ARKADELPHIA, Ark. - It was one for the ages. The Henderson State Reddies (11-0) walked to A.U. Williams Field on Saturday to face the Ouachita Baptist Tigers (7-3), and after regulation and three overtimes, the Reddies walked away with a 60-52 win.
The 87th Battle of the Ravine lived up to the week-long hype that preceded it and ended with both teams combining for 112 points, the most in their 87 meetings. Junior Benson Jordan finished the game 28-45-1 for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored one rushing touchdown in the second overtime. The interception came on a tipped pass to end the game.
Henderson state would score the game's first touchdown on a three play 91-yard drive. Quarterback Kevin Rogers threw a 50-yard completion to Joseph Snapp for the score. The Tigers would answer with a scoring drive of their own, covering 76 yards in four minutes. Junior Steven Kehner would take a handoff from nine yards out and cross the goal line for the score.
On the ensuing drive, Rogers would be picked off by Tiger senior Corey Johnson. Johnson would return the interception 26 yards to the HSU 34 yard line. Three plays later, Benson Jordan would connect with junior wideout Drew White for a 33-yard touchdown reception. Junior kicker Matthew Ehasz would connect on the extra point and the Tigers would lead 14-7.
Henderson State would answer right back. Rogers would connect again with Snapp, this time for a 15-yard touchdown pass and the first quarter would end tied at 14-14. The Tigers outrushed the Reddies in the first quarter 83-4. HSU had 186 yards passing to OBU's 49.
The Tigers were driving to start the second quarter but fumbled the ball at the HSU 31 yard line after an 18-yard completion by freshman Austin Warford to freshman Ke'Vontae Pope. The Tiger defense would respond with pressure coming from junior Dave Fair and senior Antwion Patterson. They would sack Rogers twice, forcing HSU to punt.
The Reddies would end up turning the ball over on downs after a failed fake punt attempt. The Tigers would capitalize on that mistake and take a 21-14 lead on a 33-yard reception by Jalen Jones from Jordan.
The Tiger defense would maintain that lead until late in the second quarter. Rogers completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Darius Davis to tie the game at 21-21. The half ended tied.
The third quarter saw HSU score on a touchdown run by Keaton Stigger and a 31-yard field goal by Carlos Gonsalves. The Tigers had trouble moving the football in the third quarter and were held to 17 yards rushing, 52 yards total. The third quarter would end with Reddies up by 10, 31-21.
The fourth quarter started with a Tiger stop on defense, highlighted by Antwion Patterson's third sack of the game for a loss of seven yards. The Reddies would be forced to punt and the Tigers would start their drive at their own 21 yard line.
Balancing the run and the pass, the Tigers would move the ball 79 yards in 14 plays. Jordan would find Jalen Jones for a 14-yard completion and the Tigers would move back within stricking distance down 31-28.
The Tiger defensive front continued to pressure the Reddie quarterback and helped force a quick three-and-out. Henderson state would punt the ball to Etauj Allen. Allen caught the ball on the OBU 33 and ran it back 67 yards on a dazzling return to put the Tigers up 35-21 with 5:48 left in the game. It was Allen's second punt return for a touchdown in as many games.
Henderson got the ball back on their 22 and began a long drive that would take up four minutes and 44 seconds. 15 plays and 78 yards later, Rogers would find Israel Valentin in the back corner of the end zone to put the Reddies back on top 38-35 with 1:08 left to play.
The Tigers drive would start with 1:01 left in the game on their own 26 yard line. Jordan would complete an eight yard pass to senior Chris Rycraw. HSU would commit a personal foul on the play and the Tigers would get the ball on their own 49 yard line. After completions of 16, 18 and seven yards, Jordan would run the ball out of bounds at the HSU seven yard line and stopping the clock with 1.9 seconds left.
Matthew Ehasz who came into the game 13-17, would connect on a 24-yard field goal attempt as time expired to tie the game at 38-38 and send the contest into overtime.
The Tiger defense dominated the fourth quarter, holding HSU to 78 yards of total offense, their lowest of the day.
In the first overtime, Rogers would find Darius Davis for the touchdown, their second scoring connection of the game. OBU would respond with a touchdown by Chris Rycraw. The teams would go to the second overtime tied 45-45.
In the second overtime OBU would get the ball first. A Jordan to Jones completion would get the Tigers a first down. Two plays later, Jordan connected with Drew White at one yard line for a first and goal situation. Jordan would take it in himself from one yard out and the Tigers would lead 52-45 after the Ehasz extra point attempt.
The Tigers would hold the Reddies to five yards on three plays and force a fourth down and five. Kevin Rogers would find an open Darius Davis for a 17-yard completion and a first down. The Tiger defense would answer the challenge and on force a fourth and goal situation for the Reddies. Darius Davis would make an acrobatic catch for his third touchdown reception of the game and force a third overtime, tied up 52-52.
HSU started the third overtime with possession and would score on four plays with an eight-yard run by Daniel McCoy. HSU would convert the two-point conversion on a Rogers pass to Davis and they would lead 60-52.
On their next possession, the Tigers would find themselves on the HSU 13 yard line after a personal foul call against HSU on a late hit. However, two plays later they would be back at the HSU 26 after an offensive pass interference call in the end zone. After three incompletions, Jordan's last pass would be tipped by an OBU receiver and caught in the end zone by HSU player Gary Vines to end the game.
For the Tigers, Chris Rycraw would finish with 95 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards and one touchdown. Drew White had five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Jones had 4 receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Antwion Patterson had nine tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Zack Mitchell had 10 tackles and two pass break ups. Jackson Guerra had eight tackles and .5 tackles for loss. Dion young had seven tackles and .5 tackles for loss. Dave Fair finished with six tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss.