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College Football: Henderson State Game Notes for Oct. 12

No. 8 Henderson State Reddies (5-0) vs. Southwestern Oklahoma Bulldogs (3-2)

Carpenter-Haygood Stadium, Arkadelphia, Saturday (Oct. 12), 3 p.m.

Media: hsusports.com

Henderson State will play its fourth home game of the season as the Reddies play host to Southwestern Oklahoma for Homecoming. The Reddies have won their last three Homecoming games. Henderson State has a 16-1 record against Great American Conference opponents since the league was formed. The lone loss was a 17-13 setback by SWOSU in 2011 which prevented the Reddies from winning the GAC title.

REDDIE REPORT: Henderson State is coming off a subpar performance last week against Northwestern Oklahoma despite winning 42-0. The Reddies totaled just 374 yards of offense against the Rangers, their lowest since having 348 yards against Southeastern Oklahoma on Sept. 22, 2012.

Henderson’s explosive offense averages a GAC best 632.6 yards and 61.2 points per game. Kevin Rodgers, a two-time National Player of the Week selection, averages 401.6 yards passing per game and has tossed 16 touchdowns. Last year against the Bulldogs, Rodgers completed 19-of-31 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Rodgers has a record of 19-2 as Henderson’s starting quarterback.

Darius Davis is second in the GAC in receiving, averaging 109.0 yards per game. The junior from Frisco, Texas caught two passes for 20 yards and a 10-yard touchdown last year against SWOSU. Robert Jordan has compiled 471 yards on 32 receptions and three scores. The native of Miami, Fla., needs 16 receiving yards to become HSU’s all-time leading receiver.

Ryan McDonald continues to lead the GAC in rushing averaging 101.6 yards per game. McDonald totaled 68 yards last week against NWOSU. The Reddies lead the GAC in total defense allowing 283.0 yards per contest. Keaton Stigger is second in the GAC with 46 stops including 6.5 for lost yardage. Ricardo Mendez follows Stigger with 34 tackles and has 5.5 tackles for lost yardage to his credit.

ABOUT SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA: Southwestern Oklahoma is coming off a 31-14 loss to the hands of Ouachita Baptist last week. Offensively, the Bulldogs are sixth in the GAC in total offense averaging 383.4 yards per game. Southwestern averages 24.2 points per contest.

Southwestern is led by quarterback Dustin Stenta. The senior from Fort Worth, Texas has completed 75-of-136 passes for 1099 yards with 10 touchdowns this season. Stenta is Southwestern Oklahoma’s all-time career passing leader with 7612 yards.

D.C. Walker leads the team in rushing, averaging 81.2 yards per game. Walker carried the ball 8 times for 20 yards last year against the Reddies. Stenta averages 62.0 yards per contest and has scored two rushing TDs. The Bulldogs have several “Go-To” receivers including Ryan Corbin who leads the team. Corbin has totaled 341 yards on 25 receptions this season.

Last year against Henderson he collected 31 yards on 3 catches.

Brad Smithey is also a receiver to keep an eye on. Smithey has 19 catches for 246 yards. In last year’s game, Smithey had nine catches for 83 yards. The Bulldog defense ranks seventh in total defense in the GAC allowing 386.8 yards per game.

The unit is led by Ryan Feller who ranks third in the GAC with 45 tackles. Southwestern Oklahoma is coached by Dan Cocannouer who is in his fifth season at the helm. Cocannouer has a 15-33 record at SWOSU.

THE SERIES VS. SOUTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA: Southwestern Oklahoma and Henderson State meet for the sixth time in a series that dates back to 1933. Henderson leads the all-time series

3-2 after last year’s 50-22 win in Weatherford. The Bulldogs are the only team to give the Reddies a loss in conference play since the beginning of the Great American Conference in 2011.

LAST YEAR VS SWOSU… HSU 50, SWOSU 22: Henderson used a balanced offensive attack and at one point scored 35 unanswered points to cruise to a 50-22 win over Southwestern Oklahoma.

Henderson first got on the board when Jarvis Smith scored on an 11-yard run to cap off a 14-play, 63-yard drive with 4:26 left in the opening quarter. Southwestern answered the Reddies’ opening shot as Dustin Stenta drove the Bulldogs down field and connected with Kirk Jones for an 8-yard touchdown to make the score 8-7 by the end of the quarter. From there, the Reddies went on a 35-0 run to pull away and manufacture another rout. The dominant run began with a Kevin Nichols 2-yard plunge early in the second quarter. Israel Valentin extended the Reddie lead just before the end of the first-half, as the sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, caught a 10-yard pass from Kevin Rodgers to make the score 22-7 at the break.

Valentin then opened the scoring in the second-half for the Reddies with 34-yard run down the sidelines capping off a 2-play, 75-yard drive to increase the lead to 29-7. Henderson added two more quick scores in the third quarter as Rodgers connected with Dustin Holland from 12-yards out, then Robert Jordan hauled in a 9-yard strike to increase the Reddie lead to 43-7 with 7:41 to play in the period. Darius Davis reached pay-dirt with a 10-yard reception for HSU’s final score.

Rodgers ended the night completing 19-of-31 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns. Nichols became the second Reddie to rush for over 100 yards this season as the senior from Little Rock ended the game with 106 yards on 20 carries.

Jeremy Williams led the Henderson defense with 8 tackles including two sacks, an interception and a pair of pass breakups.

HOMECOMING GAMES: Henderson State is 7-1 under Coach Scott Maxfield in Homecoming games. The lone Homecoming loss during Maxfield’s tenure was a 44-14 loss to Arkansas Tech in 2009. Last year the Reddies defeated East Central 49-14. Since 1971, Henderson State has a 25-15-2 record in Homecoming games.

YOU SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: Friday, Oct. 11, was a special day for Scott Maxfield as the Reddie head coach celebrated his 53rd birthday. Unfortunately, the Reddies are just 3-5 in games played within three days of Maxfield’s birthday. On a positive note, Maxfield’s teams have provided him with a nice present the last three years with a victory. Defensive back Reggie Dunnigan celebrated his birthday on Oct. 8. On Oct. 15, Reddie wide receiver Israel Valentin will turn 22. Also, on Oct. 9, someone in the press box turned 4-?.

THE NATIONAL POLLS: Henderson State remained at No. 8 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Poll following its 42-10 win over Northwestern Oklahoma. Henderson State, 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the GAC is ranked No. 8 in the Beyond College Sports Network poll. D2Football.com released its poll on Tuesday and the Reddies remained at No. 9. Henderson’s highest-ever ranking at the NCAA level was No.6 at the end of the 2012 regular-season.

A TURNAROUND FOR THE AGES: Since 1990, Henderson State has recorded just eight winning seasons. Of those eight winning years, six have come under coach Scott Maxfield. A win against Southwestern Oklahoma would secure a seventh winning season in Maxfield’s nine year tenure. From 1990 to 2004, Henderson State had four different head coaches, recorded two winning seasons, averaged just 3.4 wins per year, and scored an average of 18.37 points per contest. Under Coach Maxfield, the Reddies currently average more than 6 wins per year, average 33.82 points per game and have won two championships.

LIFE IN THE 50’s: Henderson State has scored 50 or more points in three of its five games played this season. Last year the Reddies scored 50 or more points in five of 11 games. Since Coach Scott Maxfield’s arrival in 2005, the Reddies are 13-0 when hitting the half-century mark. All-time, Henderson State is 31-1 when scoring 50 or more points in a game. The lone loss was a 55-50 setback to Arkansas-Monticello in 2003.

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