The Maroons dropped another close game on Saturday, falling to Hendrix 27–21 in front of a packed homecoming crowd. The game was a tense affair, but while they came within three yards of potentially taking the lead, the South Siders were handed their second loss of the season.
Hendrix got off to a fast start, scoring twice in the first quarter, the only points that Chicago has given up in the opening frame this year. Meanwhile, the Maroons’ offense struggled, as their running game was continually stuffed by the Warrior’s defense. Typically a standout offensive threat, second-year running back Chandler Carroll averaged only 3.2 yards per carry. Throwing into the wind, third-year quarterback Burke Moser failed to create consistent offense in the air¬—a balance the Chicago offense depends on.
With the running game almost eliminated in the first half, the Maroons were forced to turn to Moser as he leads them in an aerial assault.
“It’s hard to pass when we aren’t running well,” said Moser. “All season we have done a great job of being efficient in both the run and the pass, keeping the defense on their toes. Against Hendrix, we struggled to do that.”
However, the results of their passing parade proved to be fruitful initially. Moser connected with fourth-year receiver Sam Coleman for a 43-yard touchdown pass. With Hendrix missing their second extra point attempt, the touchdown drew the score to 13–7. Yet the Warriors answered back with a drive of their own six minutes later, needing only three plays to move the ball 65 yards downfield and into the end zone.
The teams then traded punts for the rest of the second and most of the third quarter, when Chicago managed to drive the ball down to the 20-yard line before pulling of a remarkable trick play. Moser hiked the ball, which he then pitched to Carroll in the backfield. The running back, looking right at home in this unfamiliar position, then hurled the ball into the corner of the end zone where senior tight end Nathan Massey corralled it for a touchdown.
“That was something we practiced all week,” said Moser, who finished the day with a career high 343 passing yards of his own. “Chandler was able to make a tremendous football play and get us on the board.”
The teams traded touchdowns on the following drives, as Hendrix managed to rip off a 74-yard touchdown pass while the Maroons methodically marched downfield before Carroll pounded the ball in from nine yards out. However, the game’s defining moment came a few minutes later.
The Maroons worked the ball downfield, converting on a fourth and two to put them at the Hendrix’s four-yard line. Carroll gained a yard, but two passes then dropped incomplete, setting up a fourth and goal from the three. The team handed the ball to Carroll, who made a valiant push but was stopped inches short of the goal line.
“We were so close on all four plays to get it in there, it obviously stings,” lamented Moser. “After running the ball efficiently they started putting a ton of guys in the box so we threw it on second and third down, unsuccessfully, then went back to the run on fourth because it had worked so well, and Hendrix stepped up and made a play.”
The Maroons next game will be on Halloween, when the team will play host to Sewanee on Senior Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.