ARKADELPHIA — No. 18 Henderson State plays its final home game of the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. when it hosts Southern Nazarene for Senior Day at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field.
TOP STORYLINES: SETTING THE SCENE
– The Reddies are coming off of a hard-fought 41-38 overtime win at Arkansas Tech. HSU’s offense was electric and racked up 634 yards of offense in the victory, including a season-high 522 yards through the air. Henderson remains in a tie for first place in the GAC standings with just three games remaining.
– Saturday is the ninth meeting all-time between HSU and Southern Nazarene. The Reddies hold a 7-1 advantage in the series and have an average margin of victory of 46.1 points. SNU’s lone win came in 2017, when the Crimson Storm defeated Henderson 42-24 in Arkadelphia.
REDDIES REPORT: OFFENSE
– With his 193 receiving yards against Arkansas Tech, L’liott Curry surpassed 1000 yards receiving (1027) for the second-straight season. Curry joins Darius Davis as the only two players in school history with multiple 1000-yard receiving seasons. Curry leads all active NCAA DII players in career receiving yards (3157).
– Adam Morse had a huge day in the win over Tech and threw for a career-high 522 yards — the most in a single game by any NCAA DII player this season and the fifth-most in GAC history. Morse leads the GAC in passing yards (2499), completion percentage (67.8%), passing yards per game (312.4), passing efficiency (171.6) and total offense (2663).
– Although Curry has grabbed headlines, Xavier Malone has provided a formidable one-two punch for the Reddies at receiver. Malone caught nine passes for 200 yards and a score against ATU and now has 46 receptions for 711 yards and three touchdowns this fall. His 711 yards ranks fourth in the GAC. Malone was named GAC Player of the Week on Monday.
– Duce Sproles became the first Reddie with 400 or more yards rushing this season (407) with 65 yards on Saturday against the Wonder Boys. Sproles’s 407 yards ranks 10th in the GAC and his seven rushing touchdowns is tied for fifth. The senior has also caught nine passes for 109 yards and a score this fall.
– As a team, Henderson is No. 1 in the conference in both scoring offense (43.5 points per game) and total offense (502.3 yards per game). HSU has scored a league-high 46 touchdowns and leads the GAC in passing offense (312.4 yards per game).
– Henderson’s eye-popping passing stats have overshadowed a quietly strong rushing attack this fall. HSU is third in the conference in rushing offense (189.9 yards per game), rushing touchdowns (22), and yards per carry (4.9). The Reddies have run for over 100 yards as a team in every game this season, which includes five contests with over 200 yards on the ground.
– The Reddies have excelled at not hurting themselves in 2021. HSU leads the GAC in turnover margin (+7) and is the third-least penalized team in the league with an average of just 46 penalty yards per game. Inside the red zone, Henderson has been nearly automatic and is among the national leaders with a red zone scoring percentage of 93.5%. The Reddies are 43-for-46 in the red zone this year with 35 touchdowns.
REDDIES REPORT: DEFENSE
– Through eight games, the Henderson defense is No. 4 in the GAC in scoring defense (27.4 points per game allowed) and seventh in total defense (390.4 yards per game allowed). After surrendering just 22.5 points per game through its first six contests, HSU has allowed a combined 84 points in the last two weeks against Harding and Arkansas Tech.
– Patrick Jones and Jacob Greenfield each had 10 tackles to lead the Reddies in the win over Tech. Jones has now recorded 10 or more tackles in back-to-back games after piling up 12 in the previous week against Harding. Antoine Roshell had two tackles for loss against the Wonder Boys and now has 5.0 tackles for loss on the year. Four of those tackles for loss have come in the last three games.
– After giving up the game-tying score with just five seconds remaining on Saturday in Russellville, the HSU defense stood tall on the first possession of overtime and forced Tech to settle for a 24-yard field goal. The big stand allowed the Reddies to win the game with a touchdown on their ensuing possession.
– Opponents’ rushing attacks have hurt the Reddies the last two weeks. HSU allowed just 843 yards and seven rushing touchdowns through its first six games, but have surrendered 627 yards and seven scores on the ground in its last two contests against Harding and Arkansas Tech. ATU rushed for 189 yards and 4.8 yards per carry on Saturday.
– Henderson’s defense has been dominant in its last two meetings with Southern Nazarene. The Crimson Storm were limited to 260 yards and just six points in the 2019 meeting in Arkadelphia, and had just 206 yards and 10 points in the 2018 matchup in Bethany, Oklahoma. In their seven previous victories over SNU, the Reddie defense has allowed 68 total points — an average of just 9.7 per game.
SCOUTING SOUTHERN NAZARENE
– Southern Nazarene comes into Saturday’s contest 1-7 on the year after dropping a game to previously winless Northwestern Oklahoma State last weekend, 47-27. SNU picked up its first win over the year two weeks ago when it defeated Southwestern Oklahoma State 30-22.
– The Crimson Storm are 12th in the GAC in both scoring offense (19.6 points per game) and total offense (277.1 yards per game). SNU’s rushing offense is No. 6 in the conference with an average of 151.8 yards per game. Southern Nazarene struggles to throw the ball and is ahead of only Harding and Ouachita Baptist in passing offense (125.4 yards per game).
– Defensively, SNU is 11th in the league in scoring defense (38.9 points per game allowed) but fourth in total defense (374.9 yards per game allowed). The Crimson Storm have been particularly strong against the pass and are surrendering just 185.1 yards per game through the air — a mark which ranks third in the GAC.
– The top playmaker for the Crimson Storm is quarterback Jarvis Davis, who is a true dual threat signal caller. Davis has thrown for 868 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions this year, but has also run for 401 yards and five scores. Davis averages over 50 yards rushing per game and is SNU’s leading rusher this season.
– Defensive lineman Landon Walker has been a weapon for Southern Nazarene defensively. Walker has a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks this fall. Defensive end Marcus Sowell leads SNU with four sacks and linebacker Josh Lopez is the leading tackler for the Crimson Storm with 54 stops and five for loss.
– Southern Nazarene has struggled since the formation of the GAC in 2011. The Crimson Storm are 13-81 against NCAA DII competition since making the jump from NAIA and have not had a winning record in the past decade. SNU’s best season came in 2017 when it finished 4-7 and defeated East Central, Harding, Henderson State and NWOSU.
THE COACHING MATCHUP
– Henderson State is led by head coach Scott Maxfield, who is 115-58 in his 17 years and 16 seasons at the school. Maxfield is four wins away from tying HSU legend Sporty Carpenter for the most wins in program history (119). In his career with the Reddies, Maxfield is 7-1 against Southern Nazarene. His teams have outscored SNU 391-68 in the seven wins.
– The Crimson Storm are under the direction of first-year head coach Dustin Hada. Hada was hired as SNU’s head coach in 2020 after serving the previous four years as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in Bethany, Oklahoma. Hada has had stops at two other GAC member schools: NWOSU as associate head coach in 2015 and SWOSU from 2009-14 as offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator.
THE LAST MEETING
– Henderson State used a big second quarter and a terrific display of passing to cruise past Southern Nazarene 34-6 in its home opener at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019.
– In what was a 6-6 game after one quarter thanks to a missed extra point by SNU and a failed 2-point conversion from HSU, Henderson took control with an offensive explosion in the second 15-minute period. The Reddies out-scored SNU 21-0 and all three drives in the quarter resulted in touchdowns.
– The Reddies’ defense proved dominant in the win and held the Crimson Storm to just 12 first downs and 260 yards of total offense. Offensively, the Reddies nearly doubled SNU up in total yards, 516-260.
IMPORTANT GAMEDAY INFORMATION
– 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.