Ouachita Baptist wins 91st Battle of the Ravine, Great American Conference

Ouachita celebrates 2017 Battle of the Ravine (KATV photo)

The Ouachita Tigers’ football team (9-2) clinched its third Great American Conference championship and snapped Henderson State’s 31-game away win streak with a 49-42 victory over the Reddies (6-5) in the 91st Battle of the Ravine Saturday afternoon.

“When you put all together and do it all at the same time, it’s just amazing," Ouachita Head Coach Todd Knight said. "First of all, the Battle of the Ravine. It wouldn’t really matter if there was something else on it; it’s just fun to win that game. For these guys to come back after the two early losses and go 9-2 and win the conference and now have a chance to go to the playoffs, it’s just a great feeling for the guys. They’re so deserving. The way they practice. The work they put into it off the field.”

The Tigers’ Drew Harris had a remarkable performance, scoring all seven of the Tigers’ touchdowns in the game, four of which were rushing touchdowns and three of which were receiving. Harris finished the game with 153 receiving yards and 58 rushing yards.

“[Harris] led our devotion last night,” Knight said. “He’s a motivator. He’s more than just a great football player; he’s a great young man. Coach Derby and the offense staff put him in position, but he’s a phenomenal player. He makes the plays. He gets it done.”

Harris’ performance highlighted an efficient showing for the Tiger offense. Redshirt-senior quarterback Austin Warford completed 85 percent of his passes, while the offense did not turn the football over one time. The team also had a perfect red zone conversion rate, scoring every time the team had the ball within the Henderson 20-yard line.

The Ouachita defense put in a solid showing as well, stopping the Reddies when it needed to and forcing three turnovers. Senior linebacker Luke Holt led the team with 14 total tackles while also forcing a fumble and recovering another. Defensive backs Zach Miller and Tevin Jones accrued 11 tackles each.

The win gives the Tigers their first GAC championship since 2014. The win also draws the Reddies’ all-time series lead to 43-42-6.

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