ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — On Saturday, the Ouachita Baptist Tigers rallied to beat their rivals, the Henderson State University Reddies, in the 95th Battle of the Ravine football series at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium with a final score of 40-37.
The win solidified the Tigers' fourth undefeated regular season (11-0) in the last eight years and marked their sixth consecutive victory over HSU.
TJ Cole collected his second passing touchdown of the season with an 18-yard scoring strike to Justin Dean in the last five minutes of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Gabe Goodman scored a pair of field goals— including a 36-yarder that tied the game at 13-13 before the break.
Cole made one of his three rushing touchdowns at the beginning of the third quarter, putting the Tigers ahead, 20-13.
The Reddies (8-3) started pulling ahead in the third quarter, with a touchdown putting HSU up 34-20.
With a 14-point lead and 4:47 remaining, a win seemed in their favor— until the Tigers made a quick score just minutes later.
Connor Flannigan caught a seven-yard touchdown from quarterback Riley Harms with three minutes left to pull within a score.
OBU's defense forced a three-and-out on HSU's next possession, which resulted in a bad punt going out of bounds at the Tiger 49-yard line.
Four plays later, OBU tied things up with a TJ Cole two-yard touchdown with 1:19 remaining.
The Reddies then drove down the field to get within field goal range with only three seconds left on the clock.
After the Tigers missed right on a field goal, the game went into overtime— which led to the first extra period of play between the two since 2013.
HSU got first possession of the ball and regained the lead with a 28-yard field goal.
TJ Cole dominated during the overtime period, after getting a touch on eight of the nine offensive plays in the drive— including a six-yard reception on a third down play, plus a two-yard rush on a fourth-and-one.
After picking up the fourth down, OBU went right back to the direct snap to Cole, and he delivered the game-winning touchdown from a yard out.
Cole moved up to No. 2 on Ouachita's single-season rushing chart with a total of 1,653 and is now 15 yards award from tying the school record of 1,668 set by William Miller in 1978
The win placed Ouachita in a good place for the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs game next Saturday, September 19 at Cliff Harris Stadium.
On Sunday, the NCAA will host a selection show for the playoffs at 4:30 p.m. central time live online, which you can view here.