Behrendt, Crowley have broken 11 records at Centre

November 12, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

They are linked by well over 100 completed passes, plays in which Brian Behrendt was on one end and David Crowley was on the other.

But these two Centre College seniors are linked by more than the usual connection between quarterback and wide receiver.

They share similar stories in their rise at Centre, and now they're also sharing space in the Centre record book.

Between them, Behrendt and Crowley have broken 11 of the school's offensive records, and they have put up numbers this season that rank them among the national leaders in Division III.

"Obviously they're playing well, because they're in the top five in the country in both categories," Centre coach Andy Frye said. "But I think they would trade all that for wins."

Indeed, as the two of them face their final game Saturday at Rose-Hulman, they also share the feeling that there's something missing.


"I would rather trade the stats I have for another conference championship," Crowley said.

Team had high expectations

Frye said he sympathizes with them, because he knows they were hoping for a better senior season. In fact, Frye and the entire team had high expectations for this season. But Centre (3-6, 1-6 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) is doomed to its first losing season in six years.

"I feel for them because I think they deserve more," Frye said.

The euphoria of last season, when Centre earned a share of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference title, is still fresh in their minds. And after helping the Colonels go 9-1, 6-4 and 8-2 in their first three college seasons, a finish of 4-6 or 3-7 is understandably hard to swallow.

"Last year was a lot more enjoyable year," Behrendt said.

Behrendt ranks fifth in the nation in total offense (312.2 yards per game), and Crowley is fifth in receiving yards per game (118.1) and sixth in receptions per game (7.8).

Behrendt leads the SCAC with 2,916 passing yards, and Crowley is first in receiving yards (1,063) and receptions (70).

Both players know the success of some of their teammates has made them look better. Behrendt has been well protected by Centre's offensive line - "We've probably got the lowest sack-to-attempt mark in the conference by far," he said - and the emergence of receivers Adam Clark and Lou Brenner have made it harder to double-team Crowley.

And both of them admire the success of the other.

"I've really enjoyed playing with (Behrendt)," Crowley said. "He's got a passion for the game. He just loves playing it."

"Dave's the hardest practice player their is," Behrendt returned.

Still adding to their records

They're still adding to their school records, too. Seven of their records are single-season or career marks that figure to be extended Saturday.

Crowley is the first Colonel with over 1,000 receiving yards in a season - and only the fifth ever in the SCAC - and he is one receiving touchdown short of tying the single-season mark of 10.

Behrendt has Centre's career record for touchdown passes and single-season marks for attempts, completions, touchdowns, passing yards and total offense yards. And though he been a starter for three years, he is 443 yards away from the career passing yardage mark of 7,430 yards that his predecessor, Drew Mildren, set in four years.

Behrendt hopes that players behind him can break some of those records and make Centre better in the process.

"It's nice to look back and say we did this, but they had to be broken some day," he said. "They're neat to have, but some of these classes in the future can break them."

"Kids can set the bar higher now," Crowley added.

The bar was already pretty high when Crowley and Behrendt first got the chance to compete for starting positions in 2002. The quarterback position had been vacated by Mildren and Crowley was trying to follow in the footsteps of accomplished receivers such as Jeremy Gomez and Joe Guthrie.

"We both followed pretty impressive players," Behrendt said.

"They both came through our program and had to earn what they got," Frye said. "Their common experience of that process brought them to that point."

Behrendt and Crowley shared another common bond in their western Kentucky roots. Behrendt is from Paducah, Crowley from Madisonville, and although their paths never crossed in high school, they connected right away on a team with few players from their side of Kentucky.

"We came in as roommates, and we both got to lean on each other," Behrendt said..

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