SEARCY -- Harding University football Coach Paul Simmons doesn't hold back when describing the toughness of fullback Cole Chancey.
"If we had 22 Cole Chanceys, we'd never lose a game," Simmons said.
Harding had one Cole Chancey on Saturday night in its rock 'em, sock 'em matchup with Henderson State University at First Security Stadium, and it was just enough for the Bisons to squeak out a 14-13 victory.
Chancey (38-166 rushing, 1 TD) came within two carries of tying Mike Vanlandingham's school record for carries, which came against Henderson State in 1978.
Harding (3-1, 3-1 Great American Conference) needed every ounce of effort Chancey had to give against a Henderson State team that had to work for all 319 yards, twice stopping the Bisons on goal-line stands after Harding had first and goal inside the 5 in the first half.
Chancey's 166 yards came almost entirely on up-the-middle bursts, none longer than 14 yards, but none more important than his 1-yard dive into the east end zone with 6:32 to play in the third quarter.
Harding outgained Henderson State 336-235 but controlled the ball with 43 plays for 175 yards in the second half, keeping possession for all but 6:10 of the final 30 minutes.
Henderson (3-1) ran 16 plays and gained 44 yards in the second half, enough to take advantage of Harding's third lost fumble of the game.
That turnover, the second recovered by defensive tackle Antoine Roshell, set up Temo Martinez's 30-yard field goal with 8:05 to play to bring Henderson State to within 14-13.
Martinez's field goal completed a 5-play, 20-yard drive that included two Richard Stammetti throws into the end zone, both intended for leading receiver L'liott Curry, the second knocked away at the last second by Vonte Williams, who had an interception and a 40-yard kickoff in the second half.
Harding controlled the ball for 13:33 of the third quarter's 15 minutes, outgaining Henderson State 98-5 while running 23 plays to 3 for the Reddies.
But Henderson State stayed alive by stopping Harding on a fourth-down play at the Reddies 25 at the outset of the fourth quarter, and they picked up 19 yards before being forced to punt.
Harding picked up a first down, behind the hard running of Chancey, but Preston Paden fumbled, setting up the Henderson State field goal.
Williams' interception, a diving grab of a Stammetti long pass to Curry, gave Harding the ball at its 40 with 4:23 to play.
Henderson State would not touch the ball the again, as Harding picked up three first downs and 36 yards to run out the clock.
Harding took a 14-10 lead when Chancey scored on fourth and 1 to complete a 14-play, 60-yard drive with 6:32 to play in the third quarter.
The drive, which consumed 8:25, required a 17-yard fake punt on fourth and 5 from the Harding 45, after the Bisons' gained prime field position on Jacory Nichols' 40-yard kickoff return to start the half.
Linebacker Shedrick Robinson received the snap on the fake punt, appeared to be wrapped up by Jacob Greenfield at the line of scrimmage but broke away for a 17-yard gain to give Harding a first down at the Henderson State 36.
It was Chancey, Paden and Tristan Tucker from there, setting up first and goal at the Henderson State 4, the third time the Bisons had a first down inside the Reddies 5.
It was the first time they came away with points.
Henderson State held Harding to 144 yards on 32 carries with aggressive blitzing up the gaps to keep the Bisons out of sync, just enough.
Henderson State showed it wasn't going to be intimidated by Harding's defense, which came into the game allowing 5.3 points and 199.7 yards per game -- after a blip on its first possession.
Taylor Streeter intercepted Stammetti's third pass at midfield and Harding scored its only points of the first half on its fourth play, a 4-yard run by Tucker with 11:39 to play in the first quarter.
The Reddies, who gained 191 of their yards in the first half, drove 76 yards in 10 plays to score on a 20-yard Martinez field goal with 3:51 to play in the first quarter.
It was the first points allowed by Harding since the final minute of the season opener against Ouachita Baptist.
The teams swapped punts after the field goal, but Henderson got the break it needed when Puryear forced his second fumble, recovered by Colby Turner, at the Harding 32.
Henderson State scored on its second play after the recovery, on Logan Moragne's 31-yard run.
Henderson State led 10-7 13:03 to play in the first half.
Harding fumbled three times, losing two -- one which prevented the Bisons from scoring and the other which set up a Henderson score.
Stammetti completed 12 of 27 for 139 yards, calling on Curry 5 times for 76 yards and spreading the Harding defense with shots over the middle.
OUACHITA BAPTIST 26,
SW OKLAHOMA STATE 21
Brayden Brazeal tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Justin Dean with 7:02 left in the fourth quarter, and the Tigers held off the Bulldogs in Weatherford, Okla.
Ouachita Baptist (4-0, 4-0 GAC) marched 71 yards on 10 plays for its game-winning drive.
Southwestern Oklahoma State ensuing drive ended with a punt at the 5:10 mark. The Bulldogs never regained possession.
Brazeal completed 13 of 19 passes for 141 yards and 2 TDs. Shun'Cee Thomas led the Tigers on the ground, running 19 times for 102 yards. OBU's Allie Freeman caught a game-high seven passes for 49 yards.
Southwestern Oklahoma State (2-2, 2-2) trailed 20-14 entering the fourth quarter, but grabbed a 21-20 lead with 11:47 remaining when Tyler Marr hit Donnell Hawkins for a 4-yard TD to cap a 17-play, 93-yard drive.
Marr finished 12 of 22 for 189 yards and 3 TDs. Jared Rayburn led the Bulldogs in receiving with 5 receptions for 127 yards, including touchdown catches of 8 and 68 yards.
Brazeal also threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Keemo McKnight. Brockton Brown scored on a 3-yard run and Gabe Goodman kicked field goals of 43 and 33 yards for the Tigers.
SOUTHERN ARKANSAS 35,
ARKANSAS TECH 14
Kordavion Washington ran for 154 yards and scored both of his touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Muleriders ran away from the Wonder Boys in Saturday's game in Russellville.
After Arkansas Tech University (0-4, 0-4 GAC) tied the game at 14-14 on Wallace Foote's 1-yard run with 11:33 remaining in the game, Southern Arkansas University (3-1, 3-1) scored the final 21 points.
Washington scored the go-ahead touchdown with 6:17 left, capping a 10-play, 63-yard drive that took 5:16 off the clock.
O.B. Jones scored on a 3-yard run with 2:19 remaining, and Washington finished the scoring with an 11-yard run at the 1:38 mark.
Washington did his rushing damage on 19 attempts. Jones ran seven times for 42 yards and also scored twice. SirCharles Perkins scored the Muleriders' first touchdown on an 11-yard run with 7:44 left in the opening quarter.
Foote ran 16 times for 121 yards. Tech quarterback Mason Cunningham completed 14 of 28 passes for 130 yards, but he was intercepted three times.
NORTHWESTERN OKLA. 28,
Northwestern Oklahoma (2-2, 2-2 GAC) intercepted three University of Arkansas-Monticello passes -- one of which was returned for a touchdown -- and limited the Boll Weevils to 56 yards through the air in Alva, Okla.
James Ellis returned an interception 15 yards for a touchdown 81 seconds into the second half as the Rangers took control of the contest.
Trent Easley completed 15 of 22 passes for 146 yards for Northwestern Oklahoma. Jacob Peyton ran 11 times for 85 yards for the Rangers, scoring on a 7-yard run in the first quarter.
UAM (2-2, 2-2) managed 215 yards on the ground, including an 86-yard effort on 11 carries by quarterback Demilon Brown.
Brown completed 7 of 12 passes for 52 yards and was intercepted once. Caleb Canady completed 4 of 8 passes for 4 yards and was intercepted twice.
Sports on 09/29/2019
Print Headline: Harding fullback bullies Henderson