Maryville College went toe-to-toe with No. 18 Centre College on Saturday, as a 21-point Colonel rally lifted Centre to a 27-22 victory.
Maryville posted 383 yards on the day – 329 of those on the ground – as the Scots took an early 16-0 lead. Centre scored 27 of the next 33 points to take the five-point victory.
The Orange and Garnet was hindered by nine penalties for 82 yards on the afternoon, as Centre totaled 412 total yards.
Maryville's Jacob Bunch was the star of the day, posting 177 yards on 15 rushes. The sophomore averaged 11.8 yards per carry, as he scored a touchdown. Kris Hawkins added 88 yards on the ground with a 12.6 yards per carry average, while Rodney Murray added 44 yards rushing. Trevor Thomas had 23 yards and a touchdown across the ground, as well.
MC's offensive line was a key factor for the Scots, as they averaged 6.2 yards per carry on the afternoon.
Maryville's Ian Hubbs was perfect on field goals for the day, as he went 3-for-3 with a long of 44 yards. The senior kicker was 1-of-2 on extra points to lead the Scots in scoring.
Defensively, Bo Hering led the way with eight tackles and an interception. He returned it 34 yards, while Haydn Tanner added six tackles and a pick – his going for 13 yards. Jeremy Hardnett and Jamal Ware had six tackles each, while Trenton Cumby added four tackles and a sack. Tre Chandler also had a sack, while Ware posted two tackles for loss. Hardnett had four pass break-ups on the night.
Clark Payne led the Colonels with a 15-of-25 effort through the air. He had 234 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. He found Jordan Gunter for 74 yards and a touchdown and Breece Hayes for 61 yards. Jay Becherer had two catches for 36 yards and a score.
On the ground, Dameon Jones had 16 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, while Patric Edwards added 64 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown.
Maryville (0-2) got on the board first after an electric return by Shemar Collier. He took the opening kickoff 61 yards to set up the Scots on the Centre 26-yard line. Hubbs notched a 38-yard field goal at the 12:55 mark for a 3-0 MC lead.
Maryville would use an eight-play, 85-yard drive at the end of the first quarter to take a 10-0 advantage. Bunch and Hawkins had rushes of 14 yards each, while Murray added 11-yard dash of his own. The Scots were kept alive by a pass interference penalty on an interception, before Thomas rushed 16 yards for MC's first touchdown. Hubbs' kick was good, as the Scots held a 10-point lead at the 3:43 mark of the first.
Hering set up Maryville's next scoring drive with an interception. The Scots' captain returned it 34 yards to the Colonel 47-yard line. Bunch rushed for 31 yards on the first play, as it was a steady diet of the sophomore. He finished the drive with a 5-yard jaunt, as the extra point was blocked by Austin Mitchell. Maryville led 16-0 at the 14:53 mark of the second quarter.
Centre used a five-play, 74-yard drive to get on the board for the first time. Payne tallied a pair of passes of 30-plus yards, as he found Bercherer for a 30-yard touchdown. The Colonels cut the lead to 16-7 at the 5:45 mark in the second quarter.
The 18th-ranked squad would add a second score just before the half. Centre used a 12-play, 73-yard drive that ate three minutes off the clock. Edwards completed the drive with a 1-yard rush with 13 seconds left, making the score 16-14 at the half.
Centre took the second-half kickoff, as Corey Russell returned it 33 yards to the Colonel 49-yard line. Centre needed two plays to cover the 51 yards, as Dameon Jones rushed for 40 yards on the first play. Payne found Gunter from 11 yards out to give Centre a 21-16 lead at the 14:19 point of the third.
MC's 14-play drive stalled at the Centre 19-yard line. The 6:37 march ended with Hubb's second field goal of the day. The senior centered the kick from 36 yards, making the score 21-19 at 7:42.
The Scots forced a Colonel fumble on the Scots' 2-yard line, but the drive stalled. MC was called for kick-catch interference, as Centre took over on the MC 23-yard line. The Colonels had six plays, as Jones covered the final 3 yards on the ground. Centre's two-point try failed, making the score 27-21 at the 14:54 mark of the fourth.
Maryville had another long drive that was stalled by a fumble and an intentional grounding penalty. The Scots settled for a 44-yard field goal from Hubbs – his third of the day – at the 8:32 point in the fourth. That field goal left the final at 27-22.
Maryville will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 21, as they return to Honaker Field. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. against the Panthers of Hanover College.