McKendree at No. 9 Henderson State
Carpenter-Haygood Stadium, Arkadelphia, 6 p.m.
Media: hsusports.com (multimedia tab)
Henderson State will play its lone non-conference game of the season as the Reddies play host to McKendree with kickoff slated for 6 p.m. Henderson State is coming off an impressive 82-10 win over Southern Nazarene, while McKendree beat Tiffin 32-28 in its season-opener last week.
REDDIE REPORT: Henderson State will attempt to run its streak to 14 straight regular-season wins dating back to 2011. The Reddies opened the season last week with an 82-10 victory over Southern Nazarene.
Kevin Rodgers compiled 468 yards passing in the season opener and ran his record to 15-2 as Henderson’s starting quarterback. Rodgers has thrown a touchdown pass in the last 14 straight games and has increased his career total for touchdown passes to 56.
Dustin Holland totaled a team best 124 yards on 3 catches last week. A 2012 First- Team All-GAC pick, Holland was second on the team a year ago with 59 catches for 864 yards. Robert Jordan had four receptions for 111 yards to run his total to 1573 career receiving yards. Israel Valentin had an explosive beginning to the season scoring three times against the Crimson Storm. Valentin had four grabs for 118 yards.
The Reddie ground game compiled 298 yards last week, led by sophomore Ryan McDonald who had 135 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman Daniel McCoy added 94 yards on 11 rushes.
Henderson’s defense is led by linebacker Keaton Stigger. Stigger is considered by many to be one of the top linebackers in all of Division II and has a chance to play at the next level. The Collierville, Tenn. product totaled 103 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks last season. Stigger had 10 tackles last week against SNU. Glennon Bobo returns after leading the team in tackles for lost yardage with 13.5. The lineman from Ashdown ended 2012 with 37 tackles. Bobo had three tackles for lost yardage last week.
THE SERIES: Saturday’s game against McKendree will be the third meeting between the two teams with Henderson winning both previous meetings. The Reddies and the Bearcats first met in 2011 with Henderson winning 16-10 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium. Last year the Reddies went on the road and picked up a 47-24 win.
LAST YEAR: HSU 47, MU 24. McKendree took advantage of three early turnovers by the Henderson State offense and put an early scare into the Reddies by converting those turnovers into a quick 10-0 lead.
The Bearcats would extend their lead to 17-7 before the Reddies’ offense exploded for 40 unanswered points as they eventually rolled to a 47-24 rout of the Bearcats. Leading the offensive surge for the Reddies was quarterback Kevin Rodgers. The signal-caller tossed for 442 yards and seven touchdowns.
The seven scores through the air set a GAC and Henderson single-game record. The first of Rodgers’ touchdown throws came in the second quarter and put the Reddies on the board, pulling them to within a field goal, 10-7. On the following Reddie possession, Rodgers was picked off and returned to the end zone for a McKendree score to put the Bearcats back up by 10 points, 17-7. Rodgers and company would bounce back from that deflating pick-six and find the end zone twice before the end of the half to take a 20-17 lead into the locker room.
Rodgers began the second-half connecting with wideout Robert Jordan on the Reddies’ first play of the half for a 47-yard score. Following a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that ended with Rodgers finding Jordan once more for a score, Rodgers engineered another one-play scoring drive as he completed his sixth scoring toss of the game by hitting Darius Davis for a 60- yard bomb.
Looking to set the new school-record for touchdown passes in a game, Rodgers began his final drive of the game with four seconds left in the third quarter and ended it 2:37 later with a seven-yard strike to Kevin Nichols. Aside from Rodgers’ dominance through the air, a major key to the Reddies’ turnaround was the defense’s ability to stop the unique rushing attack of McKendree.
Linebackers Maxie Graham and Keaton Stigger were the most active defenders for the Reddies as each recorded double-digit tackles. Graham led the team with 12 stops while Stigger was right behind with 11. Jordan reached the 100-yard mark in receiving for the second straight game as he hauled in nine catches for 108 yards. Elliot Hebert was not far behind in yardage as his six grabs netted him 93 yards.
LAST TIME OUT: HSU 82, SOUTHERN NAZARENE 10. Henderson State opened the season rolling to an 82-10 win over Southern Nazarene. Henderson State set several records including a HSU and Great American Conference best 855 yards of total offense. Kevin Rodgers put up Peyton Manning like numbers, completing 17 of 25 passes for 468 yards and six touchdowns in under three quarters of play. The junior from Rockwall, Texas, was 13 for 19 with 444 yards in the first-half, with all six scoring tosses coming in the first 30 minutes.
Three receivers went over 100 yards including Israel Valentin who collected 118 yards on three receptions. Valentin had touchdown catches of 59, 5 and a 29-yard acrobatic reception. Dustin Holland totaled 124 yards on three catches and a 59-yard score, while Robert Jordan had four grabs for 111 yards and a 41-yard touchdown to open the game. Henderson State also put points on the board with the ground game as the Reddies totaled 298 yards rushing led by Ryan McDonald who ended the night with 135 yards on 16 carries. The sophomore from Charleston, Ark., had touchdown runs of 49 and 9 yards. The Reddie defense also had a strong performance allowing the Crimson Storm just 324 yards of offense with a majority of the yardage coming in the fourth quarter. Turell Williams and Keaton Stigger both had 10 tackles, while Ricardo Mendez chalked up nine stops.
THE NATIONAL POLLS: Henderson State moved up To No. 9 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Poll following its 82-10 win on Saturday over Southern Nazarene. Henderson State, 1-0 on the season, also set several records including a HSU and Great American Conference best 855 yards of total offense, 55 yards shy of the NCAA Division II all-time mark of 910. The Reddies also totaled a GAC record 557 yards passing.
The Reddies, are ranked Beyond College Sports Network has Henderson at No. 8 after beginning the season at No. 11. D2Football.com released its poll on Tuesday and the Reddies are No. 10 moving up two spots.
HOME SWEET HOME: Since Coach Scott Maxfield’s arrival, the Reddies have a 28-11 (.718) record at home including a 5-0 record in 2006 and 2010 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium. HSU compiled three straight winning seasons at home from 2005 to 2007 before going 2-3 in 2008. In Maxfield’s eight years at Henderson, 2008 was the only season the Reddies failed to go .500 or better at home. In fact the Reddies have not lost three straight home games in any one season since 2004. Henderson State, then coached by Jesse Branch was 0-5 that season in games played at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
MAXFIELD AMONG THE REDDIE LEGENDS: Coach Scott Maxfield became the third coach in HSU football history to collect 50 wins at HSU. With last week’s win against Southern Nazarene, Maxfield passed Jimmy Haygood for third all-time at HSU. Only Sporty Carpenter and Duke Wells have more wins. Carpenter compiled a record of 119-76-5 from 1971 to 1989. Wells coached from 1941 to 1961 and had a record of 73-78-1.
O-LINE , RODGERS EARN BSN HONORS: Following an explosive offensive performance on Saturday, Henderson State quarterback Kevin Rodgers was named the Beyond Sports Network Offensive National Player of the Week while the Reddie offensive line was named the National Offensive Line Week. Rodgers completed 17 of 25 passes for 468 yards and six touchdowns in under three quarters of play.
The junior from Rockwall, Texas was 13 for 19 with 444 yards in the first-half, with all six scoring tosses coming in the first 30 minutes. Rodgers had scoring tosses of 41, 59, 71, 29, 59, and 5 yards. Henderson State also set several records including a HSU and GAC best 855 yards of total offense, 55 yards shy of the NCAA Division II all-time mark of 910. The Reddies also totaled a GAC record 557 yards passing.
Henderson’s offensive line consisting of Deveron Powell, Kelton Hays, RJ Taylor, Doug Despain, and Ricky Gonzales earned the distinction of National Offensive Line of the week.
PASSING ATTACK APPROACHING 200: Since Scott Maxfield’s arrival in 2005, Henderson State has totaled 193 touchdown passes compared to 145 touchdowns rushing. In his eight-plus years as Henderson’s head coach, five of his eight teams have totaled 20 or more passing touchdowns in a season. The Reddies have six thus far in 2013.
The 2011 Reddies had the lowest number of passing touchdowns in the Maxfield era with 15. Prior to his arrival, the 2000 Reddies was the only team in HSU history to record 20 passing touchdowns in a season. In fact, from 1980 to 2004 (25 years) Henderson totaled just 153 passing touchdowns, an average of 6.12 touchdown passes per year. Maxfield’s teams average 23 passing touchdowns per season.
TOPS IN SCORING: The Reddies started the 2013 season where they left off last year scoring 82 points last week. The 82 points are the most scored in a single game among all NCAA divisions this season. Georgia Southern scored 77 points against Savannah State (NCAA FCS) two weeks ago. In 2012, Henderson State led Division II averaging 50.4 points per game and was fourth among all NCAA football playing institutions with Oregon leading all divisions (Division I FBS) averaging 54.80 points per game.
JORDAN PURSUING RECORD: Senior wide receiver Robert Jordan became the 13th player in Henderson State history to record 1,000 yards receiving in a career. Jordan totaled 388 yards as a sophomore, and compiled 1,074 yards in 2012. Last week Jordan had 111 yards against Southern Nazarene giving him a total of 1,573 yards for his career.
The native of Miami, Fla. ranks third in career-yardage at HSU. Jordan needs 186 yards to surpass Greg Williams for second. Williams totaled 1759 yards from 1982 to 1985. Garett Manning is the career leader in receiving yards with 1948 yards from 2005 to 2008.
HOLLAND TO BREAK IN TO THE TOP 10: Junior wide receiver Dustin Holland has 1,152 career yards receiving and is making a bid to move into Henderson’s top 10 career receivers list.
Holland needs 23 more yards to surpass Jim Morgan who collected 1,174 yards during his playing career from 1967-69.
DAVIS LOOKING TO JOIN THE 1,000-YARD GANG: Junior wide receiver Darius Davis is making a bid to become the 15th player in Henderson State history to collect 1000 yards receiving in a career. Davis enters Saturday’s game with 919 yards on 49 catches in 22 games. Davis totaled 522 yards on 27 receptions a year ago.
THE 7-ELEVEN BUNCH: To steal a phrase from former Reddie tight end and current Kansas City Chief Sean McGrath, Henderson State’s receivers are somewhat like a 7- Eleven.
The Reddie receivers always seem to be open, making it easy for quarterback Kevin Rodgers. Thirteen of the 17 receivers that caught a pass last season return. The 13 returnees amount for 76 percent of the yardage (3,163 of 4,154 yards). Of the 42 receiving touchdowns, 29 were by current Reddies including Robert Jordan who had 10 and Darius Davis who had 9.
ALL-TIME PASSING LEADER: In just 19 games, Kevin Rodgers is Henderson’s all-time leader in career passing yards with 5,737. Rodgers opened the season with a 468-yard performance against Southern Nazarene. The junior from Rockwall, Texas threw for 4,002 yards in 2012. He has improved his career average to 301.9 yards per game and has gone over the 300-yard mark in 10 of 19 games played.
MR. ARKANSAS: Reddie punter Christian "Spud" Latoof has been Henderson’s punter since 2011. Since his arrival, Latoof has averaged 37.0 yards per boot. The junior from Dekalb, Texas, has had 23 of his 91 career punts downed inside the 20. His lone punt this season traveled 50 yards.
Playing football is just one of Latoof’s many passions as he is also an avid body builder.
Latoof may be the strongest punter in NCAA football. Latoof was recently crowed Mr. Arkansas at the 2013 Arkansas State Body Building Championships. Latoof earned firstplace over all for Best Physique.