Football: Colonels to host Kenyon

September 10, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

No matter how much Centre College's players and coaches would like to get rid of it, the blemish on the Colonels' record isn't going away.

Their first black mark came in their first game and coach Andy Frye said the Colonels' only recourse is to turn the negative into a positive in time for Saturday's home opener against Kenyon.

"It was a wake-up call, and sometimes teams need to have that," Frye said. "I think our intensity is much greater, and the thing I thought we had to improve from Saturday's game was our mental intensity."

Centre saw an 11-point lead slip away in the final 10 minutes last weekend against Bluffton, which won only two games last year. While the loss came as a shock to the Colonels' system, Frye said it also gave them a chance to take stock of themselves.


"That's what always happens when you have a loss: It forces you to reevaluate," he said. "If this hadn't happened now, we might be talking about this two weeks from now."

Frye surely hopes it doesn't happen again, and he said all the signs indicate that the players are responding as he hoped they would.

Centre now turns its attention to Kenyon, a team it has beaten handily the last two seasons. Like Bluffton, the Lords went 2-8 last season and are hoping for better things in their coach's second season.

"I think they'll be very similar (to Bluffton)," Frye said. "They may be a little more athletic."

Frye said Kenyon coach Ted Stanley is starting to put his stamp on the program, and he said he has begun crossing paths with Kenyon coaches when recruiting high school players.

This is the first game of the season for the Lords, who lost their last six games of 2003. Centre was one of five teams that held the Lords to seven points or less last year.

Kenyon returns running back Alby Coombs, who rushed for 1,099 yards as a freshman last year; sophomore receiver Carlin Shoemaker, whose 56 catches were nearly half of his team's total; and one of the two quarterbacks who split time last season, senior Nick Stalick.

"Against Kenyon we're going to have to simplify a little bit," Frye said. "We have no film on them except for last year. Really what I'm concerned about is forcing them to beat us."

Centre will carry on without sophomore Jacob Coleman, a starter at cornerback and the team's primary punt and kickoff returner. A torn anterior cruciate ligament ended Coleman's season almost as soon as it started.

"Jacob was on a path of being one of the better corners we've ever had here, and he's an excellent returner, too," Frye said. "Those guys are kind of tough to replace. But we're looking forward to having him back next year."

Frye said Coleman will be replaced at cornerback by freshman John Perin, and he said junior Michael Swartzentruber will return kicks this week.

Senior running back Jeremy Britt also figures to be a kick returner when he returns from an ankle injury, but Frye said Britt will almost certainly sit out this week. Britt injured an ankle in Centre's preseason game against Hanover, then left last week's game in the second quarter.

"Jeremy's not running the way he was in the preseason," Frye said. "Right now we just think he needs time off."

Senior linebacker Brian Downs will return to the field after missing the season opener with a knee injury. Frye said Downs' return and the experience gained by junior Taylor Vaughan, who filled in for him last week, makes the Colonels deeper at linebacker.

Central Kentucky News Articles