Scott Goode, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
SEARCY – Sophomore quarterback Preston Paden scored three of Harding’s five rushing touchdowns, and the Bisons held Northwestern Oklahoma to only 47 rushing yards in a 38-7 Homecoming victory over the Rangers Saturday at First Security Stadium.
No. 24 Harding moved to 6-2 overall and in the Great American Conference with its sixth straight home victory against Northwestern, who fell to 3-5 overall and in the GAC. The Rangers had allowed only seven points in winning their last two games.
Paden had two rushing touchdowns in the first half ending drives that began in Northwestern territory. He scored a 4-yard touchdown with 8:57 left in the first quarter on a drive set up by Frank Herbert’s 26-yard punt return.
Harding’s second scoring drive started at the Northwestern 33. Devyn Comer and Chris Wein sacked Northwestern quarterback Cesar De Leon at the 5. Daylon Markhamfielded the ensuing punt at the 38 and returned it 5 yards. It took the Bisons six plays to go 33 yards, and Paden ended the drive with a 3-yard run.
Harding’s final points of the half came on a 41-yard Cameron Scott field goal with 3:51 left.
The Bisons had three long scoring drives in the second half. A 5-play, 78-yard drive that opened the second half resulted in Paden’s third touchdown, coming from 1 yard out.
Sophomore Cole Chancey scored a 6-yard touchdown to punctuate an 8-play, 65-yard drive midway through the third quarter, and sophomore Romar Reades’ 4-yard touchdown run ended a 10-play drive that covered 63 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Northwestern’s only touchdown came with 5:16 left in the game. Kentrez Bell caught a pass over the middle from quarterback Cesar De Leon. Harding defensive back Daylon Markham knocked the ball loose at the 2-yard line, but officials ruled that Bell recovered the fumble in the end zone despite Harding’s Tony Becton emerging with the ball.
Harding plays its final regular season road game next Saturday against East Central in Ada, Oklahoma. Kickoff at Koi Ishto Stadium is at 4 p.m.
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