CONWAY — In the battle of renewed programs, the Hendrix College football defeated Southwestern University 48-29 at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The host Warriors (2-1), who are in their first year of football since dropping the program in 1960, scored 27 fourth quarter points against Pirates (0-4), who also revamped their program this season after discontinuing it after the 1950 campaign.
Hendrix opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 41-yard touchdown pass from freshman Seth Peters to junior receiver Casey Caton at the 8:43 mark. Peters found Caton again, this time for a 33-yard score, just before the end of the opening period to go up 14-0. The touchdown was Caton’s Southern Athletic Association-leading fifth of the year.
The Pirates held the Warriors scoreless in the second, while getting an 18-yard field goal from Laith Tucker and an 18-yard touchdown catch by Colten Shea from Dante Smith to cut the game 14-9 just before half.
Shea scored again on a seven-yard pass from Smith with 11:45 left in the third quarter to put Southwestern up 16-14. Hendrix answered on the next drive, going six plays for 56 yards, capped by a three-yard TD from freshman tailback Dayton Winn to regain a 21-16 advantage.
Winn scampered in from seven yards to open the fourth quarter. Smith fumbled for the Pirates on the next drive and Warrior freshman cornerback Matt Ramirez recovered, giving Hendrix the ball at the SU 36. Three plays later, Peters rushed for a 29-yard scored, giving Hendrix a 34-16 advantage with just over 11 minutes remaining.
Southwestern used 10 plays to march down the field 75 yards and scored on a two-yard completion to Taylor Stephens to make the game 34-22 with 8:08 left. Hendrix scored on the next possession when Peters found freshman Taylor Tibbits for a 12-yard touchdown to go back up by 19.
The Pirates’ punt out of the endzone was blocked by freshman linebacker Broc Smith and recovered by cornerback Mac Adkins to set the Warriors up on the SU five-yard line. Sophomore running back Austin Sevier punched the ball in on the next play, giving Hendrix a 48-22 lead.
Southwestern scored one final time on a 20-yard Austin Rainer pass to Shea with 1:39 left in the game.
Hendrix racked up 465 yards of offense, with 285 passing and a season-high 221 rushing. The Warriors ran 75 plays, averaging 6.2 yards per play. Southwestern ran 87 plays for 436 yards, including 357 through the air.
The Hendrix defense recorded 13 tackles for loss, including four sacks, and caused three turnovers.
Peters was 22-of-32 passing for 244 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. The Greenbrier, Ark. native also ran for a season-best 108 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Winn finished with 23 carries for 116 yards and two scores. Caton caught three balls for 84 yards and two TDs and freshman Travus McMahon recorded four catches for 29 yards.
Smith was 28-of-47 for 282 yards, three touchdowns and apick for the Pirates. Shea finished with 13 catches for 175 yards and three scores.
Defensively, Smith led the Warriors with 12 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss and half a sack, to go with three pass break ups and the blocked punt. Redshirt freshman Caleb Shannon had 11 tackles and two break-ups. Redshirt freshman Reid Cone recorded six tackles and ran back an interception 43 yards. In total, Hendrix had 10 players contribute to tackle for loss. Ben Cunningham recorded 1.5 sacks and Harrison Newton and Gray Stanton each had one.
Michael Erwin led the Pirates with eight tackles.
Hendrix will return to conference play Saturday when they go to Jackson, Miss. to meet up with Millsaps College.