SEWANEE, Tenn. (CentreAthletics.com) – Redshirt-senior quarterback Heath Haden (Kingsport, Tenn.) completed 8-of-12 passes for 132 yards on Saturday afternoon, becoming Centre’s all-time leader in career passing yards and helping the Colonels earn a 35-7 victory over host Sewanee in a Southern Athletic Association matchup at Hardee-McGee Field.
Haden played just two quarters on Saturday, tossing two touchdown passes and leaving the game with a 28-0 lead. He now has 7,896 career passing yards, more than any other player in the 135-year history of Centre football.
Haden surpassed Drew Mildren, who compiled 7,873 passing yards from 1998-2001 for Centre.
Haden’s two touchdown tosses give him 60 career passing touchdowns, just six shy of the program career record.
The Colonels won their second straight game to improve to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in SAA play, while Sewanee dropped to 1-6 on the year and 0-5 in league action. Centre has now won 10 consecutive games against the Tigers.
The Colonels jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead, before the Tigers scored on their final possession of the game to cut the final deficit to 35-7.
Centre wasted no time getting on the board, as junior running back Nolan Coulter (Knoxville, Tenn.) ran into the end zone from 19 yards out just under two minutes into the game to cap a six-play, 43-yard drive.
Freshman wide receiver Cody Estep (Pikeville, Ky.) gave Centre great field position with a 51-yard return on the opening kickoff into Sewanee territory.
The Colonels extended that lead to 14-0 when senior defensive back Alex Mattingly (Louisville, Ky.) picked up a Sewanee fumble forced by junior defensive lineman Ben Bostick (Liberty Township, Ohio) and returned it six yards for a touchdown on the first play of the Tigers’ second drive of the game.
Sewanee would fumble on the first play of its next drive as well, setting up a Haden 28-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Duncan Mercer (South Charleston, Ohio) on the very next play. This pushed the Colonels’ advantage to 21-0 just over four minutes into the game.
Haden extended the Centre lead to four touchdowns with a one-yard touchdown pass to senior tight endBrandon Kamp (Cincinnati, Ohio) on the Colonels’ first drive of the second quarter, capping a 10-play, 53-yard drive.
That would prove to be the end of Haden’s day, as sophomore quarterback Devin Hayes (Bowling Green, Ky.) took over under center for Centre. Hayes made an immediate impact, connecting with sophomore wide receiver Colin Bradley (Roswell, Ga.) for a 32-yard touchdown pass to expand the Colonels lead to 35-0 with 9:02 remaining in the first half.
On the final drive of the game, Sewanee quarterback Allan Parrott found tight end Steven Hearn for a 12-yard touchdown with 25 seconds showing on the game clock.
Hayes completed 5-of-14 passes for 73 yards to go along with his touchdown pass.
Coulter finished with 64 rushing yards on 10 attempts to pace the Centre running game. Junior running back Casey Bradley (Acworth, Ga.) ran 12 times for 63 yards, while freshman running back Colin Burnam (Bowling Green, Ky.) contributed 54 yards on six carries.
Senior wide receiver Jake Johnson (Louisville, Ky.) paced the Colonels receiving core with three catches for 65 yards.
Mattingly led the Centre defense with seven tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Junior linebacker Ben Dunning (Moon Township, Pa.) finished with six tackles in his season debut. Senior defensive end Kris Beauchamp (Norcross, Ga.) had five tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry in the win.
The Colonels racked up 414 total yards of offense, while the Tigers tallied 217 yards. Centre has now tallied at least 400 yards in five of seven games this season and 200-or-more rushing yards in four contests this year.
The Colonels outgained Sewanee 205-66 through the air and 209-151 on the ground.
Centre returns home next week for an SAA contest against Birmingham Southern at 1:30 p.m. at Farris Stadium.
(Courtesy Centre Athletics)