Henderson State Reddies Make History, Move On



Henderson State will play host to Emporia State in the second round of the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. The Reddies recorded their first-ever NCAA playoff win with a 23-16 victory over Sioux Falls last weekend.

Henderson State, ranked No. 8 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, have won 10 straight games and and have improved to 11-1 on the season.


Henderson State is the first team as members of the Great American Con- ference to record a playoff win. The conference was winless in five tries prior to last week’s win by the Reddies.
Henderson’s has been superb defensively all season allowing opponents to score just 14.8 points per game which ranks third nationally. The Reddies surrendered 422 yards to Sioux Falls last week, however the Cougars were only able to reach pay dirt once.

Henderson will have to contain Harlon Hill candidate quarterback Brent Wil- son. Opponents have totaled just nine touchdowns passing this season. Henderson allows 189.2 yards passing per game and has recorded a na- tional-leading 27 interceptions.

Thirteen different Reddies have recorded interceptions this season led by Gary Vines, Tavares Garner and Darius Thomas with four picks each. Linebackers Josh Davis and Lawson Schulz lead the Reddie defense with Davis having 94 tackles along with a team-best 12.5 tackles for lost yard- age. The junior from El Dorado, Ark. also had a team-best 11 tackles last weekend against Sioux Falls.

Schulz has totaled 90 tackles after 10 stops a week ago. The junior from Atlanta, Texas has 9.0 tackles for lost yardage as well as seven pass break- ups and five quarterback hurries.
Henderson’s offense averages just 372.5 yards per contest which ranks 10th in the GAC.

Dallas Hardison did not have a huge passing day last week, but moved the Reddies down the field when it counted. The junior from Bentonville has completed 199-of-324 passes for 2213 yards for a 61.5 percentage. Hardison’s passing yardage this season ranks eighth in HSU history.

Jaquan Cole went over the 1,000 yard mark last week having 144 yards to run his total to 1119 yards on 204 carries.
Seven Reddie receivers have 100 or more yards this season led by JaVante Mack who has totaled 44 receptions for 481 yards and four touchdowns. Corey Chappell follows with 408 yards on 26 receptions.


Emporia State is ranked 18th nationally and enters the game with a 10-2 record following a thrilling 51-49 win over Minnesota State-Mankato in the opening round of the playoffs last week.
The Hornets average 36.9 points and 329.6 yards passing per game. Quarterback Brent Wilson was named the Offensive Player of the Year in the MIAA. The senior from Ponca City, Okla. is ranked second among ac- tive players in NCAA Division II in passing yards per attempt, fourth in comple- tion percentage, fifth passing efficiency, seventh in touchdown passes, and eighth in total offense per play. Wilson has completed 308-of-470 passes for 3,420 yards and 39 touchdowns. Last week against MSU-Mankato, Wilson completed 27-of-48 passes for a season-best 437 yards and five touch- downs

Kavaski Ervin was a second-team All-MIAA performer at wide receiver de- spite leading the MIAA in receiving yards, receptions and ranking second in touchdown catches. Ervin has 1101 yards on 75 receptions and 11 touch- downs. Last week Ervin had 6 catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns. Mitchell Foote is also a prime target and is a first-team All-MIAA pick. Foote leads the MIAA in touchdown catches with 12 and has compiled 837 yards on 75 receptions.

Antonio Brown leads the ESU ground game having 586 yards on 153 car- ries.
Defensively, the Hornets have totaled 34.0 sacks and 88.0 tackles for loss. Josh Monteaqudo leads the team with 93 tackles along with 8.0 tackles loss. Monteaqudo also has four pass breakups.

Linebacker Jason Tetuan was an honorable mention All-MIAA pick after having 81 total tackles and a team best 14.5 tackles for loss.
Also a big performer on defense is Kole Schankie who has 92 tackles which includes 13.0 tackles for loss and four sacks.


The third time was a charm for Henderson State as the Reddies won their first-ever NCAA playoff game with a 23-16 victory over No. 16 Sioux Falls. The No. 8 Reddies picked off Harlon Hill Candidate quarterback Luke Papilion three times including one on USF’s final drive to secure the victory for Henderson.

Henderson scored on its opening possession as Jaquan Cole broke free for a 10 yard run around right end to put the Reddies on top 7-0.
Sioux Falls moved the ball down field on its opening drive, but the Reddie defense held strong and forced a 31-yard field goal by Brett Garner as the Cougars cut the Reddie lead to 7-3 with 7:59 left in the first quarter. Henderson would stop a USF drive late in the quarter when Gary Vines intercepted a Luke Papilion pass and returned it to the Reddie 24.

USF would advance the ball to midfield but be forced to punt. Darion Gray would take Stuart Vanden-Heuval’s kick and return it 51 yards to the USF 40 to set up Henderson’s next score. On 3rd-and-10, Hardison would hit Joseph Snapp on a crossing route for 38 yards down to the Cougar 2. Two plays later, Hardison would score from the 1 to put HSU on top 14-3.

USF would add a 21-yard field goal by Garner, and score its only touchdown of the game late in the half on a 3-yard plunge by Papilion to make the score 14-13 at the break.
Midway through the third quarter, Henderson would put together a 12-play, 69-yard drive with Hardison finding Mark Czaus on the sidelines for an 18- yard touchdown to increase the Reddie lead to 21-13.

Henderson’s defense would put the next points on the board as Jordan Dominguez along with several other Reddies chased Papilion back into his own end zone where he attempted to get rid of the football. However, Papiliion’s pass never cross the line of scrimmage and was penalized for intentional grounding which resulted in a safety to increase the HSU lead to 23-13. Sioux Falls would make it a one possession game with 5:32 remaining as Garner booted a 25-yard field goal to make the score 23-16.

The Cougars had one last chance getting the ball back with 1:57 remaining and starting from their own 18-yardline.
Papilion began moving his team down field and converted on a 3rd-and-7 and a 4th-and -6 to keep the drive alive. With time ticking away and USF facing a 2nd-and-5 from the Reddie 24, Papillion was again under pressure by the Reddie defense and threw an errant pass that was picked off by Tiyun Avery with 10 seconds left in the game.

Cole ended the game with 147 yards rushing on 31 attempts becoming the 10th player in HSU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.


Henderson State recorded its 11th win of the season last week against Sioux Falls. It is the fourth time in school history that a Reddie team has totaled 11 wins in a season. Henderson was 11-2 in 1974 and followed with an 11-1 record in 1975. The Reddies were 11-1 most recently in 2013. No team in HSU history has won 12 games.


The Reddies have played their fair share of close games this season.
Eight of Henderson’s 12 games have been decided by one posession or less. In those eight games, Henderson is 7-1 with the lone loss being a 35- 28 setback to East Central the second week of the season.


Henderson State will play its fourth NCAA Division II playoff game on Satur- day. The Reddies have advanced to the NCAA Playoffs three times in the last four years, winning their first game last week against Sioux Falls.
All of Henderson’s playoff games have been played at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.

Henderson made the jump to the NCAA Division II in 1993 following a suc- cessful stint at the NAIA level.
The 2015 NCAA Division II playoff game will mark only the fifth time in Henderson history that the Reddies have appeared in any type of playoff.

Henderson State first appeared in a post-season playoff game in 1974 when the Reddies played in the NAIA playoffs. The Reddies defeated Elon 21-7 in the opening round game, but lost in the NAIA National Championship to Texas A&M Commerce (formerly Texas A&I) 34-23.

Henderson’s also made a post-season appearance in 1975 when the Reddies faced East Central (Oklahoma) in the Bicentennial Bowl at War Memorial Stadium. The Reddies won the game 27-14.
In 1985, the Reddies opened the NAIA playoffs with an 18-15 win over Central State (Oklahoma), before losing in the semifinals to Central Arkansas 21-9. The Reddies first appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in 2012. Henderson State earned a bye in the first round and played host to Missouri Western in the second round. The Reddies lost to the Griffons 45- 21. In that game against Missouri Western, the Reddies kept the game close early but the Griffins scored twice before the half and built a 31-14 halftime lead.

Kevin Rodgers ended the game completing 37-of-65 passes for 412 yards but was picked off four times. Robert Jordan caught nine passes for 125 yards and became only the third player in Henderson State history to end the year with more than 1,000 yards receiving. Dustin Holland went over 100 yards for the third time this season having 10 receptions for 103 yards. Keaton Stigger led Henderson’s defense with 16 tackles including 10 solo stops, while Maxie Graham ended the game with 13 tackles.

Henderson hosted an opening round game in 2013 as the Reddies played host to St. Cloud State.
Three first-half turnovers proved costly for Henderson as No. 12 St. Cloud State upended the No. 4 Reddies 40-35, in the first round of the NCAA Divi- sion II Playoffs.

The Reddies totaled four turnovers which led to 13 points for St. Cloud State. Rodgers, the two-time Great American Conference Offensive Player of the Year, completed 41-of-54 passes for 567 yards and four touchdowns. The Rockwall, Texas product went over the 10,000-yard career passing mark as he finished the season with a HSU and GAC record 4,807 yards to run his career total to 10,076 yards and 90 touchdowns in 30 games played. Darius Davis also made Reddie history setting the HSU single-season re- ceiving record after having 10 catches for 213. Davis ended the season with 1597 yards surpassing the previous HSU record of 1505 yards set by Chad Luttrell in 2000.

Henderson State will play host NCAA Division II Football Playoffs



Tags: , ,