Wrapping up what its coach called “the best two weeks of football that we have played all year,” Centre College closed its season Saturday with a convincing 48-7 rout of LaGrange at Farris Stadium.
Centre’s defensive secondary picked off four LaGrange passes and Jordan Albright returned a punt 52 yards for a score as the Colonels won their season finale for the 13th time in the past 15 years and clinched their fourth consecutive winning season.
“Honestly, the way we played the last two weeks was as good as the top-25 team that I coached in the past,” Centre coach Andy Frye said. “That’s important, because we wanted some momentum going into the 2011 season.”
He was especially proud of his senior class.
“Our 21 seniors did a great job for us and played their hearts out during the four years they were here,” Frye said. “They overcame a couple of close losses and some adversity. They could have called it a day, and they didn’t ever quit on us. They were really a class act.”
Centre (6-4) was expected to compete for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship but dropped close games to DePauw, Millsaps and Rhodes.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all pleased with a 6-4 season, but playing the way we did to close the season gives us a lot of hope entering next season,” Frye said.
“We played well in all three phases of the game today. LaGrange scored a lot of points on all of the teams that they played and we were able to limit them to just seven points. We made things happen and played a complete game.”
Danville High School graduate Jordan Gay averaged 50 yards per punt, kicked two field goals and kept LaGrange (3-7) backed up with kickoffs that reached the end zone due to a steady wind behind him.
Gay kicked a 47-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare to give the Colonels a 3-0 lead. The field goal was set up by a pass of 48 yards from Tyler Osterman, who completed 14 of 22 passes for 188 yards and three touchdowns, to his brother Jason Osterman.
Cory Williams’ interception and return to the LaGrange 25-yard line helped set up the Colonels’ next score when Tyler Osterman found Jonathan Pinque over the middle on a perfectly executed screen pass that gave them a 10-0 lead.
Centre would tack on another 21 points during the second quarter. John Coomer outjumped a LaGrange defender in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown catch, Brian Saulino had a 5-yard catch and Pinque closed the scoring with a 5-yard run, and the Colonels led 31-0 at halftime.
Thomas Kent, Kent Simpson and Jimmie Warren also grabbed interceptions for the Colonels, and Albright’s punt return touchdown came in the second half. Drew Henderson closed the scoring for Centre with an 8-yard run, and Boyle County graduate Patrick Barsotti added two extra points.
“The interceptions set up our scores, and I was pleased with the punt return from Albright,” Frye said. “I knew if we could get a wall set up for him, he would eventually get a score. He has had a lot of big runs for us, but never a touchdown until today.
“The kids played with a lot of pride today, and I was proud of their effort.”