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Local Sports

November 12, 2013

Harding clamps down on ECU team

SEARCY, Ark. —      The Harding Bison used a ferocious defensive attack to limit the East Central football team to minus 21 yards rushing — including 10 sacks — and outscored the Tigers 28-0 in the first quarter en route to a 52-30 victory Saturday at First Security Stadium.

     With the victory, Harding improved to 7-2 overall and in the Great American Conference and remained tied for second in the conference with Ouachita Baptist. It was the Bisons’ seventh straight victory over the Tigers in Searcy, as ECU dropped to 4-5.

     Junior Darious Lane intercepted a pass by East Central quarterback Spencer Bond on the second play of the game and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. The Bisons also scored two rushing touchdowns on 1-yard runs by quarterback Keenan Kellett and fullback Romo Westbrook to make it 21-0 with 1:02 left in the first quarter.

     East Central took over at the Harding 48 on its next possession, but redshirt freshman Daylan Skidmore forced a fumble from Tiger tailback JoJo Snell. Harding junior defensive back Terrell Hill recovered the fumble and returned it 42 yards for Harding's fourth touchdown of the opening frame.

     Bond would throw for 266 yards and three scores, all to senior wideout Caleb Holley, who recorded his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game. He finished with seven grabs for 125 yards and is now just 24 yards from breaking the ECU single-season receiving yard record of 930 set by Chris Barnes in 2011.

     The Bison totaled 490 yards, with 304 coming on the ground. Westbrook led Harding's rushing attack with 94 yards on 18 carries.

     Senior Fred Gaines led the defensive charge for the Tigers, with 13.5 total tackles. Gaines also added five tackles-for-loss for 10 yards.

      After Holley scored his first touchdown to trim the HU advantage to 28-10, the hosts scored 17 straight points to forge a 45-10 lead.

     The Tigers will play their final game of the season Saturday, traveling to Durant to battle the rival Savage Storm of Southeastern. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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