Wonder Boys Visit Bisons for Season Finale

Time has a way of disappearing when Harding University gets a lead in a football game.

For that reason, Arkansas Tech University head coach Raymond Monica knows that his team needs a fast start when the Wonder Boys face the Bisons in Great American Conference play at First Security Stadium in Searcy on Saturday, Nov. 10.

“With (Harding) running the football, they can eat a lot of time off that clock,” said Monica. “The number of possessions will be a lot less in this game than any other game we’ve played. We’ll run the clock down, too…probably a little bit more than we have. Hopefully, in the fourth quarter, we can find a way to win the football game.”

Kickoff for the Wonder Boys’ season finale is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.

Harding (8-2) is ranked No. 25 in the American Football Coaches Association NCAA Division II national poll and No. 8 in NCAA Division II Super Region 3.

The Bisons may need a win over Arkansas Tech and a Southern Arkansas University loss to the University of Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday in order to reach the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Harding reached the national semifinals in 2017.

“(Harding) is doing an excellent job running the football,” said Monica. “They are as good as anyone I have faced going up against the option. If you line up one way, they know how to attack you. Defensively, I think they are as good as they’ve ever been. It all comes down to execution. We have a good scheme in, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we execute it on Saturday.”

The Bisons average 347.1 rushing yards per game, most in NCAA Division II this season. Harding also ranks among the national leaders in total defense (2nd, 227 yards allowed per game), scoring defense (3rd, 11.4 points allowed per game) and rushing defense (4th, 68.7 yards allowed per game).

If the Bisons do not receive a playoff bid, they will be the likely choice to represent the GAC in the 2018 Agent Barry Live United Bowl in Texarkana on Dec. 1.

Arkansas Tech, which is 3-7 in 2018, played in the 2017 edition of that postseason contest. It was one of two bowl game appearances for the Wonder Boys’ 2018 seniors, a group that has been part of 26 victories and three winning seasons over the past four years.

Bryan Allen of Forrest City, Carson Ayers of North Little Rock, Trey Bradley of Conway, Gary Burton of Little Rock, Andrew Craig of Corinth, Texas, Cornelius Dortch of Lucedale, Miss., Chris Eastburn of Pearcy, Tremel Glasper of Dallas, Texas, Terrez Hampton of Warren, T.J. Harrell of Tampa, Fla., Hunter Hudson of Roland, C.J. Johnson of Hattiesburg, Miss., Chris Kale of Elkhart, Ind., Harrison Lester of Clinton, Jared Loftis of Dallas, Texas, KJ Reid of Texarkana, Cua’ Rose of McGehee, Brian Scott of Nacogdoches, Texas, Kristen Trammell of Pine Bluff and Jandt Weary of Mesquite, Texas, are the 20 Arkansas Tech seniors who will conclude their careers on Saturday.

Allen needs 53 rushing yards against Harding to become the Wonder Boys’ all-time leader in career rushing.

“They are good people, and all of them are doing extremely well,” said Monica of his seniors. “We have several in that class who have already graduated and are working on a master’s or second degree. They are leaders, and they care about Arkansas Tech.”