The East Central University football team will host archrival Southeastern today to wrap up the 2018 season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Norris Field.
Southeastern enters the game at 5-5 but is on a three-game losing skid. The Savage Storm lost to Henderson State 20-17, Arkansas Tech 10-6 and Harding 24-10. ECU sits at 3-7.
ECU officials will be honoring military personnel at this year’s Great American Classic rivalry game. Those ceremonies are scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. All current and former members of any branch of service will receive free admission.
Other special events include:
• Honoring the 26 seniors on the ECU football squad.
• A special honor to former Tiger and fallen hero from the United State Marine Corps, Lt. Col. Rod Richardson.
• Rededication of the flagpole in honor of those who lost their lives in service to our country.
• Honoring the 16 2018 Pride of Tigerland band seniors.
The Series: The all-time series with the Savage Storm dates back to 1909, with the Tigers trailing 49-46-6 overall after dropping the last four meetings. However, it may be ECU’s turn to win a game. The Tigers won four straight from 2010 to 2013. The ECU-SE rivalry is the second longest in-state rivalry in Oklahoma behind the annual Bedla,m matchup between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State – also being played today in Norman.
Over the last eight meetings, the average margin of victory has been 6.9 points, with each team putting together a four-game streak.
Tiger quick hits
ECU is ranked in the top 25 in the NCAA in five categories: No. 28 fumbles lost (5), No. 17 fumbles recovered (11), No. 19 net punting (37.43), No. 22 in passing yards allowed (170.1) and No. 18 punt returns (14.78).
Senior Trinity Benson’s numbers continue to impress. Benson has scored nine of the Tigers’ 18 touchdowns in 2018, had 329 yards rushing on 50 attempts with five TDs and also has 484 yards receiving on 42 catches with four scores.
The only other Tigers with more than one TD are sophomore Dilland Gardner and junior Tyson Jones. Gardner has 10 catches for 61 yards and three TDs, while Jones has rushed 45 times for 353 yards and three scores.
Sophomore Jack Preston is ranked No. 20 in punting yards per game at 41.9.
Hayden leads the Tiger defense with 73 (43-30) total tackles, 3.0 TFL (eight yards), one sack, three interceptions, five pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.
ECU comes into the weekend averaging 15.4 ppg on offense while allowing opponents 28.1 ppg.
Last year, Southeastern’s Joel Carlos kicked a 48-yard field goal with 57 seconds left in the game to stun East Central 27-24. That score was set up by a late interception by SOSU’s Sherman Gilbert.
East Central had taken a 24-17 lead when Devyn Williams scored on a 10-yard reception from quarterback RayJohn Austin-Ramsey with 9:51 left in the game. Austin-Ramsey threw for 184 yards and three TDs.
Southeastern tied the score on a Devon Blanton 13-yard pass from Rollin Kinsaul at the 7:35 mark of the third quarter.
Benson had two touchdown catches and finished with five total receptions for 93 yards.
Junior Kenneth Burks leads the SOSU rushing attack with 687 yards and 11 touchdowns on 180 carries. Sophomore Ryan Taylor is next with 208 yards and three scores on 58 attempts.
Southeastern junior quarterback Rolin Kinsaul has completed 120-of-202 passes for 1,481 yards and six touchdowns with 10 interceptions. His favorite targets are sophomore Jaylen Sims with 51 catches for 712 yards and six TDs and freshman Braxton Kincade with 37 catches for 483 yards and two scores.
Linebacker Conner Swope leads the SOSU defense with 103 tackles. Fellow linebacker Seu Luafatasaga is next with 60 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
SOSU’s pass defense is the top-rated unit in all of Division II, holding opponents to 119.1 yards per game through the air, while its overall total defensive yardage allowed ranks sixth at 249.6 per game and its scoring defense is ninth in the nation with 15.6 ppg allowed.
Ada News Sports Editor Jeff Cali contributed to this report.