Capping their first seven-win season since 1985 in grand fashion, the Ouachita Tigers defeated rival Henderson State University 43-36 Nov. 6 in the 82nd Battle of the Ravine.
Trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Tigers scored four 4th quarter touchdowns to capture the Gulf South Conference victory in front of a crowd of more than 7,000 at Henderson’s Carpenter-Haygood Stadium.
“I am proud of our team and what we have accomplished this year,” Tigers head coach Todd Knight said prior to the game. “We’ve won some really close games and that brings a good team together.”
The Tigers (7-3 overall, 5-3 GSC) entered the game ranked 10th in the latest NCAA Division II Super Regional Two poll. The victory evened the Battle of the Ravine standings at 38 wins for each school and six ties, snapping a two-game Henderson State winning streak.
Thursday night’s game was the fifth straight victory in which Ouachita has scored more than 30 points, including the past three wins scoring 40-plus points. This week’s win followed last Saturday’s 45-43 triple overtime victory against the University of West Alabama in Ouachita’s final home game of the season.
During the Battle of the Ravine, Ouachita scored the game-winning touchdown with 3:13 remaining on a 2-yard run by quarterback Lance Parker. The Tiger defense forced a pair of interceptions, including Denszell Brown’s first collegiate interception as time expired to give Ouachita the victory.
Julius Pruitt set a school record with 250 receiving yards on 10 catches with a season-high and collegiate high four touchdowns. Jeremy Young, who became the all-time single-season leader in kick return yards, also had 10 catches for 111 yards
Parker, who was 28-of-44 in the air, finished with a career-high 415 yards, along with four touchdowns. Zach Wright added three field goals.
KJ Johnson finished with 64 yards on 23 carries to pace the Tiger ground game. Mikhail Lindsay and Terrence Garrett led the Ouachita defense with six tackles each.
by Brian Howard and Trennis Henderson