ROME, Ga. — Dale Jackson threw for five touchdowns Saturday to lead a clearly energized Berry team operating on all cylinders to a 46-24 victory over fellow second-year football program Hendrix. With the win, the Vikings are 2-4 on the year; the Warriors fell to 4-2.
Playing their first home game since the first-ever true win in program history, the Vikings set a school record by scoring 44 offensive points before a vocal crowd of 1,785 at historic Barron Stadium. The win marked the first win in regulation against a varsity opponent and the first Southern Athletic Association win for the Vikings.
The Vikings kick-started the afternoon by jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a remarkable turn of events.
Facing a fourth-and-nine on the Hendrix 49, Mitchell Blanchard booted a 39-yard punt. The Vikings re-took possession when Caleb Shannon coughed up the ball at the Hendrix 10.
The Vikings were unable to put six on the board, and after a three and out, Campbell Harrison booted a 22-yard field goal for the first points of the game. On the ensuing kick off, Blanchard attempted an onside kick, but the ball dribbled off the tee, and Berry recovered after a Hendrix player touched the ball while trying to recover it.
“We came into the game saying ok, we’re going to score on our first possession, then we’re going to onside kick,” Kunczewski said. “We didn’t think we would not score, punt, then get the ball back and then kick a field goal and then dribble the ball one yard off the tee.
“…It wasn’t how we scripted it, but that was the plan going into the game that we were going to do that,” Kunczewski added. “They’re very good on offense, regardless of who they have. So, we felt like if we could steal a possession, we ended up stealing two in the first quarter, which was critical.”
It was just the beginning of a Berry-dominated game as the Vikings took a 33-10 lead into halftime. Christoper Lilly notched a spectacular afternoon for the Vikings, catching six passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns.
Berry (2-4) travels to Birmingham-Southern College (2-5) next Saturday. Hendrix (4-2) hosts Austin College (4-2).
- Berry’s Jalen Tuggle rushed for 68 yards on 16 carries.
- Bryce Bailey and Malcholm Graham posted third quarter interception to kill a pair of Hendrix drives and keep momentum in the favor of the Vikings.
- A total of nine Berry receivers caught passes.
- Jonathan Fisher led the Vikings defense with seven tackles
- Berry completed both of its fourth down conversions while Hendrix completed two of its three fourth-down conversion attempts
- Hendrix picked up 370 offensive yards to 362 for Berry.