Centre College (3-0, 1-0 Southern Athletic Association) sped past the Hendrix College Warriors (1-2, 0-1 SAA) in its 45-6 win over the Warriors on Saturday at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium.
Hendrix’s junior preseason all-american Miles Thompson was forced to sit in the Warriors’ coaching box because of a shoulder injury he suffered in week one against Lyon College.
In his place, junior quarterback Mason Doerr filled in for Thompson.
It was tough sledding against a tough Colonel defense for Doerr and the Warriors all game.
Starting off the game, Hendrix drove down to Centre’s 6 yard line, but failed to punch it in.
Instead, electing for a 25-yard field goal from senior Sandy Burks.
However, it seemed like Centre’s strike and strike fast game plan was what propelled them to score 21 unanswered points in throughout the first half.
The Colonels’ three touchdown drives were clocked at two minutes, 43 seconds, 1:50 and 1:12.
To combat this, Hendrix tried to slow the game down and chip away at field possession rather than try to match Centre’s speed.
At halftime, the Warriors had a time of possession advantage of 20:20 to the Colonels’ 9:40.
“I was impressed with [Hendrix coach] Buck [Buchanan] slowing the game down because I think he knew that if we could keep it within a game, he’s got a brand new quarterback and he’s a young kid,” Centre coach Andy Frye said. “He’s got really good skill around him. He’s just got to get the ball to them. They tried to and they did a decent job. That was a wise plan. I think within a couple weeks, the new guy will get better and better once he gets a handle of the offense. In the first half, we only had 20 something plays. We scored three times, but that isn’t very good. I commend them on that.”
Buchanan also recognized that the first half score of 21-3 was much closer than the score indicated.
“We gave up a couple plays in the first half on defense,” he said. “We were right there hanging with them and came out with an offensive plan to slow them down. Our offensive line dominated in the first half and gave us a chance. We executed fairly well with that and didn’t turn it into points. We really gave up two plays that we shouldn’t have on defense. They get credit because they are the ones that executed the plays. I feel like they are a better team than they were last year.”
Unfortunately for the Warriors, mistakes played a big role in the game with Doerr completing just 13 of 35 passes and Hendrix turning the ball over three times.
“It’s a shame because it wasn’t on one guy but we made a lot of mistakes,” Buchanan said. “Mason did a lot of good things and then he would make a mistake. When he was doing good things, someone else would make a mistake so we need to clean those things up. We need to make our offense more efficient.
“Defensively, we're looking to get some people back out in the lineup that can help us. We have to suffer through what we’re doing now and keep trying to get better every week.”
After a third quarter touchdown by Centre, the Warriors looked to finally be hitting their stride when sophomore running back Kip VanHoose broke free for a 24-yard run, but it was called back on a holding penalty.
The Warriors would eventually pick up the first down on a fourth down conversion, but would fumble one play later where Centre recovered the ball at its 22.
From there, it seemed to deflate Hendrix as they had trouble moving downfield from that point forward.
“That hurt because we turned around and I made a mistake to get us out of a play and get Travis’ [England] attention and we fumble there,” Buchanan said. “That’s on me. Not having that score and turning that over there, those were killers. We would get a turnover and turn the ball over right back or we would get a stop and turn the ball over. We didn’t really play together in the second half.”
The Colonels would overpower the Warriors, out-gaining them 504 to 251.
One bright spot for Hendrix was VanHoose, who ran for 100 yards on 16 carries.
This was the first game the Warriors failed to score a touchdown since the program was revitalized in 2013.
Hendrix will look to get off the schneid against 0-3 Austin College.