The Centre football team opened Southern Athletic Association play with a 48-6 victory over Berry College on Saturday in Rome, Ga.
It was the first meeting between the Colonels and the Vikings, who are in their first year as a football program. Though Berry struck first with a pair of first quarter field goals, Centre rolled off 48 unanswered points to cruise to the victory.
After Berry's second field goal, the Colonels answered immediately with an 81-yard kickoff return by Alex Mattingly (Louisville, Ky.) which set up an 18-yard touchdown pass from Heath Haden (Kingsport, Tenn.) to Brandon Kamp (Cincinnati, Ohio) on the next play.
The Colonels forced Berry to go three and out on the next two possessions, and responded with sustained touchdown drives to go up 21-6 by the end of the first quarter. On the first of those, Vinnie Morris (Stanford, Ky.) capped an eight play, 56-yard drive with a touchdown run from one yard out, while on the next series Amoh Kumengisa (Lexington, Ky.) finished off an eight play, 52-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown.
After a scoreless second quarter, Haden found Austin Jones (Louisville, Ky.) on a 27-yard touchdown strike to put the Colonels up 28-6 midway through the third quarter. The fourth quarter would bring more of the same as Haden hooked up with Harry Meisner (Wyoming, Ohio) from nine yards out on his third touchdown pass of the day after being set up on a 51-yard catch by Nick Buten (Fort Thomas, Ky.).
With the game well in hand, Centre was able to add two more late scores when a Berry fumble resulted in a 12-yard touchdown run by Casey Bradley (Acworth, Ga.) on the next play, with Mattingly returning an interception 65 yards on the next series.
Overall, Haden finished with 255 yards through the air and found eight different receivers on the day with Jones leading the way with five catches for 55 yards. Kumengisa was the Colonels' top rusher with 40 yards on eight carries.
Alex Hay (Cincinnati, Ohio) was Centre's top tackler with 11, including nine solos, 3.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks. The Centre defense had six sacks overall and held Berry to 217 yards of total offense.
With the win, Centre improves to 4-1 on the season and opens up SAA play at 1-0. Berry falls to 0-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Colonels return home to take on Sewanee at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday.