SHAWNEE - Oklahoma Baptist will hit the road for the first time this Saturday as they take on the Southern Arkansas Muleriders at Wilkins Stadium at Rip Powell Field at 6pm Saturday evening. The game will be featured on obubison.com with the duo of Todd Miller and Scott Wanish.
OBU is coming off a historic evening at Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Complex as they played in their very first home night game, welcoming in Henderson State. The Bison put together a tremendous come-from-behind effort, but fell just short to the Reddies by the score of 35-28.
CORNELL'S CAREER DAY
One of the questions coming into Saturday's game was replacing the production of Cagney Robinson and OBU got that production from Joshua Cornell. The sophomore from Allen, Texas hauled in a career-highs in catches with eight and yards with 128 to go with a touchdown. Seven of Cornell's catches came in the second half alone.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
The Oklahoma Baptist offense racked up 409 yards of total offense last Saturday including 286 through the air. More impressive, the Bison had no turnovers in the game, a feat they did not accomplish all of last season. It is the first time OBU had zero turnovers since the Henderson State match-up in 2017.
ROCKING THE NIGHT AWAY
As the excitement built, the Bison faithful came out in full force for last Saturday's game. From the pre-game festivities to the final horn, it was an electric atmosphere from the Oklahoma Baptist fans and students. The official attendance for the game was 3,252, the second largest attended OBU football game since the Bison became a full NCAA Division II participant in 2017. The most attended game since 2017 was the home opener against East Central in 2017.
Junior Preston Haire continues to climb up the career totals list and after a 286 yard, two touchdown performance, is approaching a pair of huge milestones. Haire is one one touchdown from throwing his 50th career TD pass in a Bison uniform. He is also exactly 300 yards away from reaching 6,000 passing yards in his career.
Senior Isaiah Mallory is also approaching an impressive milestone as he only 42 yards away from going over 2,500 all-purpose yards in a career. Mallory played in his first contest in over a year on Saturday against the Reddies.
OH MY JOSH
A year after leading the Bison in tackles with 86, Josh Arnold got his senior season off with a bang as posted 12 tackles to go with a sack. Junior Myles Russell also added a nice start to his season as he went for 10 tackles on the night including a tackle for loss. His 12 tackles is currently third in the GAC.
OBU took a tough blow on Saturday night as senior center Zach Blevins went down with an injury. Blevins was one of two returners on the line for the upcoming season. Lincoln Adams replaced Blevins in the first half and is expected to start in the upcoming game against Southern Arkansas. Despite a nearly brand new offensive line, the OBU offensive line did not allow a sack on Saturday evening.
Despite racking up over 400 yards of offense, the Bison really struggled to come up with a running game against the Reddies last Saturday. Preston Haire was the leading rusher with 57 yards with 50 of those yards coming on a touchdown scamper. Both Isaiah Mallory and Tyler Stuever struggled to get anything going, combining for 31 carries for 66 yards.
In the final game of 2018, Shae Garner broke onto the season with a career-high 10 catches, really making an impact in the win over Southern Nazarene. Garner did it again on Saturday evening, really jump starting the offense on the way to an impressive seven catch, 73-yard game including a touchdown. With his team down 21-0, Garner hauled in a huge 35-yard reception to get the offense in motion and into Reddie territory. A few series later, now down 28-7, Garner made an unbelievable catch in the back of the endzone, just dragging a foot, to spurn a come-from-behind effort in the second half.
Preston Haire's 24.0 points responsible for placed him sixth in the nation and first in the GAC.
Preston Haire's 343.0 yards of total offense has him at 17th in the country and third in the GAC.
Joshua Cornell's big game placed him 26th in the nation and third in the GAC in receiving yards at 128.
Joshua Cornell's receptions has him 17th in the nation and fourth in the GAC with 8.0 catches per game.
OBU's two team sacks from Josh Arnold and Tyler Rhodes currently leads the GAC.
LAST TIME OUT
In front of a raucous 3,252 fans on a Saturday night, the Oklahoma Baptist football team clawed back into their contest against Henderson State after a tough first half, but ultimately fell just short to the Henderson State Reddies, 35-28. It was the first contest under the lights at Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Complex.
Henderson State dashed out to a 21-0 early in the second quarter behind big plays in the passing attack. OBU was able to cut that deficit in half before the break and then cut it into a one score game on the first drive of the second half. OBU had numerous opportunities throughout the half to even the game up, but Henderson was able to add a score in the fourth and keep the OBU comeback from happening, taking a 35-28 win.
Oklahoma Baptist went for 409 yards of total offense including 286 through the air. On the other side, Henderson State used a deep passing attack in the first half to rack up 507 yards including 357 through the air. The Reddies had 25 first downs to OBU's 21 while Henderson had a slight advantage in time of possession at 30:18 to 29:42.