By David Salley
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. — In its first home game since November of 2019, Henderson State put on a show in front of a raucous crowd and defeated Northwestern Oklahoma State 55-7 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium and Ruggles Field on Saturday night.
The Reddies’ (2-0) offense was nearly unstoppable and racked up 623 yards of offense — 303 through the air and 318 on the ground. It was the first time since Oct. 6, 2018 that HSU broke the 300-yard mark in rushing and it was the largest overall offensive output for Henderson since Oct. 29, 2016.
HSU’s defense was equally dominant on Saturday and held Northwestern to just 227 yards of total offense while forcing four turnovers. The Rangers, who threw for over 400 yards last week against Southern Arkansas, were limited to just 133 passing yards by the Reddies. After scoring in the first quarter, NWOSU finished the game with 11-consecutive empty drives.
Henderson led 17-7 at the halftime break, but came out blazing in the third quarter. The Reddies scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the period to open up a commanding 38-7 lead after three and leave little doubt about the final result. HSU tacked on another 17 points in the fourth quarter and came away with points on six of its seven total drives in the second half.
Adam Morse led the Reddies and went 18-for-31 for a career-high 303 yards and two touchdowns. Both Xavier Malone and L’liott Curry finished with over 100 yards receiving, as Malone had a career-best 130 on seven receptions and Curry racked up 127 yards on seven catches. Duce Sproles led Henderson with 117 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries, while Kris Morris found the end zone twice and rushed for 48 yards.
Morris, Landon Ledbetter and Fredrick O’Donald all scored the first touchdowns of their careers at HSU in the win. Ayden Shurley and Chase Lodree also found their way into the end zone in the victory.
Defensively, Jacob Greenfield had a team-high eight tackles and a tackle for loss, while Victor Solarin had 1.5 sacks and Dedric O’Bryant and Randarius Terry each snagged interceptions. In the kicking game, Temo Martinez was 5-for-5 on extra points and connected on field goals of 25 and 43 yards.
The Reddies hit the road again next Saturday when they travel to Monticello, Arkansas to take on UAM at 6 p.m.