Football returns to action with 45-14 victory over Centre on the road

Jimmy Stainback (Photo by Cari Dean)

DANVILLE, Ky.—Birmingham-Southern returned to action after a week off and rolled past Centre, 45-14, on the road in Danville, Ky., on Saturday.

BSC moves to 6-3 on the season and 2-1 in the Southern Athletic Association with its first-ever win against the Colonels. The Panthers now stand at second place in the SAA standings behind Millsaps, who is 3-0. BSC and the Majors will face off next weekend in Jackson, Miss., for the SAA crown.

Centre also falls to 6-3 overall and is tied for third in the standings with a 1-2 conference mark.

The Panthers scored the first two touchdowns of today's game, beginning with a 45-yard pass from senior quarterback Jimmy Stainback to sophomore receiver Michael Cowan at the 12:36 mark of the first quarter. BSC found the end zone again at the 2:02 mark on a seven-yard dash by junior tailback Joseph Moultrie. Junior kickers Grant Talbert and Ryan Laughlin made each of the extra points giving BSC a 14-0 lead.

Centre got on the board with 49 seconds left in the first quarter on a 50-yard run by Harry Meisner, cutting it to 14-7, but the Panthers answered at the 10:53 mark of the second quarter with a 20-yard field goal by Laughlin to go up 17-7.

BSC scored again with 3:58 left in the half when junior halfback Matt Hansard made a two-yard run into the end zone. Laughlin's extra point was on the mark to put the Panthers up 24-7. The Colonels would score once more at the 1:30 mark before halftime on a 37-yard pass from Heath Haden to Austin Jones, cutting it to 24-14.

The Panthers scored the lone goal of the third quarter on a 61-yard pass from Stainback to Moultrie at the 3:42 mark. BSC scored again at the 13:02 mark of the fourth quarter, this time on a 78-yard pass from Stainback to junior receiver Tyler Johnson, and senior tailback Shawn Morris capped off the scoring with 4:18 left in the game on a 14-yard rush. Laughlin made all three of the extra points after each touchdown, and the Panthers won 45-14.

Stainback was 11-15 with three touchdowns and 313 yards. Morris had 187 yards on 27 carries, and Johnson led the receivers with 78 yards on his one catch. Laughlin was 5-of-5 on extra points with one field goal, good for eight total points.

Sophomore linebacker Austin Hansard led the BSC defense with 12 total tackles (six solo, six assists), including 2.5 tackles-for-losses of seven yards. Senior linebacker Nick Gordon had a sack, and the Panther defense had three interceptions. The picks were by senior safety Andrew Shannon, junior defensive back Anderson Porter, and sophomore defensive back Devante Smith. Shannon also had two pass break-ups.

BSC put together a season high total of 600 yards of total offense today, including a season-high 313 passing yards. The three interceptions were also a season single-game high.

The Panthers travel to Jackson, Miss., next weekend to cap off the regular season, facing Millsaps at 1 p.m. Central.