The Reddies fight hard but fall to No. 22 Harding on the road

Hannah Hodge, Sports writer

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The Henderson Reddies traveled to Searcy, Arkansas to take on the 22nd ranked Harding Bisons this past Saturday. Coming into the game Henderson had the top-ranked offense in the GAC while the Bisons had the top-ranked defense in the conference.

On the first drive of the game, Richie Stammetti threw an interception that was brought back to the 20-yard line. Harding capitalized on the turnover using six plays and ending the drive-by rushing it in for a touchdown.

The next time Harding got the ball, Henderson forced a 3-and-out and got the ball back at their 20-yard line. HSU drove the ball to the Bisons 4-yard line but were held up and forced to kick a field goal

Later in the half, Josh Puryear forced a fumble at the 31-yard line it was recovered by Linebacker Colby Turner, a redshirt junior. This would not be the only fumble in the game. Dashing through the swarm of the Bisons, senior, Running Back Logan Moragne dashed his way in for a 31-yard touchdown.

Harding drove down the field but Henderson State forced the second fumble of the game. Richie Stammetti connected with L’liott Curry for a 29 yard first down but a holding called erased it. The drive stalled out and the Reddies were forced to punt.

Harding pushed the ball down to the inch on the one-yard line but the Reddies held up a strong barricade and prevented a touchdown with seven seconds left in the half.

At halftime, the score was 10-7 with Henderson scoring 10 straight points and controlling much of the half. They had many calls go their way and all the momentum on their side.

This changed in the second half.

Coming out of half Harding had the ball for almost nine minutes on a drive that included a fake punt and capped the drive off with a touchdown.

The Bisons squeezed the life out of the ball and the game, possessing the ball for 14 of the 15 minutes in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Harding tried to convert a 4th and 2 that would end the game but they failed. This gave Henderson a glimpse of taking back control of the game.

HSU failed to move the ball and had to punt it back to Harding. The Reddies forced their third fumble of the game but stalled in the red zone. Head Coach Scott Maxfield put the trust in his defense and decided to kick a field goal, making the score 14-13. “I think the defense played a great game we got turnovers that we haven’t gotten all year, we came back fought scrapped, we had two goal-line stands that were outstanding, our defense played their butts off.”

The defense did their job and got the ball for Henderson with 4:30 left in the game and 3 timeouts, they just needed to put together a drive that could get them in range for kicker Temo Martinez.

The stout defense of the Bisons made that hard. The Reddies threw an interception. The Bisons took over and forced Henderson to use their timeouts and ran the clock out to win the game 14-13.

The Reddies gave the Bisons everything that they could handle and put on a performance to build on going forward. They will have that opportunity as next week will return home to Carpenter-Haygood Stadium to play Northwestern Oklahoma State University at 2 p.m. on October 5th.