Photo by Matt Hembree (C’20)
By Harry Davis
On Saturday, November 5, the Sewanee Tigers lost to the Centre College Colonels 47-0 on Homecoming Weekend.
The Colonels had seven wins and one loss and were riding a four-game win streak coming into the game. Centre had a very potent offense averaging over 39 points per game and over 400 yards of total offense. Last week, Centre won against Millsaps 28-13, a team that Sewanee lost to 17-13 earlier in the season.
The Tigers lost their previous two games to Trinity and Rhodes and stood at three wins and six losses coming into the final game of the season. The Tigers had lost the possession battle the last two games and were looking to change this against Centre to give their defense time to rest against such a powerful offense.
The first quarter began with Centre pushing down the field before three penalties and a sack by a sack by JoJo Matlock (C’19) stall the drive. The Tigers gained possession only to fumble the ball and have Centre recover it on the Sewanee 13-yard line. Sewanee’s defense came up big as Centre pushed to the Sewanee four-yard line before they were forced to settle for a field goal on the Sewanee six-yard line. The Tigers had the momentum and nearly capitalized on it after William Phillips (C’21) returned the following kickoff 78 yards to the Centre 22-yard line. Sewanee’s offense struggled briefly before their attempted field goal is blocked and returned for a touchdown to make the score 10-0.
Centre scored a touchdown on their first drive in the second quarter to bring the score to 17-0. Both offenses struggled briefly before Centre went 80 yards at the end of the quarter to score with five seconds left to bring the score to 23-0 after failing the extra point attempt. In the third quarter, the Colonels scored two touchdowns to bring the score to 37-0 before adding a field goal and touchdown in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 47-0.
This was not the ending to the season that the Tiger’s wanted, however this season was an absolute mark of improvement upon last year. Both the offensive and defense improved considerable. The offense in 2016 averaged 290.8 yards per game and 16.4 points per game, this year the offense averaged 354 and 23.4. The Tiger’s defense showed considerable improvement against the passing game: allowing 308.6 passing yards in 2017 to 218.1 this year.
This final game should not be what is remembered for the Tigers’ 2017 season. Instead this year should be remembered as a transition to new Head Coach Travis Rundle’s new schemes. It should be remembered as a season of massive improvements on both sides of the ball and the beginning of a new point in Sewanee football history.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate the entire Sewanee Football team and its 10 seniors on a great season. Games like this one are tough to end on, but this year was a success.