Four interceptions, three Chancey touchdowns lead to Harding victory

Harding Athletics
Scott Goode, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information

SEARCY – Harding’s defense, ranked second in NCAA Division II, made four interceptions, and the offense turned them into three Cole Chancey touchdowns in a 24-10 victory over Southeastern Oklahoma Saturday in Great American Conference action at First Security Stadium.

Harding improved to 8-2 overall and in the GAC and moved into a tie with Southern Arkansas for second place in the conference standings. It was Harding’s eighth consecutive win over Southeastern and its eighth straight over Southeastern in Searcy. The Savage Storm lost its third straight and fell to 5-5.

The only points of the first half came on a 28-yard field goal by Cameron Scott with 29 seconds left in the second quarter.

Harding junior defensive back V’Onte Williams got the second half started off strong for the Bison defense. Williams intercepted a pass by Southeastern quarterback Rollin Kinsaul on the Savage Storm’s first play of the third quarter, giving Harding the ball at the HU 32.

Harding’s longest drive of the game ensued. The Bisons drove 68 yards on 13 plays with Chancey scoring from 5 yards out to give Harding a 10-0 lead with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
Southeastern kicker Joel Carlos hit a 26-yard field goal late in the third quarter to cut Harding’s lead to 10-3.

The Savage Storm had two drives early in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie the game. Harding forced a punt on the first one, and senior defensive back Dra Smith recorded his third interception of the season on the second. He stepped in front of a Southeastern receiver to make the interception at the Savage Storm 12.

Chancey carried three times with the third resulting in a 7-yard touchdown that gave the Bisons a 17-3 lead with 6:48 left.

The next Southeastern drive resulted in Harding’s third interception, this one from senior linebacker Sam Blankenship. Chancey scored his third touchdown of the game on the next play, racing in from 26 yards out. Harding led 24-3 with 5:21 left.

Southeastern’s last score came on a 2-yard run from CJ Shavers with 1:56 left.

Harding recovered an onside kick but fumbled two plays later. On Southeastern’s last drive, Williams recorded his second interception of the game and team-leading fourth this season to seal the victory.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Harding entered the game ranked fifth nationally in rushing defense, allowing 76.7 yards per game. The Bisons held the Savage Storm to -3 rushing yards on 25 carries. It was the seventh time in program history that a Harding team held an opponent to negative rushing yards, the last coming on Sept. 24, 2016, when Arkansas-Monticello rushed for -25 in a 57-7 Harding win.
  • Southeastern’s leading rusher was Kenneth Burks with 9 yards on six rushes. The Savage Storm’s longest run of the game was 7 yards.
  • Cole Chancey rushed for 99 yards on 21 carries and became the eighth Harding player with more than 2,000 career rushing yards. He ranks eighth with 2,071 yards.
  • Harding had seven interceptions in the first nine games of the season but had four Saturday. The last time Harding had four interceptions in a game was against Arkansas Tech on Nov. 12, 2016.
  • Williams had two interceptions in a game for the first time in his career. He has seven career interceptions. The last Bison with two interceptions was Frank Herbert against Arkansas Tech in 2016.
  • Cameron Scott punted five times with four downed inside the 20. It was the second time this season that Scott had four or more punts inside the 20.
  • Southeastern Oklahoma quarterback Rollin Kinsaul completed 22-of-34 passes for 271 yards. Braxton Kincade had five catches for 100 yards, becoming the first Harding opponent with 100 or more receiving yards this season.
  • Harding’s defense had a season-high 12 tackles for loss. Eleven different players were involved in a tackle for loss. T.J. Winslow had 2.0 tackles for loss, both sacks, and Dra Smith, Devyn Comer and Michael Gant each had 1.5 TFL.
  • Harding holds a 23-7 series lead over Southeastern, including 13-1 in Searcy.

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