Sewanee drained the life out of the Hendrix offense Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers tossed a shutout at possession time.
Hendrix was 0 of 12 on third down and 0 of 6 on fourth down while Sewanee’s triple-option attack ground out 408 yards rushing in the Tigers’ 35-9 victory at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium.
The Warriors, who managed only 171 yards in total offense and completed 23 passes for only 92 yards, finished their first football season in 53 years at 3-7, 1-5 in the Southern Athletic Association. It was the fourth straight defeat for Hendrix.
The Tigers finished 4-6, 3-3.
Hendrix entered the game as the top team in the conference and one of the best in the nation on third-down conversions. (67 of 135) and was 50 percent (8 of 16) on fourth-down conversions.
"This was the exact opposite of how we have been all year on offense," said Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan. "They (the Tigers) did a good job, they schemed us well. But we didn’t finish anything.
I may have put us in a bad position by going for it four times on fourth down in the first half, but we’re going to play aggressively on offense and we had our opportunities but didn’t execute."
The Tigers had magnificent execution of what triple-option teams want to do: Control the football, limit turnovers and wear down a defense. Sewanee’s used two quarterbacks and both rushed for more than 100 yards. Curtis Johnson rushed for 150 on 30 carries and Cody Daniel had 112 on 12 carries.
"I thought we did a pretty good job on defense; we did things we haven’t done in three weeks," said Buchanan. "But you can’t have good offense one time and good defense another time. You’ve got to play together."
The Tigers handcuffed the Hendrix offense with strong coverage by the best pass defense in the conference plus pressure at the point of attack. The Warriors were thrown for 88 yards in losses.
"They had seniors who wanted to finish the season the right way and we played like we wanted the season to be over," Buchanan said.
For the longest, the Warriors’ only points came on special teams when Thomas Weissert returned a blocked extra point to the opposite end zone for two points.
Dayton Winn, who was held to 32 yards rushing, scored the only touchdown from the 1 after the Warriors drove 36 yards after a fumble recovery in the third quarter.
The Tigers, who used 10 ballcarriers, had touchdown drives of 63 yards in six plays, 71 yards in six plays and 47 yards in seven plays to take a 22-2 lead at the half. On a penalty-plagued drive, 74 yards in 11 plays, to a 24-yard field goal by Callum Wishart, the Tigers produced five straight first downs on first-down plays with runs of 10 yards or greater.
Sewanee turned an interception into a touchdown in the third quarter, then drove 63 yards in 11 plays in the fourth quarter for the final touchdown on an 18-yard run by Daniel.
"By the spring and next year, we will be one team where we play together and put things together on offense and defense," said Buchanan.