Twenty-eight Hendrix College seniors ended their college careers in style Saturday at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium.
The 28 players who helped restart this program and turned it into a conference championship football team played a role in the Warriors’ (7-3, 5-3 Southern Athletic Association) 62-14 win over Sewanee (0-10, 0-8 SAA).
“To come to the campus and didn’t know what football was going to be like here, and come in here to establish themselves from the start to finish,” Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan said. “Not only are those guys good players, but they are good students. They’ve made us who we are and that’s crucial.”
Hendrix senior quarterback Seth Peters started his day throwing two passes for 42 yards and one touchdown on the Warriors’ opening drive, making the score 7-0.
Fittingly, he ended his day with a school record of seven touchdown passes in the win.
He broke his previous school record of five he set in two previous games, one against Rhodes on Oct. 29 of this year and against Millsaps on Oct. 5, 2013.
“Seth is a pretty good player,” Buchanan said. “He and Dayton (Winn) are probably two of the best players in Division III and two of the best in DIII history. Hopefully, they will be awarded and rewarded for their efforts. It will be hard to get other guys like Seth and Dayton, but they’ve set the standard at those positions and the younger guys are going to try to get better.”
Peters finished with 414 yards and seven touchdowns, completing 23 of 27 passes.
Winn wasn’t as successful on the ground in the games as he has been recently, only rushing for 69 yards, but he returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
It was the first punt returned for a touchdown since the program was restarted in 2013.
The Hendrix offense rolled all game, finishing with 609 total yards.
The Warriors entered the game with the top offense in total yards in DIII football.
Because Hendrix lost its two previous games, its season was concluded with the win Saturday.
Hendrix, struggled the two previous weeks with turnovers, played a turnover-free football game, which was a positive for Buchanan.
“Today was sweet because we put the whole game together,” he said. “We played well in all phases of the game versus being good in certain places. Also, not turning the ball over, which was a big thing.
“We turned the ball over the last two ballgames, but didn’t turn it over today and look what happened. I think that’s a good lesson for our young guys to understand. If we don’t turn it over, we’re going to win football games.”
Those 28 seniors started four years ago with a 46-44 win over Westminster in Missouri on Sept. 7, 2013.
On Saturday, they blew out Sewanee, and Buchanan couldn’t be more proud.
“Having the opportunity to go out there and represent Hendrix, and to have the pride that they have because they truly believe what we represent as a school,” he said. “Because it matters to other people, it matters to our guys, too. That speaks volumes because those guys are as good as gold. That’s the gold standard.
“We want every senior class to be that way, like Casey Caton, who is here today. He graduated two years ago and was here for senior today. He was the first senior, he set us apart. He plowed the hardest. Then, these guys capitalized on that, and I’m really proud of that and everything they’ve done. I’ll miss every one of them.”