Henderson State’s balanced offense beats Southwestern Oklahoma
WEATHERFORD, Okla. -- Henderson State used a balanced offensive attack and at one point scored 35 unanswered points to cruise to a 50-22 win against Southwestern Oklahoma on Saturday.
The nationally-ranked No. 17 Reddies (5-0) totaled 451 yards of offense including a season-high 210 yards rushing.
Henderson State’s defense was equally impressive having nine quarterback sacks, 11 tackles for lost yardage and a season-best three interceptions.
Henderson State first got on the board when Jarvis Smith scored on an 11-yard run to cap off a 14-play, 63-yard drive with 4:26 left in the opening quarter. The Reddies made the score 8-0 as Kevin Rodgers hit Kevin Nichols in the flats for the two-point conversion.
Southwestern (1-3, 1-2) answered the Reddies’ opening shot as Dustin Senta drove the Bulldogs down field and connected with Kirk Jones for an 8-yard touchdown to make the score 8-7 by the end of the quarter.
From there, the Reddies went on a 35-0 run to pull away and manufacture another rout. The dominant run began with a Kevin Nichols 2-yard plunge early in the second quarter.
Israel Valentine extended the Reddie lead just before the end of the first-half when he caught a 10-yard pass from Rodgers to make the score 22-7 at the break.
Valentine then opened the scoring in the second-half for the Reddies with 34-yard run down the sidelines capping off a 2-play, 75-yard drive to increase Henderson’s lead to 29-7.
Henderson added two more quick scores in the third quarter as Rodgers connected with Dustin Holland from 12-yards out, then Robert Jordan hauled in a 9-yard strike to increase the Reddie lead to 43-7 with 7:41 to play in the period.
After SWOSU made the score 43-15 on a 1-yard plunge by D.C. Walker, Elliot Hebert reached pay-dirt with a 10-yard reception for Henderson’s final score.
The Reddies now have scored 50 or more points in four-of-five games this season which is a Henderson State record.
Rodgers ended the night completing 19-of-31 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns.
Nichols became the second Reddie to rush for over 100 yards this season as the senior from Little Rock ended the game with 106 yards on 20 carries.
Dustin Holland and Charles Plaster both had 55 yards receiving, while Hebert had three receptions for 53 yards.
Jeremy Williams led the Henderson defense with eight tackles including two sacks, an interception and a pair of pass break-ups, while Kashawn Fraser and Keaton Stigger both had two sacks. Fraser had six tackles with Stigger having five.