TERRE HAUTE —
Harry Meisner busted across the goal line for three short-yardage touchdowns, helping Centre College hand Rose-Hulman’s football team a 27-17 setback Saturday night at Cook Stadium.
His final TD, where he plowed in from the Rose 2-yard line with 8:04 to go in the fourth quarter, provided the final score. A 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, Meisner piled up 106 yards rushing on 26 carries.
One note of interest, Rose-Hulman senior quarterback Ryan Landwehr attempted (36) and completed (60) the second-most passes in a game in school history. He finished with 303 yards through the air, with Aaron Abbott catching 10 balls for 47 yards and Jake Dye adding nine receptions for 135 yards.
The non-conference matchup started with several stalled possessions, then the Engineers put together a 10-play, 78-yard drive that culminated with a 9-yard screen pass from Landwehr to Abbott for a touchdown. Matt Angel’s extra-point kick gave the home team a 7-0 advantage with 3:47 remaining in the first frame.
Centre countered on its next possession with a 9-yard TD run by Amoh Kumengisa, which capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive with 54 seconds left in the first period and tied the score at 7-7.
Rose-Hulman didn’t waste time in responding, using up 12 plays before settling for a 33-yard field goal by Angel to move ahead 10-7.
Rose then pulled off a successful on-side kick, with Spencer Balash recovering the ball on the visitors’ 34-yard line, but a Nick Dietz interception of Landwehr on the next play resulted in Centre having the ball on its 46. Three plays later, a 1-yard run to paydirt by Meisner and the PAT catapulted the Colonels from Danville, Ky., on top 14-10 early in the second quarter.
Another Centre pick-off of Landwehr, this time by cornerback Casey Vatter, gave the visiting squad a new start at its own 41. Twelve plays later, another Meisner 1-yard TD padded the Colonels’ cushion to 20-10.
PATs are not automatic, however, as Rose-Hulman’s Chris Sander blocked Preston Cahill’s kick. That kept the score the same with 8:04 to go before halftime, but it didn’t last long.
On the Engineers’ next possession, a shovel pass from Landwehr to Danya Francis advanced the ball 31 yards for a first down and helped set up an 11-yard TD strike from Landwehr to Marcus Washington along with Angel’s extra point that cut their deficit to 20-17.
Centre unsuccessfully threatened to score a few times in the third quarter. On one occasion, safety T.J. Chin stuffed Meisner 1 yard short of a first down on a fourth-down run in Rose territory.
The Engineers didn’t take advantage of that opportunity, however, and the third period ended up scoreless.
Rose-Hulman’s homecoming game is next Saturday against Defiance, starting at 2 p.m. It also will be the Engineers’ 2013 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener.
Centre 27, Rose-Hulman 17
Centre College 7 13 0 7 — 27
Rose-Hulman 7 10 0 0 — 17
RH — Abbott 9 pass from Landwehr (Angel kick), 3:47 1Q
CC — Kumengisa 9 run (Cahill kick), 0:54 1Q
RH — FG Angel 33, 13:30 2Q
CC — Meisner 1 run (Cahill kick), 12:46 2Q
CC — Meisner 1 run (kick blocked), 8:04 2Q
RH — Washington 11 pass from Landwehr (Angel kick), 5:22 2Q
CC — Meisner 2 run (Cahill kick), 8:04 4Q
Rushing — Centre, Meisner 26-106, Haden 17-69, Kumengisa 6-37, team 4-(-17). RH, Francis 11-57, Landwehr 9-28, Lee 10-20, Washington 1-7, Abbott 1-1.
Passing — Centre, Haden 26-46-0 309. RH, Landwehr 36-60-2 303.
Receiving — Centre, Janeway 9-108, Buten 5-47, Jones 4-80, Johnson 2-29, Meisner 2-20, Carroll 2-15, Adams 2-10. RH, Abbott 10-47, Dye 9-135, Francis 4-36, Gerhart 4-17, Fisher 3-34, Lee 3-16, Washington 2-14, Erba 1-4.
Tackles leaders — Centre, Leahy 10-0-10, Dietz 7-3-10, Spitznag 8-1-9, Spees 5-4-9. RH, Sander 7-5-12, Nowak 8-1-9, Sonneberger 6-3-9, Voges 5-3-8, Chin 5-2-7.
Next — Rose-Hulman (0-2) will be play host to Defiance at 2 p.m. next Saturday for its homecoming game at Cook Stadium. Centre (2-0) will welcome Washington & Lee to its field that same afternoon.