SHERMAN, Texas – The Austin College football team gained 569 yards of total offense, including 344 rushing yards, and Noah Jesko threw for four touchdowns in the first half as the ‘Roos held off Hendrix College 45-38 to earn their third straight home victory on Homecoming weekend. The ‘Roos are now 3-5 overall this season.
James Nwankpah rushed for 202 yards and Bryce Murphy rushed for 111, marking the second straight week both backs have eclipsed the century mark in the same game, and the ‘Roos used 21 straight points after falling behind 7-0 early on a 39 yard touchdown run by Dayton Winn.
The ‘Roos started their run of 21 unanswered when Mitch Trentman took a pass from Jesko 15 yards and vaulted into the endzone with 8:54 left in the first, and after a Hendrix fumble, Jesko found Brandon Rawls for an eight yard score to make it 14-7 after one. Trentman caught his second touchdown pass of the game with 7:54 left in the second quarter to make it 21-7, but Winn took a screen pass 45 yards to cut it to a 21-14 game with 5:20 to play.
However, the ‘Roos went 47 yards on six plays capped by a 21 yard connection from Jesko to Cooper Woodyard to push the lead back to 14 before Spencer Smith caught a 25 yard touchdown pass from Tanner Frye with 46 seconds left to make it 28-21 at halftime.
Scoring slowed down to a crawl in the third quarter, with neither team able to get much going offensively until Hendrix kicker Steve Crenshaw knocked home a 33 yard field goal to make it 28-24 after three. Austin College got a career long 45 yard field goal from Andrew Klink early in the fourth to make it 31-24, and less than three minutes later the ‘Roos went 89 yards on just two plays with Nwankpah racing 57 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-24 with 10:39 left.
Winn scored for the third time on a one yard plunge with 5:22 to play to cut it to a 38-31 game, but after the onside kick failed, the ‘Roos got a big conversion on third and 11 when Jesko found Travis McClinton for a 39 yard gain and two plays later, Murphy scored from five yards out to make it a two possession game again. Frye found Ethan Hoppe for a 13 yard touchdown to keep hope alive for Hendrix with 1:37 left, but Austin College recovered the onside kick and Murphy and Nwankpah each picked up a first down to ice the game for the ‘Roos.
Nwankpah carried 23 times to gain his 202 yards and Murphy had 17 rushes for his 111, and Jesko finished the game completing 15-of-23 passes for 225 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions. McClinton set career highs with five catches for 88 yards to lead the ‘Roo receivers and Rawls had four catches for 38 yards. Brooks Ward made 14 tackles and Jantzen Foster had 12 to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to lead Austin College defensively.
Frye completed 33-of-47 passes for 376 yards with three touchdowns and two picks and Winn rushed 16 times for 92 yards and two scores and caught seven passes for 114 yards and another touchdown. Smith finished with nine catches for 113 yards, and Reid Cone made 13 tackles to lead the Warrior defense.
Austin College will be looking for their third straight victory and fourth in five games when they travel to Georgetown next week to take on Southwestern University. Earlier this season the ‘Roos topped the Pirates 31-0 in Sherman.