Arkansas Tech University can clinch its second consecutive winning football season with a victory at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Great American Conference action on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Kickoff between the Wonder Boys (5-4) and the SWOSU Bulldogs (4-5) is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Milam Stadium in Weatherford, Okla. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will have live play-by-play coverage.
Arkansas Tech is seeking back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since it had three consecutive such campaigns from 2004-06.
The Wonder Boys moved within one victory of that achievement last Saturday with a 41-35 Homecoming victory over Northwestern Oklahoma State University. A quarterback sack by Tech senior Demetris Ford on a fourth-down play in the final minute allowed the Wonder Boys to complete the home portion of their 2016 schedule with a 4-1 record.
“I’m really proud of the way the team played at the end,” said Arkansas Tech head coach Raymond Monica. “We made the plays we needed to win the football game. They’d been doing a good job of protecting the quarterback all day, but when it came down to the end our guys wanted it with our crowd behind us at home.”
Southwestern Oklahoma State dropped a 42-27 decision at nationally fifth-ranked Harding University last Saturday. The loss stopped the Bulldogs’ four-game winning streak.
“Through the way the tapes have been swapped through this season, we saw a lot of Southwestern early in the season,” said Monica. “I thought they had a very good football team, but they were making a mistake here or a mistake there. I thought they were very good even when they were 0-4, and since then, they’ve got it going. When you watch them against Harding, they were very capable of beating them. This will be a match-up of two very similar teams, and I truly believe the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.”
Among the corrections the Wonder Boys are hoping for this week are fewer turnovers and fewer penalties. Arkansas Tech overcame five turnovers and 11 penalties for 130 yards to win one week ago.
“We have to protect the football, and penalties are also a big factor,” said Monica. “Some penalties are going to happen, but foolish penalties…you have to be smarter than that. It’s going to come down to a couple of plays.”
After Saturday's contest at SWOSU, the only remaining date on the Wonder Boys' 2016 football schedule will be a 2 p.m. contest at Harding on Saturday, Nov. 12.