SEARCY, Ark. (Harding Univ.) - Henderson State sophomore quarterback Kevin Rodgers passed for
466 yards and five touchdowns to lead the 12th-ranked Reddies to a 38-10
victory over 23rd-ranked Harding on Saturday at First Security Stadium.
It was the first-ever meeting between two nationally-ranked Great American Conference teams.
Harding dropped to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in GAC play. The loss snapped a
six-game winning streak for the Bisons dating to last season. Henderson
State remained undefeated at 7-0 overall and 5-0 in conference.
Rodgers threw two first half touchdowns of 12 yards and 67 yards to
Elliot Hebert, and the Reddies led 17-3 at halftime. Harding's points
came on a 41-yard John Gray field goal with 9:19 left
in the first quarter.
After recovering an on-side kick to open the second half, Rodgers found
Labroderick Barnett on a 26-yard touchdown pass to make the score 24-3
with 14:11 left in the third.
Harding's lone touchdown came on the Bisons' next possession. Harding drove 78 yards on 11 straight rushing plays, and sophomore Ahmad Scott scored from one yard
out on a sweep on fourth-and-goal. It was Scott's second touchdown of
the season and pulled Harding to within 24-10 with 8:28 left in the
Two more Rodgers' touchdown passes, both to Darius Scott in the fourth quarter, sealed the victory for the Reddies.
Harding's defense intercepted Rodgers twice with senior Caleb Farrel and junior Joe Calvin making their first interceptions of the season. It was the second of Farrel's career.
Senior defensive back Nathan Brinkley had 10 tackles for the Bisons, including a tackle for loss, and broke up two passes. Senior Jasper Bodiford had seven tackles,
and senior Ty Powell had seven
tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and a sack.
Harding sophomore Romo Westbrook led the Bisons with 45 rushing yards on five carries, and sophomore Jason Oller had 44 yards on eight carries. Starting quarterback Kelvin Martin was 8-of-17 passing for 65 yards, and sophomore Donatella Luckett had a season-high six receptions for 47 yards.
Harding will play its second straight nationally-ranked opponent next
Saturday in Arkadelphia, Ark., when the Bisons meet Ouachita Baptist,
who was 11th in the nation this week. Kickoff at A.U. Williams Field is
at 1 p.m.