By Brian Ramsey
OBU Sports Information
ARKADELPHIA — The seventh-ranked Ouachita Baptist University football team eclipsed the 40-point mark for the third time this season on Saturday in a 42-7 win over Southern Arkansas at home.
Entering the game as the No. 3 rushing team in NCAA Division II, the Tigers (7-1) stuck to the ground, netting 278 yards on 51 carries. However, the Tigers did rack up a season-high 130 passing yards in the win over the Muleriders (3-5), led by Grant Allen with 10 completions for all 130 yards. Connor Flannigan handled the bulk of the receiving duties with four receptions for 60 yards.
TJ Cole and Kendel Givens were responsible for all of Ouachita’s touchdowns in the win. Cole had a four-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, an 18-yard score early in the second quarter, and a three-yard score midway through the second quarter.
Givens tallied the final three scores, marking the fifth time this season he has scored three rushing touchdowns in a game. The Little Rock native had an eight-yard score late in the second quarter, a 15-yard score midway through the third, and a four-yard score in the final minutes of the third.
Cole finished the game with 21 carries for 119 yards, his seventh game of the season over 100 yards. With Saturday’s performance, Cole has now eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark this season with 160 carries for 1,049 yards. Givens wound up with 11 carries for 73 yards. Counting his three trips to the endzone, Givens now has a nation-leading 19 touchdowns this season, and is now tied for fourth in school history for single-season touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tigers lit up the tackles for loss and sacks categories. Ouachita had a season-high 14 tackles for a loss of a combined 76 yards. The Tigers got to the SAU quarterback five times for the second straight game, this time for a loss of 47 yards.
Individually, Andrew Hayes led the way with 11 total tackles. Anthony Freeman had a big game with 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Hayden Lassiter recorded his second interception of the season in Saturday’s win, this time in the endzone to prevent SAU from scoring.
The Tigers have their final road trip of the regular season next Saturday, October 30 for the battle between the Tigers against 5-3 East Central University. Kickoff next Saturday is set for 2 p.m.in Ada.