I have been around a lot of big games but this game tonight may be the biggest in Arkansas Baptist Football History. Even though it is evident from the videos below that Arkansas Baptist has had some great offenses through the years, the eagles have not been able to win a playoff game since 2004 when they also won a conference championship.
Harding Academy won its 18th consecutive conference game last week, beating Episcopal 49-7. Junior quarterback Will Francis completed 11 of 13 passes for 221 yards and four touchdowns. Francis has completed 63 percent of his passes this fall for 913 yards and 13 scores. Senior receiver Tucker Lloyd paces the Wildcats with 16 catches for 247 yards and three TDs. Sophomore Trevor Smith and junior Trent Finley have combined for 178 yards rushing and two scores. “They’re very well-rounded,” Arkansas Baptist coach Brad Helm says. “There’s not a weak link when you look at them. Defensively, they’re well-coached and understand what they’re trying to do.”
Arkansas Baptist last beat Harding Academy in 1998, losing the past five seasons by an average of 22 points. The Eagles lead the 2-3A this fall in scoring offense (45 points per game) and defense (nine ppg). Junior QB Jack Easby-Smith has completed 73 of 117 passes (62 percent) for 1,128 yards and 11 TDs. Sophomore running back Jack Hansen has 41 carries for 290 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and five scores. Senior RB Luke Byrum gains 17.7 yards per play. Senior receiver Ryan Perkins (1,671 career receiving yards) paces the Eagles with 32 catches for 478 yards and four TDs. Byrum (19 tackles at linebacker), senior end Drake Newkirk (team-high 25 tackles and three sacks) and junior LB Nathan Rogers (24 stops) lead the defense.
All State Receiver Greg Bowie catches game winning pass
against Bauxite in the final seconds of the game.