The East Central University football team will try to win its third consecutive home game when Henderson State visits Koi Ishto Stadium at 3 p.m. today.

The game is the annual Chickasaw Nation Appreciation Day. All tribe members and employees receive free admission with ID.

East Central enters the game at 2-4 after a tough 17-7 loss at Northwestern last week. Henderson State improved to 3-3 after whipping Oklahoma Baptist 56-21.

 Long Tiger kick

ECU kicker Bobby Schmidt, a sophomore from Sapulpa, kicked a 46-yard field goal against Southwestern earlier this year. It was ECU’s longest kick since Oct. 10, 2015, when David Massuere made a 47-yard field goal at Southwestern.

Benson leads the way

Offensively, senior receiver Trinity Benson is the top playmaker for ECU. Benson is eighth in the GAC in all-purpose yards (515) and is second in the league in scoring with 42 points. He has three rushing touchdowns and four receiving scores this season.

Last year

East Central defeated Henderson State 24-16 last year in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, to snap a six-game losing streak.

Quarterback Austin RayJohn Ramsey had one of the best games of his career, completing 14-of-22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. Justin Hayden also had a big game defensively for the Tigers. He finished with 14 tackles, one forced fumble and broke up a pass.

Schmidt also kicked a 28-yard field goal in the game.

The series

The series with East Central is one of Henderson’s longest with any Oklahoma institution. The teams have met 29 times dating back to 1928, with the Reddies holding the upper hand 16-12-1. The Tigers have been problematic recently for HSU and have picked up wins in two of the last three years. Henderson is just 4-8-1 all-time at Norris Field

Scouting the Reddies

• Henderson State is riding high after its biggest win of the season last Saturday, a 56-21 showing against Oklahoma Baptist. The Reddies are looking to notch their first three-game winning streak since they opened the 2016 season at 5-0. A win would push HSU above the .500 mark for the first time this year.

• Head coach Scott Maxfield is now just three wins away from securing his 100th win at Henderson State. He trails Sporty Carpenter by 22 games in his quest to become the Reddies’ all-time winningest coach.

• The Reddies have found a rushing attack each of the last two weeks, but specifically in the win over the Bison. Henderson rushed for 383 yards, which was the most in Maxfield’s tenure and the most since 2004, when the Reddies ran the triple option.

• Saturday proved to be far and away Henderson’s most productive offensive game of the season, but it was also one of the most productive games from the Reddies in recent memory. Henderson’s 599 yards of total offense was its most in a game since 2016.

• Running backs Logan Moragne and Querale Hall stole the show in the win. Hall ran the ball 15 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while Moragne carried 15 times for 165 and one score. It was the first time since 2011 that two HSU players both ran for over 100 yards in the same game. Hall’s 173 yards was the most for a Reddie back since Jaquan Cole ran for a school-record 245 yards against Arkansas Tech in 2015.

• Not to be outdone, the defense played arguably its best game of the season as well against the Bison and forced a season-high four turnovers. Two of those came from defensive back Shane Sanders, who had two interceptions in the game’s first eight minutes, the first of which he returned 30 yards for a touchdown. It was the Reddies’ first defensive score of the year. Sanders’ efforts earned him GAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

• The Reddies are the only 3-3 team in the GAC heading into today’s game at Norris Field. Henderson is in fifth place in the league standings and is one game ahead of a log-jam of six teams which are 2-4, which includes ECU.

• Several Reddies are near the top of the conference statistically. Richard Stammetti is third in the GAC in passing yards (1641) and yards per game (273.5) and is tied for the league lead with 14 touchdown passes. Logan Moragne is fourth in rushing yards per game (79.6), and Querale Hall is 10th (55.6). Ben Johnson, John Murray and Chase Lodree are all tied for second in the league in receiving touchdowns (4). Johnson is second in the conference in receptions (38). Temo Martinez is seventh in the GAC in scoring with 40 points. Cameron Sonnier is ninth in tackles (50).

David Salley, director of athletic communications at Henderson State, contributed to this report.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.