By COURTLIN HAYGARTH | HSU Sports Network
WACO, Texas — After receiving votes in each of the first two installments of the American Football Coaches Association Poll, Henderson State cracked the Top-25 for the first time this season, coming in at No. 24 in the latest rankings. Last year, HSU saw stints at No. 24, No. 20 , No. 16 and No. 13 and No. 9 in various DII polls.
The Reddies (3-0) join fellow-GAC members Harding (7) and Ouachita Baptist (9) among the Top-25 after garnering 87 points. New Haven edged out Henderson with 88 points for a spot at No. 23 while Nebraska-Kearney sits 28 points behind HSU at No. 25.
Through three games, Henderson has beaten its opponents by a combined score of 119-67 and has not allowed an opponent to score more than 28 points in 2022. HSU has delivered a balanced offensive attack to open the 2022 campaign, throwing for 712 yards and rushing for 680. 277 of those yards have come from redshirt freshman Korien Burrell, while being tied atop the league with five rushing touchdowns.
Matching a high-octane offense that a Scott Maxfield-coached Reddies team has been known for is a suffocating defensive front. Henderson has recorded 16 sacks already after tallying 17 all of last season. Leading the assault has been Shaq’ke Robinson, who has four sacks for 20 yards, and newcomer Gary Lewis with three sacks and 20 yards. Both Robinson and Lewis have combined for 11 tackles for loss.
In addition to the 3-0 start, head coach Scott Maxfield surpassed HSU coach Sporty Carpenter for the most all-time wins in program history with 120 after defeating Arkansas-Monticello this past Saturday. Maxfield is also fourth all-time among Arkansas collegiate football coaches and is second in winning pct. (.670) to Frank Broyles (.704) among Arkansas coaches with 100 wins or more.
The No. 24 Reddies will look to remain unbeaten when they head to Magnolia, Arkansas for the first time since 2012 to take on the Southern Arkansas Muleriders Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.