Henderson State To Host Nationally Televised Football Home Opener


CBS Sports Network has announced Henderson State will be part of its 2014 NCAA Division II nationally televised Football Game of the Week schedule.

The Reddies will play host to Southeastern Oklahoma on Thursday, Sept. 18 with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 20.

Henderson State has appeared on regional television several times, but the 2014 home opener will be the first game in school history to be televised on a national level.

“This is an exciting opportunity to showcase Henderson State, Reddies football and Arkadelphia to a national television audience,” said Henderson State Athletics Director Shawn Jones. “We appreciate the NCAA and CBS Sports Network for selecting this game and that is a credit to Coach (Scott) Maxfield, his staff and student-athletes for the program they have built. It will be a great contest with Southeastern Oklahoma providing tremendous exposure for both institutions and the Great American Conference.”

Last season, the Reddies scored 20 fourth-quarter points to rally from a 28-24 deficit to beat Southeastern 44-35 in Durant, Okla. on their way to a second straight GAC Championship.

Henderson State has had one of the most explosive offenses the past two years averaging nearly 550 yards per game and 51.8 points per contest.

The Reddies are ranked No. 5 in Lindy’s preseason top 25, No. 9 in USA Today and No. 10 in the Sporting News.

Henderson State returns seven all-conference players and 16 starters from last year’s team that finished the season with an 11-1 record.

Henderson State features All-Americans Kevin Rodgers and Darius Davis.

Rodgers is a top candidate for the 2014 Harlon Hill Trophy and is Lindy’s Sports Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. A current graduate student working on his MBA, Rodgers has a 27-3 record as Henderson’s starting quarterback.

A two-time GAC Offensive Player of the Year from Rockwall, Texas, Rogers led the nation in yards passing per game averaging 400.6 yards while having 40 touchdown tosses in 2013. In his 30 games as quarterback, Rodgers has completed 727-of-1091 passes (67%) for 10,076 yards and 90 touchdowns.

Davis holds the HSU single-season and career record for yards receiving and touchdowns. Last season, Davis was third nationally in yards receiving (1597), fifth in averaged yards per game 133.1, and fourth in receiving touchdowns (16).

Also returning are veterans Dustin Holland (5-9, 190, Sr.) and Israel Valentin ( 5-9, 185, Sr.) who have combined for nearly 3000 yards the past three seasons with Holland having 1721 yards receiving. Valentin is one of Henderson’s all-time leaders in kick return yardage having totaled nearly 1000 yards while averaging 24.7 yards per return.

Joseph Snapp (6-2, 195, Jr.), Corey Chappell (5-7, 160, Jr.), Marc Czaus (5-11, 191, Jr.), and Zann Jones (6-0, 215, Jr.) will also see plenty of action at the wide receiver position.

Snapp totaled 18 catches for 352 yards and four touchdowns a year ago, including having four catches for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Henderson’s triple overtime win against OBU.

Chappell may be one of the fastest players on the team and will also be utilized in the return game. Last season Chappell caught 27 passes for 353 yards and totaled 392 return yards, setting an HSU and GAC record with a kick return of 100 yards.

Czaus caught 10 passes for 59 yards, but had a great spring including having a team best seven catches for 93 yards in Henderson’s spring game.

Jones totaled just six catches for 94 yards in 2013, but those numbers should improve this season.

Redshirt freshman A.J. Tucker (6-3, 210) could be another player to watch.

Tucker was one of Rivals’ Top 24 players in Arkansas in 2012. He earned All-State honors as a receiver in 2011 and was an All-State pick in 2012 as a safety. He totaled 23 catches for 520 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.

Henderson’s ground game will be controlled by Ryan McDonald (5-10, 200, Jr.) and Jaquan Cole (5-8, 185, So.).

McDonald led the Reddies in rushing with 605 yards in just eight games. The Charleston, Ark. product scored seven touchdowns and averaged 75.6 yards per game.

Cole carried the ball 44 times and totaled 177 yards, scoring a pair of touchdowns.

On the offensive line, Henderson lost four starters but have six returnees that saw significant playing time in 2013 including Marc Gonzales (6-3, 285, Sr.), Garrett Whitley (6-3, 305, So.), Anthony Brister (6-3, 290, So.), Deveron Powell (6-4, 303, So.), John McGee (6-4, 280, So.) and Justin Carpenter (6-4, 290, So.).

Newcomers Ramon Barazza (6-3, 280, Jr.), John Guerra (6-4, 300, Sr.) and Travis Grover (6-3, 270, Jr.) will help solidify the front line.

Despite most of the talk being about the Reddie offense last season, Henderson’s defense also put up some impressive numbers.

The Reddies ranked fourth nationally in yards allowed per play (4.37), sixth in yards given up per pass attempt (5.69) and 1tth in yards allowed per rushing attempt (2.92).

Henderson allowed just 24 points per game which was second in the GAC. The Reddies also finished second in the league in total defense (345.8 yards per game) and led the GAC in interceptions with 17.

Three All-GAC selections return on the defensive side of the football including first-team defensive end Glennon Bobo (5-11, 245, Sr.). The senior from Ashdown totaled 14.5 tackles for lost yardage to earn a spot on the Daktronics Super Region 3 Second Team.

Tim Llewellyn (6-2, 220, Jr.), who was the GAC Freshman of the Year in 2012, was a second-team All-GAC selection last year after recording 51 tackles and three interceptions.

Defensive back Christian Love (6-0, 180, Jr.) earned second-team All-GAC honors after totaling 72 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Cornerback Cameron Devereaux (5-10, 190, Sr.) has played in 31 games in his three years at Henderson and has compiled 90 tackles including 37 last season.

Left corner Chris King (5-10, 190, Sr.) was fourth on the team in total tackles in 2013 with 66 stops, while having a team best four interceptions and seven pass break-ups.

Gary Vines (5-11, 190, So.) had an impressive freshman season at defensive back in 2013, ending the year with 46 tackles, three picks and eight pass break-ups.

Also returning on defense are linebackers Zach Richardson (6-2, 210 Sr.) and Blake Lopez (5-11, 200, Jr.), and free safety Kenrick Burns (5-9, 200, Jr.).

Richardson totaled 30 tackles with a pair of interceptions, while Lopez totaled 52 stops. Burns played in all 12 games and had 24 total tackles.

Henderson State begins the season on Sept. 6 when the Reddies travel to Bethany, Okla. to face Southern Nazarene.

Henderson State To Host Nationally Televised Football Home Opener