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Reddies make season's longest road trip after overtime win

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ARKADELPHIA -- Henderson State makes its longest road trip of the season on Saturday night when the team heads to Alva, Okla., to face off against Northwestern Oklahoma State at 6 p.m.

The Reddies (1-1) got their first win of the season on Saturday with a 38-31 victory against Arkansas Tech (0-2) in overtime. They used an 88-yard touchdown drive to tie the game with 46 seconds left before pulling out the win in the first overtime period. It was Henderson's first overtime win or game since 2013.

Northwestern (0-2) is searching for its first win after a 44-36 loss to Arkansas-Monticello (1-1) on Saturday. The Rangers fell, 29-21, to Ouachita Baptist (2-0) on Aug. 30.

Junior quarterback Richard Stammetti was named the Great American Conference Player of the Week following his performance against Arkansas Tech. He was 25-for-56 for 315 yards and four touchdowns in Russellville.

Stammetti also ran in the go-ahead score in overtime after leading Henderson's 88-yard scoring drive to tie the game in the fourth quarter. He ranks second in the GAC in passing yards at 549 and passing touchdowns with six.

Chase Lodree caught nine more passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. His lone score was a catch in traffic to tie the game with 46 seconds to play. Lodree's 161 yards receiving was the most by a Reddie in a game since Courtney Whitehead had 165 against Arkansas Tech in 2016. Lodree ranks fourth in the GAC in receptions with 12, second in receiving yards with 204 and is tied for the league-lead with three touchdown grabs.

Ben Johnson had six catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. He made catches on two separate third downs in overtime to keep the eventual game-winning touchdown drive alive. Johnson leads the team with 13 receptions.

Logan Moragne ranks eighth in the GAC in rushing yards with 140 yards on 30 carries through two games. He is averaging 4.7 yards per rush, but he has not yet found the end zone.

Linebacker Cameron Sonnier led Henderson with 13 tackles, two tackles for loss and an interception against the Wonder Boys. Fellow linebacker Cameron Schulz had arguably the best game of his career with 12 tackles and 3.5 for loss.

Sonnier leads the team and is fifth in the GAC in tackles with 21. Linebacker Jake Chatman also had his first career interception against Arkansas Tech, which led to a Reddies' touchdown just before halftime.

Bryston Gipson was named the GAC Special Teams Player of the Week after registering five tackles and blocking an Arkansas Tech field goal late in the second quarter. Gipson's honor, along with Stammetti's, gave Henderson two GAC Players of the Week in the same week for the first time since 2015.

Through two games, the Reddies have been outgained on the ground 480-185. Henderson ranks 11th in the conference in rushing yards and rushing offense per game at 92.5 yards.

Henderson has outgained its competition, 549-384, through the air in two contests. The Reddies rank ninth in the league in total offense per game at 367 yards, but they are third in passing offense per game at 274.5 yards.

They rank 11th in the conference in rushing defense and allow 240 yards per game. Henderson faces the No. 3 rushing offense in the GAC this week in Northwestern.

The Reddies have been perfect in the red zone through two games. They stand alone at No. 1 in the GAC in red zone efficiency with six scores in six red zone possessions, four of which were touchdowns.

Northwestern was 5-6 last year and has improved by one win in each of head coach Matt Walter's first three years in Alva. The Rangers are led by junior running back Jacob Peyton, who leads the GAC in rushing yards with 237. Senior quarterback Isaiah Weed will start under center and is sixth in the conference in passing yards with 409.

Northwestern leans on junior linebackers Dakota Driskill, who is the league-leader in tackles through two weeks with 28 stops, and 2017 First Team All-GAC honoree Maurice Wright Jr., who is second behind Driskill with 26 tackles this season. Senior receiver Horatio Smith was second-team All-GAC in 2017.

The Rangers are second in the GAC in total offense with an average of 448.5 yards per game, and are the No. 3 rushing offense in the league with 244 yards per game, but they have committed 18 penalties for 184 yards to go with a turnover margin of -3, both of which are second-to-worst in the conference. They rank 10th in the GAC in total defense and allow 452.5 yards per game.

Northwestern has struggled in GAC action. The program has never had a winning record since joining the league and has not finishing better than .500 since 2010, when the Rangers went 8-3.

Saturday will mark the seventh meeting between the two schools. Henderson leads the series, 4-2, but the Reddies dropped last year's game, 36-30, in Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field. It was Northwestern's first win against Henderson since 2003.

Henderson had opportunities in the fourth quarter, but the defense could not get the Rangers off of the field. Northwestern converted three fourth-down conversions in the final quarter, including a 35-yard rush on fourth-and-two from Weed, which set up the game-winning score with just 1:32 to play. Needing six points, the Reddies threw an interception on their first play of the ensuing drive.

The Rangers outscored Henderson, 29-17, in the second half and outgained the Reddies, 431-413. Both teams rushed for 270 yards in the game.

Henderson has never lost a road GAC game in Oklahoma. They have outscored Northwestern, 68-17, in two previous road trips to Alva.

Sports on 09/14/2018

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