Chicago will be in action this Saturday against the Hendrix Warriors in the first of two back-to-back road trips for the South Siders. The Maroons are coming off a close Homecoming victory, in which they pulled off a 33–26 win against conference foe Rhodes College. Chicago will look to ride this momentum into this week’s game against Hendrix, who, with a 5–1 record, is third in the conference behind Wash U and Berry.
The Maroons were able to make clutch plays, completing all four attempted fourth down attempts, in addition to forcing five turnovers. Despite facing winds that reached over 20 mph, fourth-year quarterback Burke Moser again led the Maroons with 332 passing yards and a 3:0 touchdown to interception ratio. His performance, along with third-year Chandler Carroll’s 153 yards rushing, will have to carry over into this week’s game against the Warriors. Hendrix’s stingy defense is only allowing 20 points per game, while its fast paced offense is scoring over 40 points per game.
“We know Hendrix is a solid team across the board. They score a ton of points, and they are pretty stingy on defense, so that means we need to put together a complete team effort on both sides of the ball to be victorious, which is going to be a challenge,” said Moser. “They beat us last year by only one point to spoil our Homecoming, so I feel like we know this game means a little more, especially with conference title implications on the line. We feel confident coming off a big home win.”
The Warriors and Maroons have played two common opponents, and the results provide proof that the game this weekend should be competitive. The South Siders beat Birmingham-Southern in a hard fought home game, 38–34, while Hendrix won by a comfortable 47–17 margin. However, Hendrix was just handed its first loss at home by the Berry Vikings, 24–14. The Maroons played the Vikings much closer, losing on the road 28–21.
While Chicago’s defense struggled to get crucial stops early on this season, they are now starting to find success in the big moments. Of the five turnovers forced last Saturday, the Maroons captured two in the fourth quarter. First-year Ben Christensen came up big for the South Siders, picking off a pass at his own 11-yard line and recovering a goal line fumble.
“We have the same approach as always. It’s just another team that we approach with great intensity and focus at practice. Hendrix obviously has one of the top offenses we will face this year. Playing great team defense is the key to stopping as offense. If we play our best, we can disrupt them offensively. All I’m focusing on this week is doing my job. If you do your job and play within the scheme, the team has the best success,” Christensen said.
The Maroons will look to rely on their preparation to pick up their first road win and improve their 3–2 Southern Athletic Association (SAA) record.
Moser seemed to think this would be the perfect chance to bring everything together when he said, “Our preparation is what has helped us improve all year. Fourth down success is just being poised and comfortable in the face of pressure, something that comes from practice and repetition. We still feel like we have not put our best game together, so we will continue to work and improve and just have fun. It really is fun when the results back up the hard work, so this week we hope to see the dividends of that work.”
Moser will lead the Maroons in action this Saturday in Conway, Arkansas. This SAA matchup will kick off at 1 p.m.