ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – —
East Central University football team had a strong effort but fell to No. 8 Henderson State at Carpenter Haygood Stadium, 63-31, in Great American Conference action.
The Tigers (1-3, 1-3 GAC) were led by sophomore Spencer Bond, who threw for three touchdowns and added a rushing TD. Bond went 26-of-49 passing and added 71 rushing yards. Junior JoJo Snell was the leading receiver, with six catches for 83 yards and a 59-yard receiving TD.
On the defensive side, sophomore Jameel Whitney led ECU with 10 (4-6) total tackles and an interception for 30 yards. Senior Fred Gaines picked up an interception for 30 yards as well, while adding six (5-1) total tackles.
“We lost to a very good football team today,” said head coach Tim McCarty. “Kevin Rodgers is the real deal. Unfortunately we magnified some of his play with poor tackling.”
The Reddies (4-0, 3-0 GAC) wasted no time taking a lead, scoring their first of nine touchdowns of the game, in just 1:10. HSU added a second TD for a 14-0 lead before the Tigers were able to get on the scoreboard.
With 7:18 left in the first quarter, ECU scored the first of 17-straight points when Bond connected with senior George Robbins on a four-yard pass. The pass capped off a 12 play, 81 yard drive that lasted 4:37.
The Tigers added a second TD at 5:22 in the first quarter when Bond hit Snell for a 59-yard passing touchdown. ECU then took their lone lead of the game, with 1:04 left in the opening quarter, on a 24-yard field goal by freshman Trevor Hunt for the 17-14 advantage.
The lead was shorting lived, as the Reddies garnered 28 points in the second quarter to go into the locker room with a 42-17 lead. HSU added 14 more points at the start of the third quarter to push the advantage to 56-17.
The Tigers kept fighting and scored with just 1:04 left in the third quarter. Bond ended a four-play, 12 yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown.