One of the big highlights in Week 5 of D3 Football was Hendrix quarterback Seth Peters. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior absolutely dismantled Centre, rushing for an impressive 198 yards and a touchdown while completing 24-of-37 pass attempts for 308 yards and two touchdowns.
All told, he accumulated 506 total yards of offense and led the Warriors to a 35-28 victory over the Colonels on a day when star running back Dayton Winn was held in check with 'just' 89 yards and two scores.
“Centre had a game plan to stop Dayton,” Peters said in an interview with HERO Sports. “They came out in a defense that simply wouldn't allow us to run the football like we'd like to do. Everyone knows that Dayton is a huge threat, so the teams we are playing are putting us in a position where other guys have to step up and make plays. They challenged our receivers by playing straight man essentially the entire game and our receivers stepped up and won a lot of the one-on-one balls.
“Running the ball was a bit more difficult, however. They made us run read option and the QB run game by honing in on Dayton. Our line did a great job blocking up front and we were able to gash them a few times for big plays.”
One of those big plays occurred in the second quarter. With his team up 21-13 and facing a 3rd-and-10, Peters broke through tackles for an impressive 54-yard touchdown.
Later, in the third quarter, with the game tied 28-28, Peters scampered 68 yards to set up a first-and-goal at Centre’s 9-yard line that in turn led to a one-yard touchdown run by Winn.
“Centre just would not let Winn touch the ball,” Peters explained. “They know what he is capable of and wanted to take him out of the game. Dayton still made his plays, but they were hard earned yards where he was making guys miss from the moment he had the ball. We adjusted by spreading out and challenging our receivers to go win the one-on-ones and by drawing up a lot of QB read option plays.”
The win keeps Hendrix ahead of the pack in the SAA Conference at 2-0, and 4-0 overall. Through it all, Peters and Winn have combined to form a powerful dynamic duo, with the ladder doing the dirty work on the ground — 401 rushing yards, eight touchdowns — and the former working his magic through the air.
To date Peters is 97-for-124 through the air (78.2% !!!) for 1,327 yards and 11 touchdowns. He appears on pace to top the 2,811 yards and 27 TDs he totaled last season — the result of a lot of hard work during the offseason.
“In the offseason my focus was becoming as accurate a passer as I could possibly become and working tons and tons of footwork and speed drills,” Peters said. “I worked out with a few teammates throwing/lifting/running 4-5 days a week. I stayed focused and was confident that if I could put the best version of myself out there on the field, we would have a chance to do great things this season.”
Peters’ background in football dates back to his youth, when he and his dad would spend countless hours throwing the football at their home in Greenbrier, Arkansas. Yet, Peters admits that baseball was his first calling.
“Baseball was actually my strongest sport,” he said, “until I got a pretty serious elbow injury in the ninth grade that prevented me from pitching like I wanted to. So from there I transitioned to focusing on football and have had a blast playing the game ever since.”
Peters mainly played as a receiver through the first three years of high school, but transitioned to QB his senior year.
“I played QB my eighth-grade year and that was really the extent of my QB experience that I had [before high school],” Peters said. “When our senior QB graduated, I was asked to step up and fill that role. My senior year of high school I was able to really develop into the QB that I am today.”
In the 12 games started under center for Greenbrier High School, Peters totaled 2,987 yards and 29 touchdowns. Naturally, those numbers sparked plenty of interest from various colleges. In the end, Peters chose Hendrix for one reason above all: “I choose Hendrix because academically, it is one of the best schools in the South,” he said. “My education has always come first, and I kept that in mind when making my decision to play football in college.
“The coaches really recruited guys to fill the spread offense role. We knew we wanted to throw the ball around and try to make plays in space and the coaches recruited accordingly. The offense has really been able to highlight the skillsets of all of our players. We have a great team for the offense we run and I expect the coaches to keep recruiting guys that have similar skill sets to ours.”
Now in his final year, Peters admits to “feeling a sense of urgency creep up every now and then”, but tries not think about it. Instead, he focuses on completing his Math major in the hopes of acquiring a job in pharmaceutical statistics, and helping his team out on the gridiron each Saturday.
“We are a great football team, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “I think our only path is up from here. I feel confident … that if we are playing at our best, we can play with any program in the country. We can get better by focusing on our game each week and not worrying about the results-oriented stuff. The conference championship and playoff appearance will take care of itself if we just focus on putting the best version of our team on the field each and every week.”
As a side, Peters concluded his interview quite graciously, saying, “Thank you for all the hard work that everyone has put into making this program what it is today. Coaches, players, and staff. Everyone has given a huge amount in order to make this team successful, and I'm very appreciative of that. Thank you to all my family and friends for supporting me throughout the years, on and off the field.”
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