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Tech Visits Bisons Saturday for Season Finale

Image of will have the play-by-play description. Harding has yet to be defeated in regulation this season. Ouachita Baptist University, now 9-0 overall and ranked No. 9 in the nation at the NCAA Division II level, needed a touchdown pass on the final play of the fourth quarter, the subsequent 2-point conversion, a Harding turnover in overtime and a 38-yard field goal to defeat the Bisons 31-28 on Oct. 18. Since that loss, Harding has handed Henderson State University its first GAC setback in more than three years and posted lopsided wins over Southwestern Oklahoma State University and East Central University. All of it has been enough to get the attention of the NCAA Division II Super Region 3 committee. The Bisons are ranked No. 6 in this week’s regional rankings, which puts them squarely on the bubble for a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. A win over Arkansas Tech in the final week of the regular season could punch Harding’s ticket to the playoffs for the second time in the last three years. The Bisons are best-known for their triple option rushing attack, which has racked up 15,002 yards on the ground during the four-year history of the GAC. This season, Harding ranks No. 2 in NCAA Division II in rushing offense (394.3 yards per game). “I was fortunate to play against Navy quite a few times when I was coaching at Temple, and that was when (current Georgia Tech head coach) Paul Johnson was at Navy,” said Monica. “Harding is doing just as good a job running the option now as Navy did back then. When you put the film on, you see they know what to do when people line up a certain way defensively. They execute and they do a great job.” The Bisons also excel on the defensive side of the ball, where they rank No. 7 in NCAA Division II in both total defense (277.8 yards allowed per game) and scoring defense (12.9 points allowed per game). Arkansas Tech enters the final contest of its 100th football season on a five-game losing streak despite continued good play by its defense. The Wonder Boys have held six consecutive opponents below their season average in scoring, including season lows in points for nationally-ranked opponents Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist. Tech ranks third in the GAC in total defense (338.6 yards allowed per game), up from seventh in 2013 and 11th in 2012. Linebackers Logan Genz (127 tackles in 2014) and Wesley McKinney (95 tackles in 2014) are the Wonder Boys’ leading tacklers this season. Genz, a junior from West Fork, enters Saturday ranked No. 3 in Arkansas Tech history in career tackles with 338. He needs 11 stops to surpass Stevie VanPelt (348 tackles from 1987-90) for second place and 15 tackles to eclipse Mike Gurule (352 tackles from 1990-93) for the school record. McKinney, a senior from Magnolia, will go into the final game of his collegiate career with 282 tackles. He climbed into ninth place in career tackles at Arkansas Tech with 18 in a 22-5 loss at Southeastern Oklahoma State University last Saturday. McKinney would move into eighth place on the career tackles chart for the Wonder Boys with eight stops on Saturday. “Both of them are leaders on and off the field, great character people and they prepare extremely well each and every week to get ready to compete,” said Monica when asked about his starting linebackers. “When you start the season, you know you have two great linebackers and you hope that both of them can make it through the season healthy. Both of them did it, and it’s because they prepared themselves in the spring and summer.”]]>