ROME, Ga. — Berry College returns home this week following a challenging three-game road trip that saw the Division III team face off against a Division I FCS squad from Mercer University.
Playing in their inaugural season, it marked the first-ever road trip in program history. While the Vikings (1-4) lost all three games, the team is excited about returning home to take on Centre College (3-1).
“We knew this was going to be a tough three-game stretch on the road,” Berry Coach Tony Kunczewski said. “We will continue to learn from our mistakes and build from the positives.
“There were a bunch of positives over the past three weeks,” Kunczewski added. “We are moving in the right direction and are excited to get back home in front of our fans.”
Saturday’s match-up will be the second Southern Athletic Association game for Berry and the first for Centre. Interestingly, both teams lost to Washington University (3-2) in their last game — Centre on Sept. 28 and Berry a week ago.
Heath Haden leads Centre’s offense, completing 60.5 percent of his passes and averaging 322.8 passing yards per game. He has also thrown six touchdown passes. Harry Meisner has been equally potent for the Colonels, rushing for 373 yards (93.2 yards per game) and six touchdowns.
For Berry, linebacker Anthony Batey and Punter Mitchell Blanchard have been two of the team’s bright spots.
Aside from his 100-yard fumble return for a touchdown, Batey leads the Vikings with 46 tackles, including 35 solo tackles. For his part, Blanchard has netted 39.2 yards per punt across 36 punts. He also scored a 47-yard touchdown on a fake punt.
- Despite a losing record, Berry has outscored its opponents 30-28 in the first quarter.
- Berry’s Trevor Price has established himself as the Vikings’ top running back, rushing for 126 yards on 28 carries, good for an average of 4.2 yards per carry.
- Despite their winning record, Centre has played it close all season: The Colonels have averaged 27.8 points per game while giving up an average of 25.5 points per game.
- Centre’s defense have given up an average of 394 yards per game while Berry’s defense has allowed an average of 462.4 yards per game.
- Berry has out-attended its opposition: In two games Berry has averaged an attendance of 4,154 per game. Meanwhile, in its three away games, Berry’s opponents have averaged an attendance of 3,104 per game. That includes the Vikings’ Sept. 21 game at the 10,000-seat Mercer University Stadium and a reported attendance of 6,327.