The Hendrix Warriors may have to scrap a lot of Millsaps and a little bit of Karen on Saturday in Jackson, Miss.
The Warriors (2-1, 0-1) will play Millsaps (3-0, 0-0) in their second Southern Athletic Association football game. Hendrix coaches have kept one eye on the scouting report and another on the weather radar as Jackson is projected to be on the western edge of Tropical Storm Karen.
“There’s a pretty good chance that we’ll get wet at some point,” said Hendrix coach Buck Buchanan. “We have tried to get mentally prepared for that.”
But the major challenge will be the Majors, one of the favorites in the SAA race.
“It’s our biggest challenge to date,” said Buchanan. “They’ve been playing football a long time at Millsaps and good football. They are an established program over time. They do an outstanding job on special teams in creating opportunities. They have two defensive ends who do a great job getting after the passer.”
The Warriors are coming off a 48-29 victory over Southwestern of Texas, another start-up program. The Warriors showed some rust after an open week, then came from behind.
“We played extremely hard and I tell our players that what matters is not who is playing hard but who is playing harder longer. We did play with our foot on the accelerator. I thought it was a good statement game for us because Southwestern had 20 players on campus last spring; we have one, so their players have been in their program longer.
“But we made some freshmen mistakes and had some foolish penalties. We did things we haven’t done in previous games to possibly beat ourselves.”
Two Hendrix players earned Player of the Week honors in conference. Quarterback Seth Peters of Greenbrier produced 352 yards of total offense with 22-for-32 passing with 244 yards and three touchdowns and rushing 11 times for 108 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown run.
Linebacker Broc Smith had 12 tackles and three pass breakups on Saturday.
“We consider those individual awards also honors for the players around them who made some things happen,” Buchanan said. “They are team awards. If some other guys don’t contribute, those guys wouldn’t be getting an award.
“We haven’t had both sides of the ball in sync yet, but what’s good is when one side is struggling, the other side of the ball comes to the aid.
“And our coaches made some good adjustments at halftime and our players responded. Our defense did a good job pressuring (them) the Pirates. We are a better defense when we are aggressive.”
He said running back Dayton Winn and tight end/fullback Dough Phillips contributed significantly to the rushing attack.
“I was proud how we established the run in the second half,” Buchanan said. “That opened things up for the passing game.”