#9 Harding Bisons (0-0, 0-0) vs. East Central Tigers (0-0, 0-0)
September 1, 2022 • 6 pm • Ada, Okla. • Koi Ishto Stadium
Harding Football opens its 71st season of intercollegiate competition Thursday at 6 pm against East Central at Koi Ishto Stadium in Ada, Oklahoma. The Bisons and Tigers will open the season against each other for the second straight season and for the first time in Ada since Harding’s 22-19 victory in 2003.
Harding is looking for his sixth straight trip to the NCAA Division II Playoffs. Only two other Division II teams have qualified for the last five tournaments: Northwest Missouri State and Ferris State.
Harding has a 16-3 series lead over East Central and has won the last nine meetings. The Bisons have won the last three meetings in Ada, with East Central’s last win coming 23-16 in overtime on Nov. 5, 2011.
Harding is ranked No. 9 in the AFCA’s Top 25 Pre-Season Coaches poll. It is the sixth time Harding has ranked in the preseason poll and his second-highest preseason ranking. The others: 2015 (#21), 2017 (#15), 2018 (#7), 2019 (#18) and 2021 (#22). Harding is No. No. 9 in the D2Football.com poll.
Harding enters the game riding a five-game road winning streak, dating back to a 32-31 loss at southeastern Oklahoma on September 11, 2021. Harding also enters a nine-game winning streak at the GAC, which also dates back to the last southeast game. season.
Harding is 44-23-3 (.650) in his previous 70 season starts. The Bisons have won 15 of their last 19 and 10 of their last 12 opening games. Harding defeated East Central 28-0 at Searcy in last season’s opener.
Harding was chosen first in the Great American Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The coaches selected East Central sixth.
Harding selected six captains earlier this week in a player vote. The captains of 2022 are WR Michael CendrickDL patrick healyDB Oric Walker, Jr.DB grant fitzhughDB Cade Pugh and OL dalton allen.
Until next time
Harding will play his first of six games at home, hosting southeastern Oklahoma. The Bisons have won nine of the last 10 overall and nine in a row at Searcy against the Savage Storm. Kickoff at First Security Stadium is at 7 p.m.
Paul Simmons begins his fifth season as head coach at Harding. He has an overall record of 41-11 and led Harding to the NCAA II Playoffs in each of his first four seasons, including a spot in the national semifinals in 2017. He is in his 16th season at Harding and had been the Harding’s defensive coordinator for the previous seven seasons. Simmons was a three-time All-American defensive end and linebacker at Harding from 1992 to 1994.
Kris McCullough (Henderson St.) will be coaching his first game at East Central.
Harding and East Central meet for the 20th time with the Bisons winning 16-3. Harding has won nine in a row and 15 of the last 16 meetings with East Central’s only victory coming 16-13 in overtime in 2011. Harding has won the last three meetings in Ada. Harding has averaged 44.2 points in the last nine games in the series. Paul Simmons the led teams are 4-0 against East Central.
Harding went 5-1 on the road in 2021 and is riding a five-game winning streak on the road in the game. East Central went 3-2 at home in 2021, losing their last two home games.
in the greatest night Cole Chancey became the Major League Conference rushing leader, Harding’s defense also had a memorable game when the 22nd-ranked Bisons shut out East Central 28-0 before 3,500 fans on Sept. 2021, at the First Security Stadium.
Chancey, a native of Commerce, Ga., rushed 17 times for 102 yards and three touchdowns. He has 3,775 rushing yards, surpassing Ouachita Baptist’s Kris Oliver, who had 3,763 yards between 2015 and 2018.
Chancey scored on 6-yard, 1-yard runs in the first quarter and broke the record on a 24-yard touchdown run with 4:06 remaining in the third. It was his 15th career 100-yard rushing game and fifth with three or more touchdowns.
Harding’s defense recorded its seven opening-night shutout since the Bisons restarted their football program in 1959. The last shutout was 20-0 over southern Arkansas in 2010. The 28-point margin was the second-largest shutout of Harding behind just one 39-0 victory. about Lane in 1992.
Streaks, Trends, Records
Harding has led NCAA Division II in rushing four times since 2011, including each of the last two seasons. In 2021, Harding averaged a school and national record high of 390.1 rushing yards per game.
Harding has led NCAA Division II in scoring defense in two of the last three seasons and ranked fourth in 2021 with 12.8 points per game.
Harding has eight players on his current roster who have three seasons of experience and seven have received their college degrees. Michael Cendrick, jake freaking out, kage city, Cade Pugh, grant fitzhugh, dalton allen Y James Towndin. Ben Karikari He has also received his college degree.
Cendrick, a wide receiver from Arlington, Texas, leads Harding’s active players with 37 games played and 24 starts. patrick healya defensive lineman from Bartlett, Tennessee, has also played in 37 games.
Over the past eight seasons, Harding has 424 rushing touchdowns and allowed just 75. During that time, Harding rushed for 35,936 yards and allowed just 8,193.
Harding has outscored opponents 493-141 in the first quarter of games the past four seasons.
In 13 games last season, Harding punted just 21 times. The Bisons’ 1.6 punts per game set an NCAA Division II record.
A quick look at the ECU
Last season, East Central was fourth in the GAC in total defense (370.4) and seventh in total offense (372.0).
Quarterback Kenny Hrncir was seventh in the GAC with 197.7 passing yards per game and sixth with 18 touchdown passes in 2021. Running back Miles Davis rushed for 55.9 yards per game, good for ninth in the conference.
Returning Team Leaders
HARDING (2021 statistics)
in a hurry – Jhalen Spicer: 53 runs, 524 yards, 6 TDs
Passing – None
receiving – kage city: 5 receptions, 113 yards, 3 TDs
Defending – Cade Pugh: 46 tackles; Nathaniel Wallace: 8 TFL, 4.5 bags; cooper carrol, Oric Walker, Jr.: 2 INT
CENTER EAST (2021 statistics)
Rushing – Miles Davis: 103 runs, 559 yards, 6 TDs
Passing – Kenny Hrncir: 153-290, 2,175 yards, 13 INT, 18 TD
Reception – JayQuan Lincoln: 26 receptions, 468 yards, 4 TDs
Defense – Cody Alexander: 65 tackles; Michael Onwuzurike: 8.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks; Jalen Baldwin: 5 INTERNET