Centre football handles Austin; Trinity next

Published 9:37 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Centre football coach Andy Frye was quick to praise his  offense for his team’s 38-3 victory over Austin College on Saturday.

But it wasn’t just the first-team offense that did its part in the Colonels’ victory.

“I commend our scout team offense, because quite honestly, I thought our scout team executed their offense better than (Austin) executed their offense on Saturday,” Frye said. “That’s how you win. You’ve got to remember, those are cards, they’re not going to make any mistakes, they know what they’re supposed to do. But the preparation was key for us. That was a team win because I think the scout team did a great job preparing us.”

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Austin runs an option offense, but the option wasn’t working against a stout Centre defense. The Colonels allowed just 61 rushing yards on 29 attempts.

“When you’re running the option, it’s assignment football on the defensive side and we did a great job of doing that,” Frye said.

Offensively, the Colonels were without starting quarterback Devin Hayes, but backup Tanner Young stepped in and tossed four touchdowns on 19-of-27 passes for 309 yards.

“I was really pleased with how well Tanner Young, our backup quarterback, came in and filled in for Devin Hayes. He threw for over 300 yards, that’s pretty doggone good. That was big,” Frye said. “They took away our run game. Austin came into the game, realized they had a second team quarterback against them. They were going to take away the run and they were going to blitz. They put eight in the box, they blitzed every play, gapped everything. I commend them on that end but it wasn’t good enough.”

Hayes returned to practice Tuesday for the Colonels.

Centre opened the scoring with a 20-yard field goal from Ben Logsdon early in the first quarter. Davis Kannapell caught Young’s first touchdown pass in the first quarter to make the score 10-0 after one.

In the second quarter, Jaylon Hibbs took a pass from Young and went 60 yards for a touchdown to make the score 17-0 at halftime.

“Jaylon Hibbs, that was his first game returning since preseason and he had a long touchdown run,” Frye said.

Austin scored its only three points to open the second half, but Young again kept the Centre offense rolling.

Trevor Carnell had two scores: A  one-yard run and 16-yard reception in the second half. Cody Estep caught a 29-yard pass to finish the scoring.

“Cody Estep is still playing well like he always has,” Frye said. “I think our offensive line protected well.”

But it was back to defense for Frye. His team held Austin to just three third-down completions and eight first downs. Centre had 19 first downs.

“Defensively, they didn’t have a lot of plays but they played well,” Frye said. “I was really pleased with how well they kept their option shut down. I think their longest run was maybe 10 yards. The option gashes you and we didn’t let them do that. They started throwing the ball when they were behind and I knew at that point there was no way they’d come back because they don’t work that. With the option game, they don’t practice that.”

Colt Collins finished 7-for-28 through the air for Austin.

Frye also noted special teams — Logsdon was 5-for-5 on extra points and had four touchbacks, while punter Jake Holloway had three punts, with two ending inside the 20.

“I think our kicking game, that’s probably what I was most pleased with,” Frye said. “We had a really nice punt return, we had good kickoff returns. We were 100 percent on PATs, had a field goal, only punted twice but there were good punts. I think we had four touchbacks on kickoffs. I was pleased all around with our special teams, that was big for our confidence.”

The 4-1 (2-1) Colonels will face another Texas test this weekend, traveling to Trinity University (4-1, 3-0).

“Trinity isn’t what they were in the 90s but they’re still pretty good,” Frye said. “They’re 4-1 and their only loss is to a team that usually gets into the playoffs. This will be our biggest challenge, I think they’re as good as what we played against Berry. They’re very sound fundamentally, you can tell they line up right. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical. It’s a big game for us. We’re still in the hunt, Trinity is in the hunt. It’s a big game for both of us.”