SEGUIN, TEXAS – After an impressive offensive display at home in their season opener a week ago, the Hendrix Warriors simply could not overcome the loss of preseason All-American Miles Thompson to a second quarter injury on the road Saturday night.
Texas Lutheran limited the high-octane Hendrix offense to a season-low 197 yards of total offense and survived the loss of their own starting quarterback Kyle Grona to escape with a narrow 19-14 win at Bulldog Stadium in a contest that was marred by two separate periods of torrential downpours.
“It always seemed to rain when we had the ball in the first half but we can’t control the weather even though people seem to think we can.” Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan said. “But we always talk about playing through adversity so I think we can learn from it.”
Hendrix (1-1) had four turnovers in a sloppy second half that resulted in the Warriors offense netting only yards.
Texas Lutheran would scored the go ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Bulldogs reserve quarterback Jarvis Brooks capped a three minute drive by connecting with Charles Robinson for a 24-yard TD slant.
The Warriors squandered a couple of opportunities to win the game down the stretch.
TLU safety James Bell’s acrobatic interception of Mason Doerr in the end zone as the Warriors were driving midway through the third quarter coupled with a clutch 35-yard run to the Hendrix 15 on a 3rd-and-7 from the Texas Lutheran 49 with 3:16 left in the contest both proved to be game changers.
“As big as the run (by Leslie) was I thought the interception (by Bell) was the biggest play of the game because we were driving for points.” Buchanan said. “It was an incredible play by the defender. He absolutely earned that one.”
In the fourth quarter, the Hendrix offense was forced into two punts, a fumble and a turnover on downs on its last four possessions.
The Bulldogs defense collected three interceptions – two by Bell and one by Ethan Adams and had 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, a forced fumble and a sack.
"The laws of physics apply in football, and our defense won the battle in the trenches," Texas Lutheran coach Carl Gustafson said. "And while we were able to run the ball when it got messy, our defense took away their running game. Our defensive coaches do a remarkable job, led by our defensive coordinator Ricky Matt. They made some big stops."
Doerr finished 6-for-16 passing for twenty yards in relief of Thompson who went down late in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury that kept him out for the remainder of the contest.
Hendrix scored on its first possession of the game with Thompson throwing a 42-yard TD strike to Blake Hinton.
But Texas Lutheran countered with a three-yard TD run by Andrew Reed and then a short two-yard run by Leslie to secure a 13-7 lead at intermission.
Kip VanHoose paced the Warriors with 57 yards rushing on 16 attempts.