Oklahoma Baptist captures first football victory of the season

Oklahoma Baptist Athletics
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
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In front of 2,883 strong inside Crain Family Stadium at the Hurt Complex, the Oklahoma Baptist football team put on an absolute show as it rolled over Arkansas-Monticello 45-20 Saturday in the season's home opener.

OBU racked up 493 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers en route to one of the most historic nights in Bison football history.

Saturday marked the second consecutive win over the Weevils as Oklahoma Baptist came out victorious in the teams' 2019 meeting.

OBU outgained the Weevils 493-371 and possessed the ball over 10 minutes longer. This largely came because the Bison converted on 11 of their third-down attempts while UAM squeezed out a mere two.  

Senior quarterback Preston Haire etched his name further into the Great American Conference record book as he moved up the charts in four different categories. Haire is now third all-time in conference history in career passing touchdowns, total career offensive yards, and career passing yards. By the night's end, he'd eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark for the ninth time in his career, tying him for fifth all-time for 300-yard passing games in league history.

The captain threw for 378 yards and four touchdowns. Three of his touchdown pitches went to Keilahn Harris, who has been outstanding the last two games, catching a total of five touchdown passes. Harris reeled in 11 balls for career-highs of 154 yards and three touchdowns.

Harris' receiving yards total tonight ranks second all-time in school history, while his trio of end zone catches is the most in a single game.

Behind Harris was Josh Cornell, who caught a quiet seven balls for 59 yards. Cornell moves into third all-time in career receiving yards in school history, passing Stephan Turner (2014-17) after needing just 35 coming into Sturday. Six other Bison caught a pass, including Seth Berry, who brought in the first touchdown of his career.

Tyler Stuever pounded out 90 yards and a touchdown on the ground, inching his way towards the 1,500-yard career mark.

Defensively, Josh Arnold led the Bison charge with nine tackles, eight coming unassisted. Arnold added a career-high four tackles-for-loss and a sack to end his night. Jay Jordan snagged a career-best two interceptions while three other defensive players forced a fumble. Nick Boone, Matthew Norman and Robert Lolofie were among those who accounted for those UAM turnovers.

The Bison lit up the first quarter as they put up 21 points, including an 11-yard scoop-and-score from Brandon Spencer. By the half's end, OBU had amassed 35 points and blanked the Weevils.

UAM would breathe some life in the second half as it cut into their deficit with three scores. However, the Bison kept their foot on the pedal with a score and a field goal to cement their first win of the season.

Oklahoma Baptist (1-1, 1-1 GAC) will return home for a Saturday night showdown with Northwestern Oklahoma State (0-2, 0-2 GAC). The kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.