SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College football team battled through the elements and held off Hendrix College for a 12-9 victory on Saturday afternoon at Jerry Apple Stadium. The 'Roos are now 1-3 overall and 1-1 in Southern Athletic Association play.
With heavy rain creating a sloppy playing surface, the 'Roos and Warriors struggled to move the ball for much of the game, with punts on each of the first three possessions of the game. Hendrix finally got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter after driving down inside the 5-yard line, as the Austin College defense held strong and forced a 20-yard field goal to put the Warriors on top 3-0.
That remained the score until into the second quarter, when the 'Roos got a pair of big runs from Reggie Evans for 10 and then 21 yards, and Colt Collins found Kaleeb Garner along the sideline for a 10 yard gain to the Hendrix 25. Two plays later, Collins delivered a strike to a diving Garner in the endzone for the game's first touchdown to put the 'Roos ahead 7-0 with 3:08 left before the half.
Austin College forced a 3-and-out on the ensuing Hendrix possession and capped off a nine-play, 46-yard drive with a 29-yard field goal from Mateo Pritzkau with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. That sent Austin College into halftime leading 10-3, and that would remain the score into the second half.
Neither team would get any points on the board in the third quarter, but Austin College got two points from its special teams when a bad snap on a punt attempt led to a safety to make it 12-3 with 8:46 left in the game. Hendrix made it a one-possession game late in the fourth when Kip Van Hoose scored on a run from 19 yards out, but the point after attempt was blocked to keep it a 12-9 game with 1:54 remaining.
The Warriors got one final chance with under a minute left, but a strong punt from Tyler James pinned them inside their own 5-yard line and the 'Roo defense held strong to seal the victory.
Collins finished with 195 passing yards, connecting on 13-of-31 attempts in the downpour with one touchdown and no interceptions. Collins also led the 'Roos with 75 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Evans added 39 rushing yards, and Jackson Townsend led the defense with 11 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Nathan McLane added 10 stops, and Keegan Nichols had eight stops with 1.5 for loss.
Mason Doerr completed 15-of-28 passes for 86 yards with a pick, and Van Hoose rushed 20 times for 88 yards. Tanner Hartsfield made nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss, to lead the Warriors defensively.
Austin College hits the road next weekend, traveling to Georgia to take on Berry College.