There is a new synonym for entertainment in Conway. It’s Hendrix football.
Yes, football is back at Hendrix College, and there was nothing tentative about the season starter on Saturday.
Hendrix won its final game in 1960 by a single point. The revival victory was by two points, 46-44.
The Warriors played with enthusiasm and showed skill as well as hope for the immediate future. The fans were there and obviously enjoying the milestone event. A stadium with 1,500 seats plus some temporary bleachers had almost 3,000 people on hand.
The Warriors and the Blue Jays of visiting Westminster put on a exciting show for as torrid afternoon, and the resurrection game goes down as a classic in excitement.
Before the wild and gripping moments of the second half, Hendrix had to: (1) overcome a miserable start, (2) came from behind and went into the lead, and (3) came from behind again to tie the score — all in the first half. In the third period, the Warriors came from two touchdowns behind to take a lead.
• • •
Seth Peters, the catalyst of Greenbrier High’s stellar season in 2012, was counted on heavily by Hendrix. He delivered, throwing 40 times for 25 completions, 318 yards and four touchdowns.
Peters had help, especially in the form of runner Dayton Winn of Pea Ridge and receiver Casey Caton of Rogers, a transfer from Harding.
• • •
Orange was in the sky at Hendrix’s Young-Wise Stadium Saturday. Sun in cloudless conditions pushed the temperature to mid-90s — in the shade. Umbrellas were numerous, used as parasols.
Orange dominated the stands, too, but no one sang Rocky Top or gave the Hook ‘Em Horns sign. This was a Hendrix day all the way.
• • •
Hendrix played its first football game in 53 years, but Westminster had an even longer hiatus. The Fulton, Mo., college did not have football from 1931 to 1996–65 years.
• • •
Two speeches may be Westminster’s best claims to fame. One was by Winston Churchill in 1946 ,when he introduced the phrase Iron Curtain to the world. The other was in 1992 when Mikhail Gorbachev proclaimed the end of the Cold War.
• • •
The first crisis of the revived Hendrix football scene produced quick response. Westminster receiver Tony Mitchell went down hard after a catch on the sideline, and he stayed down. Hendrix trainers ran across the field and signaled for Conway Fire Department aid. Mitchell was taken to the hospital with an injured arm.
• • •
Water was a popular commodity in the stands and on the field. Hendrix trainers included game officials at every stop in play. Several players went down with leg cramps but all quickly recovered, usually with stretching help.