Photo: Troy Mitchell/ HSU Sports Information)
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. (HSU) - Kevin Rodgers set a Henderson State record throwing for 595 yards as the 8th-ranked Reddies beat East Central Oklahoma 63-31, Saturday at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia, Ark.
Rodgers completed 42-of-50 passes and had touchdown strikes of 28, 32, 41, and 28 yards. His final scoring toss gave him the Reddie record which also was a Great American Conference record surpassing Tyler Sykora's mark of 520 set Oct. 22, 2011 against Ouachita Baptist.
The Rockwall, Texas product eclipsed HSU's Chris Reil who threw for 579 yards against Arkansas Tech in 2000.
East Central, at one time, led 17-14 scoring 10 points off of Reddie turnovers in the first quarter. Henderson State, however, scored 28 second quarter points while the defense shutout the Tigers to build a 42-17 halftime lead.
Keaton Stigger opened the second half with touchdown runs of 3 and 1 yard to put Henderson State up 56-17 before East Central added a pair touchdowns benefitting on another Reddie turnover.
Rodgers' last pass of the game was a 28-yard scoring strike to Justin Bradford.
Ryan McDonald, the GAC's top rusher, carried the ball 12 times and totaled 101 yards while scoring on touchdown runs of 32 and 29 yards.
Darius Davis had four catches for 100 yards and touchdown receptions of 28 and 41 yards. Davis set the HSU career record for touchdown receptions surpassing Garett Manning's record of 16 scores set from 2005 to 2008. Davis now has 18 career touchdown receptions.
Dustin Holland led the Reddie receivers with 126 yards on 10 receptions, while Israel Valentin had 5 catches for 97 yards.
Stigger also had a big game defensively totaling 14 tackles including 1.5 tackles for lost yardage. Tim Llewellyn and Ricardo Mendez both had 8 tackles with Mendez having 3.5 tackles for lost yardage.
The Reddies compiled 746 yards of total offense, averaging 9.1 yards per play, while East Central collected 418 yards.
ECU quarterback Spenser Bond completed 26 of 49 passes for 335 yards while rushing for 71 yards to lead the Tigers.
Henderson State will next travel to Alva, Okla. to face Northwestern Oklahoma next Saturday with kickoff slated for 1 p.m.