The Colonels close the 2016 regular season with a pivotal Southern Athletic Association (SAA) matchup against the Berry Vikings on Saturday at Farris Stadium. With a win, Centre claims its 17th overall conference championship and its second championship in three seasons. The Colonels would also earn the SAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs with the victory.
– Centre is coming off a historic win on the road at Rhodes last Saturday, topping the Lynx 66-28. Junior quarterback Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) shattered a pair of school records, tallying 527 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns in the win. For his performance, Hayes was named the SAA Offensive Player of the Week and earned D3football.com Team of the Week accolades. The Colonels’ 66 points are the most since defeating Louisville 75-0 on Nov. 21, 1931 on the road and their 703 total yards represent a season-high.
– Berry, in just its fourth year as a program, is tied with the Colonels atop the SAA standings and can clinch at least a share of the SAA title with a win over Centre. The Vikings need a win in addition to a Washington (Mo.) loss to Chicago in order to punch their ticket to the NCAA Division III Playoffs as the SAA’s automatic qualifier.
– Saturday’s matchup features the top scoring offense in the SAA versus the top scoring defense in the league. The Colonels are averaging 45.2 points per game while the Vikings are allowing just 20.3 points per contest. Centre ranks eighth in Division III in scoring sitting sixth in the country in total offense averaging 525.8 yards per game.
– Centre’s Hayes ranks 10th in the nation with 2,816 passing yards and 13th in the country in 28 passing touchdowns. He is one touchdown away from breaking the single-season school record and he is 198 yards away from breaking the single-season record for passing yards set by Brian Behrendt in 2004. Berry’s
Mamadou Soumahoro ranks eighth in the country averaging 1.22 sacks per game.
– The Colonels are seeking their fourth nine-win season under 19th-year head coach Andy Frye. Centre is 34-5 over the last four seasons, finishing with at least eight wins all four of those years.
– Saturday’s game will be streamed live on the Centre Sports Network with Ryan Shannon providing play-by-play and Shane Terrell color commentary. Links to the stream and live stats can be found by visiting CentreColonels.com.
– The game will also be broadcasted live on Hometown Radio WHBN AM 1420 with Joe Mathis, Mark Dexter and Rick Schoebel on the call. Listen to the game live on hometownlive.net by clicking “Listen Live” under The Rooster 1420 WHBN.
The Centre – Berry Series
– Saturday marks the fourth meeting between the two teams in the series that dates back to the 2013 campaign when Berry added a football program.
– The Colonels have won all three meetings, averaging 40.1 points per contest in those games. The Vikings have closed the gap, however, scoring 23 points last season after scoring six and seven points, respectively, in the first two matchups between the teams.
– Centre won the only other matchup in Danville by a score of 44-7 in 2014.
– Saturday’s matchup features the two hottest teams in the conference as Centre and Berry have both won four straight games.
Centre – Andy Frye (19th year)
– The all-time winningest coach in Centre history, Frye has been the head football coach of the Colonels since the 1998 season. Since that time Centre has become one of the most respected football programs in all of Division III.
– Frye owns a 126-64 career record, becoming Centre’s all-time leader in coaching victories with a 34-7 triumph over Defiance on September 13, 2014. With the win, Frye surpassed his predecessor and 2002 Centre Hall of Fame inductee Joe McDaniel.
– In 2014 Frye and the Colonels had a historic season, capturing the school’s first Southern Athletic Association title and 13th conference championship overall. Centre finished with a 10-1 ledger, tying a school record for most victories in a season. The Colonels achieved a perfect 10-0 mark in the regular season, their first undefeated regular season since the 1955 campaign. Centre also qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the second time under Frye.
– For his efforts, Frye was named the SAA Coach of the Year. In addition, senior defensive end Devon Freeman was tabbed as SAA Defensive Player of the Year, while first-year linebacker Andrew Busby earned SAA Newcomer of the Year accolades. Centre placed a conference-high nine players on the SAA First Team.
– The Colonels also earned an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason under Frye in 2011, defeating Hampden-Sydney by a score of 51-41 in the first round, before falling to perennial power and eventual NCAA runner-up Mount Union in the second round. Centre finished with a 9-2 record that season, with its only other loss coming at the hands of another NCAA qualifier in Trinity (Texas). In 2003, the Colonels captured the SCAC crown, earning the 15th conference championship in school history.
– Since taking over in 1998, Frye has coached seven All-Americans, 80 first-team all-conference selections and nine conference player of the year honorees.
Berry – Tony Kunczewski (4th Year)
(Grove City ’00)
– Tony Kunczewski the first head football coach in Berry College history is in his fourth year at the helm in 2016.
– Prior to his tenure at Berry, Kunczewski was the defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at LaGrange for seven seasons, helping develop all aspects of the start-up program from its inception. He helped build its football program from scratch and reach the NCAA Division III playoffs in just its third season. The program began intercollegiate competition in 2006 and in 2008 finished with a 9-2 overall record, recorded the largest single-season improvement in NCAA Division III football history and reached the national playoffs in the third fastest amount of time from start-up in Division III history.
– Prior to joining LaGrange, Kunczewski served as an assistant coach at both Bowdoin College in Maine and Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, both of which are members of NCAA Division III.
– Kunczewski began his collegiate coaching career as the outside linebacker coach at Allegheny during the 2001-02 academic year. That season, Allegheny’s defense ranked 10th nationally against the run.
– As a student-athlete, Kunczewski was a two-time first-team All-Conference player at Grove City College, in Grove City, Pa.
– The Harrison City, Penn., native earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Grove City in 2000, and a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion from California University of Pennsylvania in 2004.
Centre 66, Rhodes 28 (11.5.16)
– In their last game, the Colonels had a record setting day at Rhodes as they defeated the Lynx by a score of 66-28.
– The 66 points were the most scored by a Centre football team since a 75-0 victory over Louisville in 1931.
– Centre’s 703 total yards of offense represent a season-high and are the most since the Colonels tallied 769 yards in a win at Hanover on Sept. 3, 2015.
– Junior quarterback Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) set a pair of school records with 527 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. Hayes also ran for a score in the win.
– Sophomore receiver Cody Estep (Pikeville, Ky.) tied a school record with three touchdown receptions.
– Junior wide receiver Noah Dziedzic (Richmond, Va.) and senior wide out Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) each set career highs in receiving yards and the Centre defense held Rhodes quarterback PJ settles to just 10-40 on pass attempts for the day.
– The Colonels were also excellent on third down, converting 14 of 17 opportunities in the victory.
Berry 38, Birmingham Southern 12 (11.5.16)
– The Berry Vikings closed out their home schedule with a 38-12 win over Birmingham Southern last week.
– The Vikings scored the first 38 points of the ballgame as Slade Dale threw three touchdown passes.
– Berry held the Panther offensive attack under 300 total yards for the day as the league’s top-ranked defense forced a pair of BSC fumbles.
The Last Meeting
Centre 30, Berry 23 (11.14.15)
– The Colonels won at Berry 30-23 in the 2015 regular season finale.
– Trailing 16-0 late in the second quarter, Centre got a touchdown catch from tight end Austin Hayes (Hendersonville, Tenn.) just before halftime and Heath Haden’s (Kingsport, Tenn.) quarterback sneak completed the comeback.
– Berry responded with a touchdown to tie the score but Haden connected with running back Nolan Coulter (Knoxville, Tenn.) on a 15-yard strike that proved to be the game-winner.
– The win spoiled Berry’s chances of representing the Southern Athletic Association in the Division III Playoffs.
SAA’s NCAA DIII Playoff Scenarios
– The Colonels can qualify for the NCAA Division III Playoffs with a win over Berry on Saturday.
– Washington (Mo.) will make the playoffs if the Bears defeat Chicago and Berry beats Centre.
– Berry will advance to the NCAA Division III with a win and a WashU loss to Chicago.
Hayes Collects D3football.com, SAA honors for historic performance
– The Bowling Green, Ky. native tallied a total of eight touchdowns as he added a rushing score in the fourth quarter.
– Hayes tied a career-high with 32 completions on 42 attempts, a completion percentage of 76.2 percent.
– He paced the Colonel offense which recorded 703 total yards of offense, including the 527 through the air and an additional 176 on the ground.
– Centre’s 703 total yards of offense represent a season-high and are the most since the Colonels tallied 769 yards in a win at Hanover on Sept. 3, 2015.
– The junior ranks 10th in Division III with 2,816 passing yards on the year while sitting 13th in the nation with 28 passing touchdowns on the season.
Hayes chasing single-season records
– Devin Hayes’ 28 passing scores tie a Centre single-season record set by Brian Behrendt in 2004 while he is 198 yards away from breaking the single-season record for passing yards also set by Behrendt in 2004.
– Hayes has thrown for at least 300 yards in five of nine games this season, tossing three-or-more touchdown passes in five contests, as well.
Colonels control destiny to postseason
– With Rhodes’ 55-54 upset win over Hendrix on in week nine, the Colonels now control their own destiny to earn the SAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs with a victory over Berry on Saturday in the regular season finale. The Vikings picked up a 38-12 win over Birmingham Southern on Saturday.
– Centre last captured an SAA title in 2014, finishing the regular season at 10-0 and advancing to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.
– The Colonels earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2011 as well, defeating Hampden-Sydney by a score of 51-41 at Farris Stadium.
– Centre, Berry and Washington (Mo.) each sit tied atop the SAA standings with matching 6-1 ledgers in conference play. WashU takes on University Athletic Association (UAA) foe Chicago on Saturday.
Frye wins 125th
– With a 45-30 victory at Birmingham Southern in week nine, Centre head coach Andy Frye captured his 125th career coaching victory. The 19th-year head coach is the all-time leader in coaching victories in Centre history with 126 wins.
– Frye and the Colonels have now won at least eight games in each of the last four seasons.
– Frye has led Centre to a pair of NCAA Division III Playoff appearances and two conference championships in his tenure.
Dominating the red zone
– Centre has been very efficient in the red zone all season, ranking 13th in NCAA Division III at 89.8 percent (44-of-49).
– In conference play, the Colonels have scored on 94.9 percent (37-of-39) of trips to the red zone.
– Centre has scored 19 rushing touchdowns, 18 passing scores and seven field goals in the red zone on the year.
Centre success in Danville
– The Colonels have achieved a great deal of success at home in recent years, posting an 18-1 record at Farris Stadium since the beginning of the 2013 season.
– Centre has won six straight home games dating back to last season.
– Before falling to Hendrix in week five of the 2015 campaign, the Colonels had won 12 consecutive games in Danville.
Seniors to be honored prior to Saturday’s Game
– Centre will honor its 22 seniors prior to Saturday’s matchup against Berry.
– The 2016 Centre football seniors have posted a career record of 34-7 during their four-year playing careers for the Colonels, being the winningest coach in program history.
– The 2016 seniors can also become the first class to win multiple conference championships since the 1992 senior class, which won back-to-back conference titles in 1989 and ’90.
Colonels Putting High-Powered Offense on Display
– Centre’s 703 yards of total offense at Rhodes in week 10 are the most since the Colonels finished with 769 yards in a 63-7 rout of Hanover on Sept. 5, 2015.
– Centre has now tallied at least 500 yards of total offense in eight games since the start of the 2015 season, including five games with 600-or-more yards. The Colonels finished 641 yards at WashU in week three, 613 against Chicago in week four and 531 yards in the 56-14 victory over Anderson in week two.
– The Colonels have recorded 400-or-more yards in 15 of 19 games since the start of the 2015 season.
– Centre broke the school record for yards average (499.1) in the 2015 season for the second consecutive season. The Colonels are on pace to to snap that record once again, averaging 503.6 yards per game through the first eight games of the season.
– Centre ranks sixth in Division III in total offense (525.8 yards per game), eighth in scoring offense (45.2 points per game), sixth in first down offense (247) while ranking 12th in passing offense (332.4 yards per game), 12th in third down conversion percentage (49.6 percent) and 13th in red zone percentage (89.8 percent).
– The Colonels are 8-0 when scoring 30-or-more points this season.
Lewellyn, Mercer Named to D3football.com Team of the Week
– Centre freshman cornerback Cal Lewellyn (Louisville, Ky.) and senior wide receiver Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) garnered D3football.com Team of the Week honors for games on Oct. 7-8.
– Lewellyn earned the recognition for his three-interception game in the Colonels’ 40-21 win over Millsaps, while Mercer was named to the team as a returner, taking back an onside kick 40 yards for a touchdown against the Majors.
– All three of Lewellyn’s interceptions were converted into touchdowns.
– The freshman now has six picks on the season. He is also the only freshman in the country who has tallied more than five interceptions.
– The Louisville, Ky. native added four tackles and three pass breakups in the win.
– Mercer’s kick return touchdown on the Major onside kick put the Colonels on top 40-14 in the fourth quarter. He also contributed five catches for 50 yards in the ball game.
– Mercer paces Centre and ranks fourth in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) with 48 receptions on the season. He sits seventh in the conference with 589 yards receiving on the year.
– Lewellyn and Mercer are the first Colonels to be named to the D3football.com Team of the Week since running back Harry Meisner in week nine of 2013, when he ran for school-records of 254 yards and five touchdowns in a win over Hendrix. All told, 14 Centre football players have earned Team of the Week recognition.
Centre featuring balanced receiving core
– The Centre receiving core features six receivers with 15-or-more receptions on the season paced by senior wide receiver Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) with 57 receptions on the year. Mercer had a career-high of 10 receptions with 104 receiving yards at WashU in week three. He is coming off a nine-catch, career-high 143-yard performance at Rhodes. He has a touchdown in four of eight contests on the year.
– Junior wide receiver Noah Dziedzic (Richmond, Va.) has 40 catches for 617 yards with five touchdowns, while sophomore Cody Estep (Pikeville, Ky.) has 30 receptions for 593 yards and a team-high nine touchdown catches.
Estep knots school record
– Sophomore wide receiver Cody Estep (Pikeville, Ky.) tied a school record with three touchdown grabs in the Colonels’ 66-28 victory at Rhodes in week 10.
– Estep made only three catches on the day, all for touchdowns in the win.
– He caught touchdown passes of 61, 2 and 11 yards at Rhodes.
– The sophomore leads Centre and is tied for third in the SAA with nine touchdown catches on the season.
Colonel defense stepping up
– The Centre defense sits atop the SAA allowing just 351.8 total yards per game while limiting opponents to just 206.6 passing yards per game in a league with four of the top 20 passing offenses in Division III.
– Centre has held six of nine opponents under 200 yards passing.
– The Colonels are tied for second in the league with 15 interceptions while sitting tied atop the conference with two defensive touchdowns.
Lewellyn making an immediate impact
– Centre freshman defensive back Cal Lewellyn (Louisville, Ky.) has been making an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Colonels. He is tied for fifth in NCAA Division III with six interceptions on the year.
– Lewellyn earned SAA Defensive Player of the Week and D3football.com Team of the Week honors for his three-interception game in the Colonels’ 40-21 win over Millsaps.
– He was named the SAA Defensive Player of the Week in week three of the season after making eight tackles to go with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pair of pass breakups in the Colonels’ 39-28 victory over Washington (Mo.) on the road.