Herald Democrat

Herald Democrat

Austin College gained 569 yards of total offense, including 344 rushing, and Noah Jesko threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the ‘Roos held off Hendrix College, 45-38, to earn their third straight home victory.

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 (3-5) used 21 straight points after falling behind 7-0 early on a 39-yard touchdown run by Dayton Winn.

The ‘Roos started their run when Mitch Trentman took a pass from Jesko 15 yards and vaulted into the end zone with 8:54 left 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.

The only scoring in the third quarter was a 33-yard field goal by Hendrix kicker Steve Crenshaw to make it 28-24 after three.

Austin College got a career long 45-yard field goal from Andrew Klink early in the fourth for a 31-24 advantage 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 couldn’t recover the onside kick.

The ‘Roos got a big conversion on third-and-11 when Jesko found Travis McClinton, who had a career-high five catches for 88 yards, 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 seal the victory.

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.

Austin College will be looking for its third straight victory and fourth in five games when they travel to Southwestern University on Saturday.