Wonder Boys Visit Undefeated Reddies Saturday Night

Week three of the 2019 football season will provide Arkansas Tech University with an opportunity to do something that no one has achieved so far this year — slow down the Henderson State University passing attack.

The Wonder Boys (0-2) and the Reddies (2-0) will meet for a 6 p.m. Great American Conference contest at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia on Saturday, Sept. 21. Radio station KCJC 102.3 FM and www.arkansastechsports.com will provide live coverage.

Henderson State is averaging 388 passing yards per game, a figure that leads the GAC and ranks No. 4 nationally in NCAA Division II. The Reddies also pace the conference in scoring offense (34.5 points per game) and total offense (511 yards per game).

The key to HSU’s offensive success might be the arrival of senior wide receiver L’Liott Curry, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound transfer from the University of Central Oklahoma. He has made 20 receptions for 281 yards and five touchdowns through two games.

As a result, the Reddies are showing the form that led to eight consecutive winning seasons before they finished with a 5-6 overall record in 2018.

“(Curry) is a vertical threat,” said Kyle Shipp, ATU head coach. “When you have that vertical threat, it makes your quarterback more confident. He is a big part of why they are better.”

Arkansas Tech’s statistical leaders through two weeks include senior quarterback Manny Harris (28-of-56 passing, 353 yards, one touchdown), sophomore running back Wallace Foote (20 carries, 102 yards), junior wide receiver Drew Wade (12 receptions, 182 yards, one touchdown), senior linebacker Chris Kale (15 tackles), junior defensive back Alex Chambers (14 tackles) and sophomore place kicker Jesus Zizumbo (5-of-5 field goal attempts, 3-of-3 point after touchdown kicks).

Wade is fifth in the GAC in receiving yards, while Zizumbo is tied for the league lead in field goals made.

“We have things that we have to get a lot better at on both sides of the football,” said Shipp. “It’s going to be a process, and it’s something that we talked about and worked on all week. Hopefully we see improvement (against HSU). As long as we play solid defensively, take care of the football and score when we get opportunities, I feel like we have a great chance.”

Saturday will mark the 92nd all-time football game between Arkansas Tech and Henderson State. The Reddies have won seven of the last eight meetings to cut the Wonder Boys’ lead in the series to 45-42-4.