Behrendt, Crowley break records in Centre win

September 26, 2004|JILL ERWIN

It took Centre College's offense a quarter to get rolling. But once it did, the records started falling.

The Colonels set two school records and racked up 460 yards of offense Saturday in a 28-23 win over visiting Washington & Lee, erasing the bad memories of a loss the previous week.

"We weren't going to lose today," Centre receiver David Crowley said. "Two wins in your first four games is not very good for a Centre football team. We wanted to let not only Washington & Lee know, but also other teams in our conference know, that we're not a pushover and we won't be whenever they play us."

Brian Behrendt set a Centre record with 377 yards passing and his favorite target, Crowley, also set a school record with 206 receiving yards.


Centre (2-2) picked up 386 of its 460 yards in the second and third quarters, after totaling just six in the first quarter. The second quarter was the Colonels' best, racking up 266 yards and scoring 21 points.

Fourteen of those points came in a span of 2 minutes, 20 seconds at the end of the half, pushing Centre from a 17-7 deficit to a 21-17 halftime lead.

Perfect execution of drill learned from Mumme

Centre coach Andy Frye said it was a perfect execution of the bandit drill he learned from former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme. The offense must run a play every 15 seconds in a full-contact drill during practice, learning how to focus under extreme duress and physical exhaustion.

The Colonels made it work, as Behrendt and Crowley hooked up on an 18-yard touchdown with 2:52 to play in the second quarter and then Nick Warren scored on a 17-yard run with 32 seconds left.

"In those bandit drills last week, I finally saw pride on both sides of the ball and I think that's what we lacked the first three games," Frye said. "I think our kids kind of thought they could just walk out there and play, but you don't do that on Saturday. That starts back in practice."

Centre came out to play on this Saturday, as Behrendt and Crowley connected nine times for those 206 yards. The flashiest play was a pass that Crowley hauled in at the Centre 40 after getting behind the defense and outran the defenders the remaining yards for a 97-yard scoring strike.

It was a game of quick strokes, as none of the eight scoring series took longer than 1:38.

W&L (1-2) was able to limit the damage Centre did on the ground - the Colonels rushed for just 83 yards - but couldn't stop the air attack.

"Some teams give you the pass and some teams give you the run," Behrendt said. "Today, we just really had to rely on the pass and it worked out for us. We realized what they were trying to do to us. We figured out what worked best, and we kept running the same stuff over and over."

"Brian was recognizing the zones they were in and the O-line was doing an awesome job of covering so Brian would have time to get me the ball," Crowley said. "We had a fun time after that."

Warren has big game, too

The good times were spread around. Reserve running back Nick Warren had a big game, rushing 20 times for 90 yards and catching eight passes for 81 yards. He received more playing time because Adam Blandford missed the game with an injury and Jeremy Britt reinjured his ankle on the first series of the game.

Most of Warren's receiving yards came on shovel passes from Behrendt that he turned into big gainers.

"He knows what he is: He runs fast," Frye said. "I like that he runs in his style. He's not going to juke you, he's just going to run fast."

Warren caught a 12-yard scoring strike from Behrendt to put the Colonels up 28-17. On W&L's next series, quarterback Nick Tweardy found Garrett LeRose in the end zone, but Centre's Taylor Holland laid a vicious hit on him just as the ball arrived and the pass fell incomplete.

That play would end up being huge, as the Generals ended up scoring on its next series on an 18-yard strike from Tweardy to Taylor Callaham to draw within 28:23 with 5:45 to play.

The Generals would get one more chance to win the game, taking over at their own 16-yard line with 2:25 to play. But three plays later, Nathan Fell intercepted Tweardy at the 32-yard line to end the drive.

"You never expect those kind of plays," Fell said. "They overthrew the ball a little bit, and it came right into my hands. You can't ask for anything easier than that."

The win allowed Crowley to finally put last week's 42-19 loss to Rhodes away.

"After last week, the only thing I wanted to do was play football," Crowley said. "Usually you have the loss out of your head by Tuesday when you put the pads back on. We had a chip on our shoulder all week because we knew that was not the kind of performance we want to have ever again."

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