Southwestern Oklahoma State University quarterback Marc Evans passed for 276 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 28-14 Great American Conference win over Arkansas Tech University at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday.
Arkansas Tech’s loss, paired with Henderson State University’s 22-14 win at Oklahoma Baptist University earlier in the day, eliminated the Wonder Boys (7-3) from contention for the 2015 GAC title. The Reddies (9-1) clinched their third GAC football championship in the last four years outright.
SWOSU (7-3) jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Arkansas Tech midway through the second quarter.
Evans threw a 12-yard scoring strike to Carlos Smith with 10:29 remaining in the first half. On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Evans found Smith for a 47-yard pass that set up Kartrell Henderson’s 3-yard touchdown run at the 7:46 mark of the second quarter.
The Wonder Boys answered with a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Arsenio Favor plunged into the end zone from one yard out with 3:45 left in the half to pull Tech within 14-7.
Two more big pass plays by SWOSU in the second half made the difference.
Evans threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Jones with 2:44 to go in the third quarter and a victory-clinching 30-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Styles on a fourth-and-7 play at the 2:38 mark of the fourth quarter.
In between those two SWOSU touchdowns, Favor had another 1-yard touchdown run for the Wonder Boys.
Favor has scored 15 touchdowns this season, tied for sixth-most in a single season by an Arkansas Tech player all-time.
Bryan Allen had 36 carries for 132 yards for the Wonder Boys. It was his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game and the fifth 100-yard rushing game of his freshman season.
Allen will need 55 rushing yards in the regular season finale to become the first Arkansas Tech player to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season since R.J. Vanhook reached that plateau in 2004.
The Wonder Boys had 203 rushing yards on Saturday, bringing their season total to 2,869. It is the third-highest single-season team rushing total in Arkansas Tech football history.
Logan Genz led the Wonder Boys with eight tackles on Saturday, giving him 442 career tackles. Genz, who already held the school record for career tackles, now ranks eighth in NCAA Division II history in that category.
Southwestern Oklahoma State had zero turnovers on Saturday. Arkansas Tech committed two turnovers.
The Wonder Boys will conclude their 2015 regular season by hosting Harding University (7-3) for a 2 p.m. GAC contest at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday, Nov. 14.
It is possible that the winner of that game could represent the GAC in a postseason bowl game.