Centre closes season with 21-16 win at Rose-Hulman

November 14, 2004

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Centre College closed a disappointing season on a high note Saturday, stopping Rose-Hulman on the final play of the game to preserve a 21-16 victory in their final game.

Linebacker Nathan Fell deflected a pass that would have given Rose-Hulman the win, allowing Centre (4-6, 2-4 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference) to escape with its first road victory in five tries.

"We needed that," Centre coach Andy Frye said. "That's been our problem all year, our red-zone defense has not been very good."

Another of Centre's weaknesses this season, its rushing game, became a strength when Danville High School graduate Jeremy Britt rushed for 169 yards in his final game.


Rose-Hulman (4-6, 1-5) focused its defense on stopping Centre's passing game, leaving the door open for a big day for Britt, who has been hampered by injuries this season. He doubled his previous season rushing total of 168 yards.

"Jeremy broke open a long run ... to set up the first touchdown, and we were able to get the ball to him," Frye said.

Brian Behrendt threw three touchdown passes in his final game at Centre, but he was just 9-for-24 for 97 yards, and he was also intercepted three times.

Behrendt finished the season 246-for-420 for 3,013 yards - each of those numbers is a school record - and he ends his career with 7,527 passing yards and a school-record 65 touchdown passes.

Wide receiver David Crowley caught three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown that tied Josh Elliott's 1999 school record of 10 receiving touchdowns in a season. Crowley added to his single-season records of 73 receptions and 1,117 receiving yards.

Centre led 21-2 at halftime after Behrendt threw touchdown passes of 8 yards to Adam Clark, 11 yards to Britt and 37 yards to Crowley. Rose-Hulman's only score came on a safety that resulted from a high snap over Centre punter Chris Thompson, who downed the ball in the end zone.

But the Engineers dominated the second half, keeping Centre's offense off the field for all but seven of the 30 minutes.

"I'm kind of proud that our kids just hung in there with that many plays and the time of possession," Frye said.

Rose-Hulman pulled within 21-16 on a 12-yard touchdown run by quarterback Aaron Gerhardstein with 11:45 remaining.

After Behrendt was intercepted in the end zone by Rose-Hulman's Neil Harrison, the Engineers marched 75 yards in 16 plays to move to the Centre 5-yard line, where they faced fourth down with four seconds to play. Gerhardstein had an open receiver in the end zone on a slant play, but his pass was tipped by Fell and landed in the end zone.

Senior linebacker Brian Downs had a game-high 16 tackles for Centre, including 14 solos. Taylor Holland, Jarrod Zywien and Tyler Moody had nine tackles each, Zywien and Moody each had an interception, and Moody also tackled Rose-Hulman Brett Bueltel on a special-teams play. Fell added eight tackles.

Frye said he hopes this victory will give Centre's returning players some momentum to carry into next season.

"It's a good note to play the way that we did on the road," he said. "Hopefully we can build on that."

Centre will travel to Great Britain in May for some games, and the Colonels will be allowed 10 practices to prepare for the trip.

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