GAC Title, Battle of the Ravine Goes to Ouachita


By J. Frank Parnell

ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University won the Great American Conference football title and, maybe more importantly to Tigers fans, won the Battle of the Ravine over the Henderson State University Reddies, 49-42, at Cliff Harris Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Ouachita finished the regular season 9-2; Henderson finished 6-5. The Tigers await their opponent in the Division II playoffs.

Drew Harris scored seven touchdowns, three passing and four rushing, for Ouachita. He led all rushers with 58 yards. Blake Faulk picked up 55 yards on 12 carries for the Reddies.

Evan Lassiter threw for 463 yards, 47 of 64, and two TDs for Henderson. Austin Warford hit 17 of 20 passes for 232 yards and two TDs for Ouachita.

Andrew Black caught 10 passes for 131 yards for the Reddies, and Harris caught seven passes for 153 yards for the Tigers.

The Reddies lost three costly fumbles; the Tigers were turnover-free.

Ouachita scored first after Melvin Walter fumbled the opening kickoff and Brockton Brown recovered for the Tigers at the Henderson 14. Lucas Reed hit Harris on third down and 5 from the 9 to make it 7-0 at the 13:33 mark.

Henderson countered with a 13-play, 79-yard drive, capped by Andrew Black’s 2-yard drive with 6:17 left in the first quarter.

Ouachita went back in front 14-7 when Harris hit Austin Warford with a 58-yard pass to end a four-play, 74-yard push with 4:34 to go in the first.

Henderson’s Cobra Jones knotted the game with a 1-yard run after an eight-play, 54-yard drive with 13:08 to play before halftime.

Ouachita’s Allie Freeman returned the following kick to the Henderson 40. Two play later, Harris hit Warford with a 38-yard TD pass to make the score 21-14 Ouachita with 12:16 left in the second quarter.

With 6:34 to go before halftime, Harris pushed in from the 2-yard line after an 8-play, 81-yard drive to put the Tigers up 28-14.

The Reddies used a series of passes from Lassiter to Black to drive to the Tigers’ 3-yard line. Lassiter hit Darion Gray in the corner of the end zone with 11 seconds to play in the first half to pull the Reddies to within 28-21.

The Tigers drove 80 yards in 14 plays to stretch the lead to 35-21. Harris scored on a 16-yard run around right end.

Henderson’s Faulk scored on a 13-yard dash with 6:04 to play in the third quarter, ending an eight-play drive

Ouachita started its next drive from its own 47, Harris reached the end zone on a 1-yard dive with 3:04 to go in the third quarter, and the Tigers led 42-28.

Henderson’s Jacoby Lewis fumbled at the Reddies’ 34, fighting for a first down on third and 10. Ouachita’s Tevin Jones recovered and a pass interference penalty helped move the ball to the 18. Harris scored his seventh TD on a 2-yard run with 13:41 to play to give the Tigers a 49-28 advantage.

The Tigers recovered a fumble at the Henderson 36 but couldn’t take advantage. Cole Antley missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.

The Reddies drove 78 yards to trim the lead to 49-35 with 6:40 left on Cobra Jones’ 2-yard run.

Henderson started its final drive from its own 2 with less than 4 minutes to play and scored with 4 seconds left, 49-42. An onside kick recovered by the Reddies at their 47 set up the final play, an illegal pass that was caught by a Henderson lineman who was promptly tackled.

The teams combined for 940 yards of offense. Henderson ran 88 plays; Ouachita ran 61.

Henderson leads the Battle of the Ravine series, 43-42, with six ties.


Battle of the Ravine college football rivalry


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