ARKADELPHIA — Henderson State plays its first game inside Carpenter-Haygood Stadium at Ruggles Field since Nov. 9, 2019 on Saturday when the Reddies host Northwestern Oklahoma State in their 2021 home opener.
TOP STORYLINES: SETTING THE SCENE
– The Reddies are looking to improve to 2-0 on the year after defeating Southwestern Oklahoma State 31-13 on the road last Thursday. A win would also give HSU six-straight home victories dating back to 2019 when it finished a perfect 5-0 inside its own stadium.
– NWOSU has won two of the last three meetings between the programs, but Henderson leads the all-time series 5-3 and defeated the Rangers 47-7 in the most recent contest two years ago. The Reddies’ average margin of victory in their five total wins over Northwestern is 35.6 points.
REDDIES REPORT: OFFENSE
– The Reddies put up 371 yards of offense and ran 71 plays in their 31-13 win over Southwestern Oklahoma State in the season opener. HSU was particularly dominant on the ground and rushed for 204 yards on 45 carries. Henderson out-rushed the Bulldogs by 125 yards and possessed the ball for over 35 minutes in the victory.
– Redshirt freshman tailback Kris Morris earned the start against SWOSU and took full advantage of the opportunity by rushing for a team-best 91 yards on 18 carries in his first college game. Senior Duce Sproles was also effective for HSU and ran for 69 yards and a touchdown.
– In his sixth year of college football, senior quarterback Adam Morse started his first game for the Reddies and finished 17-of-26 through the air for 183 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Morse connected with six different receivers in the contest and led Henderson to five scoring drives of 50 yards or longer.
– Junior transfer Chris Hatzis started his Reddies career off with a bang by catching two touchdown passes in the first half against the Bulldogs. Hatzis’s first career reception went for an 11-yard score and his third catch of the game was a 13-yard touchdown just before the halftime break.
– Preseason All-American L’liott Curry was a catalyst for the passing game in week one and caught seven passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Curry now has 15 career receiving touchdowns at HSU and needs just one more to tie Garett Manning for third all-time.
REDDIES REPORT: DEFENSE
– Henderson’s defense surrendered yardage between the 20s to SWOSU in the opener but stood tall in the red-zone. The Reddies held the Bulldogs to just one score in four red-zone scoring opportunities and picked off three Southwestern passes in the win.
– The Reddies limited SWOSU to just 79 rushing yards on 19 attempts and recorded four tackles for loss as a unit. After one week, HSU is tied for second in the GAC in scoring defense after holding Southwestern Oklahoma State to just 13 points. Henderson finished third in the conference in scoring defense back in 2019 (19.8 points per game).
– HSU’s defense came up with perhaps the two biggest plays of the game in the season-opening road win. Junior linebacker Jacob Greenfield intercepted SWOSU quarterback Tanner Griffin inside the Henderson red-zone near the end of the first half to set up the Reddies’ second score, while junior defensive back Andrew Croker picked off Griffin on a tipped ball early in the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs had a chance to tie the game.
– Junior linebacker Jake Chatman, who entered the season as the Reddies’ top returning tackler from 2019, lived up to that billing against the Bulldogs and led HSU with nine tackles and a tackle for loss. Junior linebacker Jayden Ford recorded the lone sack of the contest for Henderson and sophomore defensive back Ketric Sledge had the third and final interception for the Reddie defense.
– SWOSU hurt the Reddies through the air for the first three quarters and finished the game with 269 passing yards. Henderson’s secondary shut the Bulldogs down in the fourth quarter, however, as Southwestern’s starter Griffin was just 4-for-9 for 38 yards and two interceptions in the final period of play.
REDDIES REPORT: SPECIAL TEAMS
– The Reddies’ kicking game had a good night in the season opener in Weatherford, as junior Temo Martinez finished 4-for-4 on extra points and also iced the game with a 23-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
– Martinez has proved to be a weapon for Henderson on kickoff during his career and that was true again against SWOSU. Four of his six kicks went for touchbacks and one directional kick forced the Bulldog returner into being tackled at his own 4-yard line.
– Sophomore Tristan Heaton punted just three times in the win for an average of 32.5 yards per punt. Two of his kicks were downed inside the 20-yard line and he had a long punt of 38 yards.
– Northwestern Oklahoma State enters Saturday’s contest 0-1 on the year after falling at home to Southern Arkansas 32-13 in its season opener in Alva, Oklahoma.
– The Rangers ended the 2019 campaign with a record of 4-7. NWOSU has never had a winning season since the formation of the GAC in 2011, but has beaten the Reddies twice as a member of the league in both 2017 and 2018.
– Northwestern’s passing attack racked up yardage in the loss to SAU. Rangers quarterback Tanner Clarkson finished 26-of-40 for 413 yards and completed multiple passes to seven different receivers. Clarkson’s top target was Torrence Stevens, who had six receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown.
– SAU’s defense greatly limited NWOSU on the ground, as the Rangers rushed for just 68 yards on 30 carries (2.3 yards per carry). Clarkson was Northwestern’s leading rusher in carries with 14, while five other players split the remaining 16 rushing attempts.
– After one week of play, Northwestern is No. 1 in the league in passing offense (413 yards) and last in rushing offense (26 yards). NWOSU was 11th in the GAC in rushing offense back in 2019 (124.7 yards per game) and scored just eight rushing touchdowns in 11 games.
– NWOSU’s defense surrendered 453 yards of offense to the Muleriders in the season opener. Defensive lineman Brian Holiday led Northwestern with five tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. The Rangers currently rank 10th in the conference in total defense and 11th in scoring defense.
– Defensively, NWOSU is looking to replace 2019 GAC Defensive Player of the Year linebacker Maurice Wright Jr., who made 141 tackles two seasons ago and an incredible 466 total in his career. He still holds the GAC single game record for tackles with 25.
THE COACHING MATCHUP
– Scott Maxfield is in his 16th season at Henderson in 2021 and has compiled a career record of 109-57 at the school. Maxfield is 10 wins away from tying HSU legend Sporty Carpenter for most wins in school history (119). During his tenure at HSU, Maxfield is 5-3 against Northwestern Oklahoma State.
– Matt Walter is in his sixth season as the head coach at NWOSU. Walter has compiled a record of 20-36 since 2015. Walter has led the Rangers to two wins over Henderson State in 2017 and in 2018. In 2017, Northwestern Oklahoma defeated HSU 36-30 in Arkadelphia for its first victory over the Reddies since 2002. The following season, the Rangers became the first GAC program from Oklahoma to ever beat Henderson at home, 30-24.
THE LAST MEETING
– Henderson State got three touchdowns from Logan Moragne and four interceptions from its defense to blitz Northwestern Oklahoma State 47-7 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field and improve to 4-1 on the year.
– After leading 17-7 at the half, the Reddies came out blazing in the third quarter and out-scored NWOSU 23-0 in the period to take complete control of the game. Henderson held NWOSU to just 217 yards of offense in the win and 71 yards in the second half. The win was the biggest margin of victory for HSU since its 67-21 victory over Oklahoma Baptist in 2016.
– Moragne finished with 18 carries for 64 yards and a career-high three touchdowns to lead the HSU offense. Curry finished with eight catches for 125 yards and one touchdown, while quarterback Richard Stammetti was 17-of-31 and threw for 198 yards.
IMPORTANT GAMEDAY INFORMATION
– Saturday is Military and First Responders Appreciation Day at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field. All active and retired military and first responders and their families will receive free admission to the game with presentation of valid identification. For more information on Military and First Responders Appreciation Day, CLICK HERE.
– Several different parking options are available for game day. CADC SCAT buses will be staged at the corner of 12th and Wilson streets two hours prior to kickoff, allowing fans to use the parking lots around Henderson’s main campus. The free shuttles will travel down 12th street and drop fans off in two locations: the front of the Wells Center on M.H. Russell Drive, for those who wish to partake in pregame activities, and at the main gate to Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field. The shuttles will also run up to an hour after the game ends, allowing fans to board at the main gate as they exit and ride back to their cars on campus.
– The two other available public parking lots are the Formby Center lot, located directly in front of the Formby Athletic Complex and next to the Reddie Villas, and the South Wells Center lot, located directly in front of the Duke Wells Center.
– For Reddie Club members, Red and Gray reserved lots are located directly behind the main stands and above Clyde Berry Field. These lots require your Reddie Club parking passes. Handicapped parking is also available in the Red and Gray lot directly behind the main stands.
– Ticket windows at the stadium open two hours before game time. Tickets can also be purchased digitally at hsusports.com/tickets. For more information on buying tickets online, CLICK HERE. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. All students, faculty or staff with a valid Henderson State ID will be admitted for free, as will children five years old and younger.
WHERE TO LISTEN
– The game will be broadcast and available by the Henderson State Sports Network on KDEL 100.9 FM and KVRC 1240 AM in Arkadelphia, KWPS 99.7 FM in Hot Springs, KYXK 106.7 FM in Gurdon, and KZYP 104.1 FM/1310 AM in Malvern. Coverage begins one hour prior to kickoff. The radio broadcast can also be heard on the web by going to the audio link for the game at hsusports.com.