SEARCY – Harding’s flexbone offense continued its assault on the Great American Conference with 650 total yards in a 63-21 victory over Southern Nazarene on a breezy Saturday night at First Security Stadium.
Harding (2-1, 2-1) rushed for 505 yards and completed four passes for 145 yards in its third-highest offensive output in program history.
Junior Keenan Kellett made his first career start at quarterback for the Bisons after missing the first two games with an injury and scored on a 34-yard touchdown run on his second play from scrimmage.
Harding used 13 different rushers and scored seven rushing touchdowns, including two each from juniors Alapeti Magalei and Romo Westbrook. Third-string quarterback Park Parish led the Bisons in rushing with 86 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
Kellett and backup quarterback Jacob Moore both threw touchdown passes. Kellett hit junior Donatella Luckett on a 60-yard strike in the first quarter, and Moore found senior Alex Finley on a 35-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Harding set school records and GAC records with 11.0 yards per play and 9.9 yards per rush. The 505 rushing yards tied for the second-most ever by the Bisons. Harding scored at least two touchdowns in each quarter and now has a streak of eight straight quarters with two or more touchdowns.
Harding’s defense limited Southern Nazarene (0-4, 0-4) to 320 yards of total offense and recorded seven sacks. Junior Romas Roberson led the Bisons with 10 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks, all career highs. Redshirt freshman Curtis Douglas made his first collegiate interception.
Southern Nazarene tailback Chris Hunter rushed for 121 yards on 29 carries and scored two touchdowns. The Crimson Storm’s other touchdown came on a 29-yard pass from Trey Hills to Ryan Mischler late in the third quarter.
Combined with its 69-0 victory over Northwestern Oklahoma in its previous outing, Harding’s offense has scored 132 points in the last two games, breaking the previous school record of 111 points scored in consecutive games against Northeastern State (41) and Southwestern Oklahoma (70) in 2011.
Harding will play its first-ever game on national television Thursday against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia. Kickoff on CBS Sports Network is at 7 p.m.