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Wonder Boys Look to Build on Momentum

Arkansas Tech will seek its third consecutive victory when the Wonder Boys visit the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs in Great American Conference football action at Weatherford, Okla., on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Arkansas Tech will seek its third consecutive victory when the Wonder Boys visit the Southwestern Oklahoma State Bulldogs in Great American Conference football action at Weatherford, Okla., on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Kickoff at Fast Lane Field is set for 2 p.m. Radio station KWKK 100.9 FM will have the broadcast in the Russellville area, and the broadcast can also be heard over the Tech Athletics Web site.

Consecutive wins over Northwestern Oklahoma State (41-20) and Southeastern Oklahoma State (45-38) the last two weeks have allowed Arkansas Tech to even its overall record at 3-3. The Wonder Boys are 1-2 in GAC play, with their league losses coming to nationally-ranked foes Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist.

Tech rallied from a 17-point second half deficit to defeat Southeastern last Saturday.

"It was a wonderful feeling on Saturday," said Wonder Boys head coach Steve Mullins. "Everybody kept believing and fighting hard. I am so proud of the way our players never gave up."

Southwestern Oklahoma State is 1-4 overall and 1-3 in league play. Based upon the cumulative overall record of their opponents thus far, the Bulldogs have played the seventh-toughest schedule in NCAA Division II in 2012.

SWOSU ranks among the top four teams in the GAC in rushing defense thanks to a defensive front that has Mullins' attention going into Saturday.  

"We're about to play our seventh game this season, and there is no doubt that Devin Benton is the best defensive lineman we have faced so far," said Mullins. "Nobody has blocked Benton yet. We must find a way to at least somewhat neutralize him. He is a force on the inside."

Benton, a sophomore from Arlington, Texas, has seven tackles for a loss and three quarterback sacks this season. He has also forced a fumble and blocked a kick.

Both quarterbacks in Saturday's match-up rank among the top five in the GAC in total offense this season.

Arkansas Tech's Tanner Marsh is second in the league with 299.5 yards of total offense per game, while Southwestern Oklahoma State's Dustin Stenta averages 255 yards of total offense per game and ranks fifth in the GAC in that category.

Stenta completed 15-of-28 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns and ran eight times for 97 yards in the Bulldogs' 23-20 home win over the Wonder Boys in the 2011 season finale. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Ross Lane on a fourth-and-goal play with 23 seconds remaining gave Southwestern Oklahoma State the victory.

"There were a lot of circumstances beyond our control that made that game extremely frustrating," said Mullins. "A lot of the guys who are making the trip this year did not make that trip last year. We are very close to having an entirely new football team this season. Hopefully the ones who were in Weatherford last year will remember the frustrations we encountered and be very focused this Saturday."

Learn more about Wonder Boys football.

 

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