Henderson State and Arkansas Tech will face off in the 5th Annual Murphy USA Boomtown Classic on Saturday at El Dorado’s (Ark.) Memorial Stadium with kickoff slated for 3 p.m.
Tickets for this year’s event can be purchased at several Murphy Oil Stations around South Central Arkansas as well as Southern Bancorp in Arkadelphia. Advanced tickets are $5 each, or $7 on game day.
Tailgating activities along with games and plenty of entertainment will take place prior to the game.
This year’s matchup feature a Henderson State team that is 6-0 on the season and ranked No. 5 nationally in the latest American Football Coaches Association Poll, against a 3-3 Arkansas Tech team that is coming off an impressive 14-13 win over Southern Arkansas.
Henderson State’s explosive offense averages a GAC best 603.3 yards and 58.5 points per game. Kevin Rodgers, a two-time National Player of the Week selection, averages 397.7 yards passing per game and has tossed 20 touchdowns. Last year against the Wonder Boys, Rodgers completed 21-of-32 passes for 381 yards and six touchdowns. Rodgers has a record of 20-2 as Henderson’s starting quarterback.
Darius Davis is second in the GAC in receiving, averaging 106.7 yards per game. The junior from Frisco, Texas caught two passes for 20 yards and a 10-yard last year against ATU.
Robert Jordan became Henderson’s all-time leader in receiving yards last week after having 5 catches for 93 yards. Jordan has compiled 564 yards on 38 receptions and five scores this year. Last year Jordan had two catches for 63 yards against ATU.
The Reddies lead the GAC in total defense allowing 290.5 yards per contest. Keaton Stigger leads the GAC with 65 stops including 8.5 for lost yardage. Stigger also leads the GAC in rushing touchdowns with nine scores.
Ricardo Mendez follows Stigger with 43 tackles and has 5.5 tackles for lost yardage to his credit. Tim Llewellyn leads the team and is tied for the GAC lead in interceptions with three.
Arkansas Tech’s defense will challenge the Reddie passing game as the Wonder Boys have the second best pass defense in the GAC, allowing just 193.2 yards per game.
The unit is led by Logan Genz who ranks third in the GAC with 55 tackles. Wesley McKinney follows with 51 tackles.
Offensively, Arkansas Tech is led by quarterback Luke Halpin. Halpin has completed 113-of-170 passes for 1127 yards with six touchdowns this season. Halpin threw for 274 yards completing 22-of-32 passes last week against SAU.
Ketrich Harmon is one of the top running backs in the league averaging 94.5 yards per game. Harmen carried the ball seven times for 58 yards last year against the Reddies.
John Simpson is ATU’s top receiver having 18 catches for 216 yards this year.
Cassius Washington is also a receiver to keep an eye on. Washington has seven receptions for 151 yards including 100 yards last week against SAU. In last year’s game, Washington led ATU with seven catches for 125 yards.
Arkansas Tech and Henderson State meet for the 89th in a series that dates back to 1920. Arkansas Tech leads the all-time series having a 42-41-5 record. The Reddies have won the last two meetings and three of the last four games.
The game can be heard on the Reddies Sports Network on the HSU athletic website at hsusports.com. The game can also be heard on the Arkansas Tech Sports network. Fans can also follow Live Stats at http://www.sidearmstats.com/henderson/football/