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Wayne Cavadi | | November 12, 2021

3 essential things to know about the 2021 Battle of the Ravine

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One of college football's most unusual rivalries takes place on Saturday, Nov. 13. Henderson State will travel to Ouachita Baptist for the 94th 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

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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 94th 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:

136 South Dakota Mines, Black Hills State 65-60-11 1895 SD Mines, 13-10
118 Emporia State, Washburn 58-53-6 1899 Emporia State, 35-30
110* Virginia State, Virginia Union 57-45-9 1900 VSU, 27-24 (OT)
109 Tuskegee, Morehouse 70-30-8 1902 Morehouse, 31-15
105* Southeastern Oklahoma St., East Central 50-47-8 1909 East Central, 42-38
99* Catawba, Lenoir-Rhyne 49-46-4 1907 Lenoir-Rhyne, 49-3
99 Pittsburg State, Emporia State 63-34-2 1915 Pitt St., 30-28
97 Truman, Central Missouri 52-40-5 1905 N/A
93* Ouachita Baptist, Henderson State 44-43-6 1907 OBU, 24-21
91 Truman, Northwest Missouri State 54-33-4 1908 N/A
91 Pittsburg State, Washburn 63-27-1 1921 Washburn, 28-26

* = the next matchup in the rivalry will be played Nov. 13, 2021 as well.

You can see what is most remarkable about this rivalry and unlike any other on the list. After 93 meetings, Ouachita Baptist has the slightest advantage. Ouachita has won the last four 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 won its 27th-conference game in a row in the 2019 Battle of the Ravine. That tied the record of 27 set by none other than Henderson State from 2011-2014.

3. This game has huge 2021 DII football championship tournament implications

Two top-25 teams. Check. Two teams in the top 10 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 currently No. 5 in DII football and the No. 7 team in Super Region Three. Henderson State is No. 16 in DII football, and holding on to the No. 6 spot in Super Region Three. This is the second year in a row both are nationally and regionally ranked. That 2014 game set the GAC record as 12,228 fans of the Ravine piled into Carpenter-Haygood Stadium. Let's see if this one breaks it. 

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

Ouachita Baptist will put its four-year winning streak on the line. Both 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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