MOUNT BERRY, Ga. — One of the top offensive attacks in the country ran into a brick wall on Saturday afternoon, as the Berry College defense stifled the high-powered Warriors of Hendrix College in a 34-10 home victory to continue their undefeated season.
Berry set a program record holding the Warriors to -8 yards on the ground and held a team averaging 43.7 points per game (a top ten mark in NCAA Division III) to just 10 points. Hendrix quarterback Miles Thompson came into the day as the No. 5 QB in the nation with 333 passing yards per game and was held to 230 after the Vikings fulfilled their defensive philosphy of forcing the Warriors to become one-dimensional.
The Berry offense also had a strong day. The Vikings orchestrated a 10 play, 75-yard drive to open the game with Slade Dale finding Trey Ciresi for a two-yard score. Hendrix would then drive 43 yards to set up a field goal from the Berry 24-yard-line. Sandy Burks put a foot into it, but the ball was blocked by Berry to keep the score 7-0.
The Vikings would add a pair of Trey Gregory field goals before the half to carry a 13-0 lead into the locker room.
Hendrix struck first in the second half after Miles Thompson connected with Michael Spainhour for a 43-yard touchdown. Dale would cap off an eight play, 7-0-yard drive with a short scamper towards the goal line to give Berry a 20-7 advantage. Hendrix answered with a field goal late in the third and would trail 20-10 heading into the fourth quarter.
Just inside the final quarter of the game, Ciresi hauled in his second score of the day on an eight-yard fade route from Slade Dale to give Berry a 27-10 lead. Just a few minutes later, Dale would once again find the end zone to put the game out of reach 34-10.
On the day, the Vikings defense was phenomenal, racking up seven total sacks. Two Vikings also hit the century mark at their respective positions, with Jacob Collins rushing for his third 100-yard game of the year and Mason Kinsey eclipsing 100-yards also for the third time this year. Berry's offense was seven of 13 on third down, but just punted once as penalties kept several drives alive.
BERRY STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Slade Dale: 13-17, 151 pass yds, 77 rush yds, 4 TOT TD
- Jacob Collins: 15 att, 103 yds
- Mason Kinsey: 8 rec, 100 yds
- Evan Breakspear: 7 tkl
- Mamadou Soumahoro: 4 tkl, 2 sacks
HENDRIX STATISTICAL STANDOUTS:
- Miles Thompson: 20-30, 230 pass yds, TD
- Mason Milsap: 6 att, 17 yds
- Michael Spainhour: 3 rec, 58 yds, TD
- Michael Kramer: 8 tkl
- Kody Smith: 8 tkl, 1 sack, 2 tfl
- Berry is now allowing just 13.6 points per game, leading the SAA
- The Vikings also lead the league with 23 sacks, led by Mamadou Soumahoro who has eight
- With a 7-0 record, Berry continues on the best start to a season in program history and has now won 12 straight games dating back to last year.
- At Valhalla stadium, the Vikings are now 13-1 and have not lost since Nov. 14, 2015.
AROUND THE SAA (STANDINGS):
- Centre College handed Trinity University their first loss in SAA play with a 27-21 final.
- Austin College defeated Millsaps 33-19
- Birmingham-Southern was defeated by Sewanee 34-13
- Berry will travel to Millsaps next Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.