Centre struggles in 52-7 defeat

October 26, 2003

SAN ANTONIO - Centre College probably to play needed its best game of the season to upset No. 12 Trinity. Instead, things couldn't have been much worse for the Colonels.

Centre gave up 16 unanswered points in the final 9:10 of the first half, giving Trinity all the momentum it needed to roll to a 52-7 victory in the battle for first place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

"I just think they outplayed us," Centre coach Andy Frye said. "They've obviously improved since the beginning of the year."

Centre (6-2, 3-1 SCAC) allowed 506 yards, an average of 7.4 yards per play and a season high for a Centre opponent, while the Colonels' offense managed just 201 yards.

"We didn't do well in all three phases of the game," Frye said. "The kicking game wasn't very good, our offense played poorly and defensively we didn't hold them."


Trinity (6-1, 3-0) moved into sole possession of first place in the SCAC in its bid for an 11th consecutive conference title.

The Tigers held a 13-0 lead after one quarter, but Centre was still within reach after Lorenzo Engleman caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brian Behrendt to cap an eight-play, 65-yard drive early in the second period.

Behrendt was playing hurt, however, after suffering a shoulder separation in the first quarter. He was unable to finish the game, and he went 14-for-28 for 147 yards.

And Frye said Centre made a number of mistakes, including three turnovers. Trinity had no turnovers.

"Against good football teams, you can't afford to make mistakes," he said. "I just think they played better than we did. They didn't turn the ball over, and they didn't put their selves in bad situations."

Trinity's 16-point spurt was capped by Brant McAdams' 26-yard interception return for a touchdown, which gave the Tigers a 29-7 lead with 3:32 left in the first half.

Quarterback Dan DesPlaines completed 16 of 22 passes for 229 yards and two scores for Trinity, and Ray Valencia rushed for 110 yards and two scores.

Engleman entered the game averaging over 160 all-purpose yards per game, but he was held to 57 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving.

Aside from Engleman, Trinity held the Colonels' ground game to minus-3 yards rushing.

Centre now must regroup for another difficult conference game next weekend at DePauw.

"This shell-shocked us, but our kids realize their mistakes and that they can be corrected," Frye said. "I think this will give us a real good picture of the character of our football team, to see how we come back here."

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