total offense, and 22 first downs. Stainback was 13 of 18 through the air for 91 yards. He also was the Panthers’ leading rusher with 88 yards on 18 carries.

Senior defensive end Jeremy Jones had six tackles for BSC, including 1.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.

Centre gained 371 yards on offense, and managed 20 first downs. Osterman led the way with 19 for 26 passing for 231 yards and two scores. Pinque rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries and two scores.

Sophomore defensive back Thomas Kent had 14 tackles for Centre.

The Panthers return home on Oct. 16 to face conference foe Austin College at Noon in Panther Stadium on campus.