No. 9 Henderson State at Southeastern Oklahoma
Paul Laird Field, Durant, Okla., Saturday, 6 p.m.
Media: hsusports.com (multimedia tab)
HENDERSON STATE GETS FIRST ROAD TEST: Henderson State (2-0, 1-0 GAC) will put its No. 9 AFCA ranking on the line when the Reddies make their first road trip of the season to play Southeastern Oklahoma (1-1, 1-1 GAC). Henderson State is coming off an impressive 75-14 win over McKendree while Southeastern Oklahoma suffered a heart-breaking loss at Arkansas-Monticello 42-34 last week.
REDDIE REPORT: Henderson State will attempt to run its streak to 15 straight regular-season wins dating back to 2011. The Reddies bring the nation’s top offense to Durant with Henderson averaging 765 yards and 78.5 per game. Kevin Rodgers is averaging 424 yards passing per game and has tossed 11 touchdown,s which leads the nation. Rodgers has a record of 16-2 as Henderson’s starting quarterback.
Darius Davis totaled a career-best 142 yards on 10 catches last week against McKendree. The junior from Frisco, Texas leads the team with 233 yards on 12 catches and a pair of touchdowns. Robert Jordan had seven receptions for 107 yards last week to run his total to 1680 career receiving yards. Dustin Holland follows with 171 yards on six receptions for a team-best 28.5 yards per catch.
The Reddie ground game is averaging 257.5 yards per game and is led by sophomore Ryan McDonald who has had back-to-back 100-plus yard games. McDonald ranks second in the GAC averaging 128.5 yards per game, and leads the league in rushing touchdowns with four.
The Reddies lead the GAC and ranks eighth nationally in total defense allowing 226 yards per contest. Ricardo Mendez leads the team in tackles with 18, while linebacker Keaton Stigger has 14 stops. Glennon Bobo also is a force on defense having a team-best five tackles for lost yardage. Bobo had two tackles for lost yardage last week.
ABOUT SOUTHEASTERN: Southeastern is coming off a 42-34 loss to the hands of Arkansas-Monticello.
Offensively, the Savage Storm is fourth in the GAC in total offense averaging 491.0 yards per game. SEOSU is averaging 45.0 points per contest.
Quarterback Nick Sioson has completed 57-of-96 passes for 569 yards with five touchdowns this season. The sophomore from Georgetown, Texas
threw for 298 yards last week against Arkansas-Monticello.
Anthony Foster is one of the premier receivers in the league. The junior from Tulsa, Okla. ranks third in the GAC averaging 110.5 yards per game. Foster had 113 yards receiving in the season opener against Southern Arkansas and 108 yards last week against Arkansas-Monticello.
Devlon Wortham is the top running back in the GAC averaging 156.0 yards per game. The redshirt-freshman from Wolfe City, Texas was named GAC
Player of the Week after rushing for 220 yards against Southern Arkansas.
Southeastern ranks ninth in total defense in the GAC allowing 557.0 yards per game. The unit is led by junior Eric Walker who has a team-best 15 tackles this season. Greg Jackson follows with 11 stops.
Southeastern is coached by Ray Richards who is in his 9th season at the helm. Richards has a 41-44 record at SEOSU.
THE SERIES VS. SOUTHEASTERN: Henderson State and Southeastern Oklahoma meet for the 24th time in a series that dates back to 1922. The Reddies lead the all-time series with a 17-6 advantage including winning the last three games over the Storm. Henderson State owned the series from 1968 to 1979 winning nine straight before Southeastern ended the streak with a 32-14 win in 1980.
LAST YEAR VS SOUTHEASTERN: The Henderson defense propelled the Reddies to a 56-20 win over the Savage Storm at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
Henderson was limited to just 45 offensive plays and possessed the football for just 16:55 the entire game.
HSU took the early lead as Jarvis Smith scored on a 2-yard run to cap off a 9-play, 67-yard drive with 4:19 left in the first quarter.
It didn’t take long for the Reddies to extend the lead to 14-0 as Robert Jordan spun out of a pair of tackles, keeping his knee inches from the turf, and broke loose for an 85-yard punt return for a score. On Henderson’s next possession, the Reddies were pinned back at their own 1, but Kevin Rodgers orchestrated an 11-play, 99-yard drive with Smith scoring on a 5-yard run.
The next offensive series for the Reddies consisted of just three plays with Rodgers connecting with Elliot Hebert for an 82-yard scoring strike to extend Henderson’s lead to 29-0 at the break.
Henderson’s first score of the second half came on the defensive side of the football as Randal Howard hit Southeastern quarterback Jercolby Bradley and popped the ball loose with Chuck Obi returning the pigskin 50-yards for a Reddie score. After the Storm cut the Henderson deficit to 36-13, Darius Davis sliced past the defense, taking a Rodgers’ pass 75 yards to pay-dirt.
Jordan struck once more, as the junior from Miami, Fla. took the Jared Heim boot 69-yards to the house to extend Henderson’s lead to 49-13. Minutes later, Obi again came up with another big defensive play for Henderson’s final score by blocking a Heim punt and returning it 17 yards.
Keaton Stigger and Maxie Graham led the Reddies once more combining for 37 tackles and three tackles for lost yardage. Individually, it was even a bigger night for Stigger, who totaled a career-high 21 tackles to set a new HSU record for tackles in a game.
THE NATIONAL POLLS: Henderson State remained at No. 9 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Poll following its 75-14 win over McKendree. Henderson State, 2-0 on the season, are ranked No. 9. 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 29-11 (.725) 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.
THE MOST EXCITING 2 MINUTES IN SPORTS: Henderson State doesn’t waste time scoring. Of Henderson’s 21 scoring drives this season, 15 have taken less than 2 minutes. In fact the Reddies average 1:35 per scoring drive. Five drives have been less than a minute with the shortest being 10 seconds. Henderson’s longest drive (time of possession) was 3:56 against Southern Nazarene.
DAVIS LOOKING TO JOINS THE 1000-YARD GANG: Junior wide receiver Darius Davis became the 15th player in Henderson State history to collect 1000 yards receiving in a career. Davis had a career best 142 yards against McKendree. He enters Saturday’s game with 1061 yards on 59 catches in 23 games.
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.
RODGERS HSU’S ALL-TIME PASSING LEADER: In just 20 games, Kevin Rodgers is Henderson’s all-time leader in career passing yards with 6117. Rodgers opened the season with a 468-yard performance against Southern Nazarene and had 380 yards last week. The junior from Rockwall, Texas threw for 4,002 yards in 2012. He has improved his career average to 305.9 yards per game and has gone over the 300-yard mark in 11 of 20 games played.