EL DORADO, Ark. — Luke Halpin completed 29 of 45 passes for 280 yards and a score, while Logan Genz racked up 12 tackles, four solo, but the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys (3-4, 3-3 Great American Conference) were unable to stop the connection of Kevin Rodgers and Darius Davis, falling 45-14 to the fifth-ranked Henderson State Reddies (7-0, 7-0 Great American Conference) on Saturday in the fifth annual Murphy USA Boomtown Classic at Memorial Stadium.
Henderson broke through in the first quarter, as Keaton Stigger capped an 11-play, 77-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run, giving the Reddies an early 7-0 lead.
The Wonder Boys advanced into Henderson territory on the subsequent drive, moving the ball to the Reddies’ 25-yard line, but an errant snap pushed the Wonder Boys back to the 34-yard line, and the Wonder Boys turned the ball over on downs.
HSU looked for the quick strike on the next drive, as Reddies’ signal-caller Kevin Rodgers threw deep, but Tech’s Deandre’ Bonner came up with the big interception on second down, giving the Wonder Boys the ball on their own 43-yard line.
Tech drove inside the HSU five-yard line, but was unable to convert on fourth and goal from the three, putting the ball back in the Reddies’ hands. The Tech defense forced a three-and-out, and reclaimed the ball in the closing seconds of the first quarter, down 7-0.
On Tech’s opening drive of the second quarter, the Wonder Boys drove to the HSU 35, when a turnover gave the ball back to the Reddies.
This time, the HSU quick-strike attempt worked, as Rodgers connected with Robert Jordan on a 65-yard strike to give HSU a 14-0 lead. The Reddies added a field goal before half to go into the intermission ahead 17-0.
HSU used big plays to score 21 third-quarter points, pushing ahead 38-0 before the Wonder Boys got onto the scoreboard as Luke Halpin connected with Roger Jackson on a 25-yard touchdown strike, narrowing the gap to 38-7.
The Reddies added another score in the fourth quarter, pushing ahead 45-7 on a Dallas Hardison pass to James Jackson.
Tech added another score with 1:29 to play, as Zabian King returned an errant pass 28 yards for the score, narrowing the gap to 45-14.
Wesley McKinney and Shai Kobayashi both added eight tackles in the loss, while Cassius Washington caught seven passes for 63 yards and Roger Jackson caught five passes for 53 yards.
The Wonder Boys return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26, returning to Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field for a Homecoming match-up with Ouachita Baptist. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.