Nationally 14th-ranked Harding University assured itself of a berth in the 2019 NCAA Division II Playoffs by defeating Arkansas Tech University 49-14 in the regular season finale at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field in Russellville on Saturday.
The Bisons (10-1) took advantage of two early turnovers by the Wonder Boys to build a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Arkansas Tech pulled within 35-14 behind a 15-yard touchdown pass from Carter Burcham to Drew Wade at the 6:15 mark of the third quarter and a 1-yard touchdown run by Wallace Foote with 10 seconds remaining in the third period, but that was as close as the Wonder Boys could get.
Harding’s Cole Chancey put the game away with a 47-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-1 play with 8:52 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bisons, owners of NCAA Division II’s top rushing attack, had 406 rushing yards on Saturday. Chancey led the way with 18 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Harding quarterback Preston Paden threw touchdown passes of 52 yards to Taylor Bissell and 56 yards to Kage Citty. Bissell also had a rushing touchdown for the Bisons, as did Zach Smith.
Foote finished with eight carries for 111 yards for the Wonder Boys. Darryn Cain (12 tackles) and Chris Kale (10 tackles) led the ATU defense.
The loss ended the 105th season of Arkansas Tech football. The Wonder Boys finished 3-8 overall.