Left ‘Wonder-ing’

Reddies put a blunder on Wonder Boys’ homecoming in OT thriller


Reddie Athletics

Donovan Lee, Sports Editor / HTV Station Manager

ARKADELPHIA, AR– After an underwhelming homecoming performance against Harding a week prior, Henderson State (7-1 GAC) hit the road to visit Arkansas Tech for the Wonder Boys’ homecoming game. Although the Reddies are no longer undefeated, the opportunity to stay atop of the conference was still in their grasp. The previous meeting between HSU and ATU was a close one, with Henderson prevailing 27-21.

With the Reddies playing without junior Temo Martinez, graduate student David Heaton filled in on special teams duties. Heaton put HSU on the board first with a successful 34-yard field goal attempt. Arkansas Tech raised the Reddies a touchdown midway through the quarter. Approaching the two-minute mark, junior running back Darius Austin toted one across the goal line from two yards out to put Henderson back up by three going into the second quarter.

Aware of the opportunity in front of them, Arkansas Tech responded with scoring drives each time the Reddies upped the ante. At the half, the Reddies trailed the Wonder Boys, 14-13. Henderson has only trailed once this season at halftime: one week prior in their defeat to the Bisons.

Quarter number three did not have much scoring action from either team, with the sole score coming courtesy of Reddies running back Duce Sproles from a couple yards out. The Sproles score gave HSU the lead back heading into the final 15 minutes of regulation.

Looking to avoid the homecoming defeat, ATU accelerated their scoring attack in hopes to pull off what would’ve been the upset of the year in the GAC. Tech managed to outscore Henderson 21-15 in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 35-35, at the end of regulation and force overtime. During a successful two-point conversion catch, senior Reddie receiver L’liot Curry went down and was helped off the field. However, he would not miss out on the action, returning to the game in OT.

A Wonder Boys’ field goal was met with cheer by the ATU fans, but the reappearance of Curry was much to their dismay, as the prolific receiver was able to make a goal line catch and extend the ball into the endzone for the game-winning score. Henderson held off Arkansas Tech in overtime, 41-38. Curry and junior Xavier Malone combined for 398 yards receiving. Quarterback Adam Morse, who earned his second GAC Player of the Week honor, was 28/41 for 522 passing yards and two touchdown passes.

The Reddies return to Carpenter-Haygood Stadium on Oct. 30 to host Southern Nazarene.