MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — A defensive battle was ultimately won by the Berry College Vikings on Saturday night, who forced four Centre turnovers in a big 28-14 victory to remain undefeated in Southern Athletic Association (SAA) play.
Berry quarterback Slade Dale led the offense on a six play, 72-yard drive to open the game, putting the Vikings up 7-0 after a one-yard touchdown run. Centre would answer with a 50-yard drive of their own just inside the second quarter to even the game.
Both defenses would then begin trading blows as the next six drives before the half ended in punts. Only 62 yards of combined offense would be gained between the two teams for the final 14 and a half minutes in the second quarter as the halftime score remained 7-7.
At the seven-minute mark of the third quarter, Dale would connect with Trey Ciresi for an 18-yard score to put the Vikings up 14-7. The game remained quiet until about 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter when Centre quarterback Devin Hayes would be met by Mamadou Soumahoro for a two-yard sack. The ball popped loose and was recovered by Berry's Justin Akin at the Centre 29-yard-line. With a short field, Slade Dale would add another rushing touchdown to expend the Berry lead to 21-7.
Centre was able to score once more with three minutes remaining, but a failed onside kick would give Berry the ball back on the Centre 37-yard-line. With the defense expecting Berry to run out the clock behind Austin Lowe, Dale found Mason Kinsey in single-coverage for a 36-yard score to put the game out of reach 28-14.
BERRY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Slade Dale: 12-24, 212 PASS YDS, 4 TOT TD, 33 RUSH YDS
- Austin Lowe: 23 ATT, 83 YDS
- Trey Ciresi: 5 REC, 118 YDS, TD
- Mason Kinsey: 4 REC, 57 YDS, TD
- Mamadou Soumahoro: 6 TKL, 2 SK, FF
- Jackson Putnam: 3 TKL, INT
- Austin Haight: 2 TKL, INT
CENTRE STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Devin Hayes: 15-34, 155 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT
- Trevor Carnell: 13 ATT, 56 YDS
- Austin Hayes: 5 REC, 64 YDS, TD
- Andrew Busby: 8 TKL, SK
- Zach Berger: 5 TKL, SK, 2 TFL
- The last time Centre was held to 14 points was Oct. 26, 2013 when they lost 35-14 at Rhodes.
- The Vikings defense held Centre to 282 yards of offense, the Colonels came into the night averaging 478.3.
- Centre's Trevor Carnell came into the night averaging more than 151 yards per game. Berry held him to 56 yards on the ground.
- Berry's four takeaways are the most since the Vikings played Centre a year ago in Danville, Ky.
- Centre had only allowed one sack coming into the evening, Berry's pass rushers found pay dirt three times.
- The Vikings will take to the skies as they travel to Sherman, Texas to face recently added SAA football affiliate, Austin College, on Sept. 30 at 2:00 pm ET. The 'Roos are currently 2-2 and 0-2 in SAA play.