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Wayne Cavadi | | November 13, 2019

3 essential things to know about the 2019 Battle of the Ravine

DII football plays of the week

One of college football's most unusual rivalries takes place on Saturday, Nov. 16. Henderson State will travel to Ouachita Baptist for the 93rd Battle of the Ravine.

The Reddies will make the trek by foot — across U.S. Highway 67 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas — from their campus to the Tigers' Cliff Harris Stadium, a location voted one of the best places to watch DII football

2019 rankings: The top 25, right now | Regional rankings

That's right: they walk. And it only takes about 5 minutes. Here's what you need to know about Saturday's rivalry. 

1. The Battle of the Ravine is a clash of next-door neighbors

Google Maps The 93rd Battle of the Ravine will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16.

These two teams are as close as it gets. Henderson State's Carpenter-Haygood Stadium is a driver and 3-iron away from Ouachita Baptist's Cliff Harris Stadium. Per's Mike Lopresti, the golf coach has done it, playing shots from one end zone to the other.

If you walk from football field to football field, you won't even break a sweat. It's only 3,696 feet or just 0.7 miles depending on your preference of measurement. In fact, if the games are scheduled just right, both teams can probably scout each other without leaving the press box

2. Henderson State at Ouachita Baptist is an old-school rivalry

These two certainly know each other very well. Saturday's meeting will be the 93rd Battle of the Ravine. The first game was in 1895, but Henderson State was Arkansas Methodist College back then. The series began as HSU vs. OBU in 1907 and — despite a 12-year hiatus due to prank wars by the schools — the 93 meetings place ninth all-time when it comes to DII football's most-played rivalries.

DII HISTORY: More on the 11 most-played rivalries in DII football

Here, see for yourself:

134 South Dakota Mines, Black Hills State 63-60-11 1895 BHSU, 48-28
116 Emporia State, Washburn 57-53-6 1899 Washburn, 37-17
110 Virginia State, Virginia Union 57-45-9 1900 VSU, 27-24 (OT)
107 Tuskegee, Morehouse 70-29-8 1902 Tuskegee, 21-10
104 Southeastern Oklahoma St., East Central 50-46-8 1909 Nov. 16, 2019
98 Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne 49-45-4 1907 Nov. 16, 2019
98 Pittsburg State, Emporia State 62-34-2 1915 Pitt. St., 47-23
97 Truman, Central Missouri 52-40-5 1905 N/A*
92 Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist 43-43-6 1907 Nov. 16, 2019
91 Truman, Northwest Missouri State 54-33-4 1908 N/A+
90 Pittsburg State, Washburn 63-26-1 1921 Washburn, 49-38
You can see what is most remarkable about this rivalry and unlike any other on the list. After 92 meetings, no one has the upper hand. The Reddies and Tigers are dead even, 43-43-6 all-time. Ouachita has won the last three meetings, including in 2017 when Ouachita snapped the Reddies' longest road winning streak in DII football history at 31 games at Cliff Harris Stadium. 

DII FLASHBACK: Why no one wanted to play Henderson State on the road

One additional fun fact between the two. Ouachita Baptist has won 26 conference games in a row. The record is 27 set by none other than Henderson State from 2011-2014.

3. This game has huge 2019 DII football championship tournament implications

Two top-25 teams. Check. Two teams in the top 7 of Super Region Three. Yup, that too. A share of the Great American Conference title? Oh yeah, that's on the line as well. We got a big one going down in Arkadelphia on Saturday. 

Ouachita Baptist is No. 5 in DII football and the No. 3 team in Super Region Three. Henderson State is No. 20 in DII football, and holding on to the No. 7 spot in Super Region Three. It's the first time since 2014 that both teams are entering the game nationally ranked. That 2014 game set the GAC record as 12,228 fans of the Ravine piled into Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.

UNDER-THE-RADAR RIVALRIES: 11 NCAA rivalries you may not know, but should

Henderson State enters with the conference's second-best scoring offense. Ouachita Baptist counters with the second-best scoring defense. While the Tigers have the second-best rushing offense in the GAC, the Reddies answer with the second-best pass offense. 

Ouachita Baptist will put its three-year winning streak on the line. Henderson State could very well be putting its NCAA tournament berth on the line. This has all the makings of a classic shootout, one that will give the winner the upper hand — at least for a year.

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