SHERMAN, Texas — With another wild finish, the Hendrix College football suffered a 45-38 loss to Austin College at Jerry Apple Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The host Kangaroos (3-5) went up by two touchdowns on a Bryce Murphy five-yard run with 2:41 to play, but 1:04 later, the Warriors (3-4) score on a 13-yard pass from freshman Tanner Frye to freshman Ethan Hoppe, cutting the lead 45-38 with 1:37 left to play. The ensuing onside kick by Hendrix freshman Steve Crenshaw was recovered by Austin and the ‘Roos ran out the clock.
The Warriors started the game with a six-play, 81-yard drive capped by a 39-yard run by freshman tailback Dayton Winn. The ‘Roos answered on the next drive, tying the game up with a 15-yard pass from Noah Jesko to Mitch Trentman.
Hendrix turned the ball over on a fumble on their own 13 and Jesko threw an eight-yard pass to Brandon Rawls, to go up 14-7 at the 2:40 mark of the opening quarter. Trentman scored an 11-yard pass with 7:54 left to play in the second, giving AC a 21-7 advantage. On the next possession, Frye found Winn for a 45-yard touchdown pass, cutting the advantage to one score. Austin answered again with a 21-yard throw to Cooper Woodward, but Hendrix scored on a 25-yard pass from Frye to freshman Spencer Smith with 46 seconds left in the half to make the game 28-21 headed into the break.
Scoring was limited to a 33-yard field goal by Crenshaw in the third quarter, giving the ‘Roos a 38-24 lead to start the fourth quarter. AC Andrew Klink hit a 45-yard field goal and James Nwankpah scored on a 57-yard carry to give the ‘Roos a 38-34 lead with 10:39 to play. The Warriors ran 13 plays and went 68 yards, but took over five minutes to score on a one-yard carry by Winn, cutting the lead to 38-31. Murphy scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown on Austin’s next drive.
For the game, the Warriors ran 81 plays for 503 yards. The ‘Roos ran 69 plays for 569 yards, the most Hendrix has given up this season. The Warriors committed three turnovers, while the Kangaroos had none.
Frye was 33-of-47 for 376 yards, three TDs and two interceptions. Winn rushed 16 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 114 yards and another score. In total, the Pea Ridge, Ark. native had 239 all-purpose yards. Smith had a season-high nine catches for 113 yards and freshman Travus McMahon brought in nine carries for 64 yards.
Jesko was 15-of-23 for 225 yards and four touchdowns. Nwankpah highlighted the ‘Roos running game with 23 carries and 202 yards and score. Murphy had 17 carries for 111 yards and touchdown.
Redshirt freshman Reid Cone led the Warrior defense with 13 tackles and two pass breakups. Freshman defensive tackle Stephen Stearman had nine tackles and freshman linebacker John Donald had eight tackles and half a tackle for loss. Freshman safety Jake Steward registered 2.5 tackles for loss.
Brooks Ward led AC with 14 tackles, while Jantzen Foster had 12 and De’Andrew Holmes had 10. Nathan Packard had six tackles and a sack.
Hendrix will play at Southern Athletic Association foe Centre College in Danville, Ky., next Saturday.