Strong second half propels Centre past No. 24 Birmingham-Southern, 45-20

Shawn Morris
Shawn Morris

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—After trailing by only seven points at the half, the Birmingham-Southern football team was outscored 17-0 by Centre College in the second half, losing 45-20 at home in Panther Stadium for BSC's first loss of the season.

The Panthers fall to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the SCAC, while the Colonels remain unbeaten at 5-0 overall and 3-0 in league play.

With his two touchdowns for BSC, junior tailback Shawn Morris becomes the program's all-time touchdown leader.

The game started with an offensive flurry, with the first four drives ending in touchdowns, beginning with a three-yard run by running back back Jonathan Pinque to put Centre up 7-0. BSC responded six minutes later with a three-yard dash by Morris to even the score.

The Colonels found the end zone again less than two minutes later on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Osterman to Pinque, and the Panthers scored on the next drive on a 10-yard run by junior quarterback Jimmy Stainback. BSC missed the extra point, however, and trailed 14-13 with 11:05 left in the second quarter.

Centre's next drive ended with an interception by junior defensive back Jeffery Steele, and BSC ended up scoring on that drive – courtesy of a two-yard run by Morris – to take a 20-14 lead with 8:57 remaining in the half.

But the Colonels turned around and scored on their next possession on a 39-yard run by Monte Scotton to re-take the lead, 21-20. Centre scored once more with 15 seconds left in the half on a short pass from Tyler Osterman to his brother Jason Osterman, putting the Colonels up 28-20 at halftime.

Defense came into play in the second half, with neither team finding the end zone in the third quarter, but Centre scored on all three of its possessions in the fourth quarter. A field goal by Jordan Gay put the Colonels up 31-20, followed by another Scotton touchdown and a returned interception by Jared Ferguson.

Stainback was 9-of-15 with one pick and 103 yards, and he also led with 90 yards rushing. Morris recorded 80 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, and also had three receptions for 43 yards.

For Centre, Tyler Osterman was 18-of-26 for 300 yards, and Scotton led with 97 rushing yards. Jason Osterman had six receptions for 69 yards.

Senior Dustin Massey led the BSC defense with eight tackles (seven solo, one assisted), including two tackles-for-loss, and sophomore Ty Keenum also recorded eight tackles (five solo, three assisted).

Ferguson and Michael Bozarth led Centre with eight tackles apiece.

Centre recorded 18 first downs to BSC's 17, but racked up 455 total yards to the Panthers' 304.

The Panthers are off next week but return to action against No. 18 Trinity University on Saturday, Oct. 29, at noon in San Antonio, Texas.