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Tigers outlast Bisons in battle of the OBUs

TJ Cole avoids a tackle. – Photo courtesy of

In the first game at Cliff Harris Stadium since November 23, 2019, Ouachita Baptist outlasted Oklahoma Baptist by a score of 38-31. After Kendel Givens’ third touchdown run of the game put the Tigers up by seven late in the fourth quarter, the Great American Conference’s leading passing attack from 2019 took over with 3:11 left to move the ball 75 yards. The Bison drove to the Ouachita 24, but Andrew Hayes intercepted a Preston Haire pass with 39 seconds remaining to secure the victory. 
Covid freshman Xaylon Falls wasted no time making an impact. The Camden, Arkansas, native returned the game’s opening kickoff 93 yards to pay dirt to give the Tigers an early lead. Falls’ touchdown return was the Tigers’ first kickoff returned for a touchdown since Ke’Vontae Pope took one to the house on September 1, 2016 against East Central. 

Five minutes later Kendel Givens took the ball into the endzone from one yard out to cap a 10 play 48 yard drive. Gave Goodman hit his second PAT of the day to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

Oklahoma Baptist responded with 13 unanswered points to cut the Tiger lead to one with a minute and a half left in the first half.

Keilahn Harris scored on a two yard pass from Preston Haire at the 6:09 mark of the second quarter. Guillermo Rodriguez hit the PAT. Haire would connect with Josh Cornell with 3:08 left in the half to cut the lead to one.

Goodman hit a 26 yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the half to stretch OBU’s lead to four, but the Bison’s responded with a 36 yard field goal by Leonardo Schulz.

Oklahoma Baptist to the lead in the third quarter with a nine yard run by Rueben Thompson at the 12:14 mark. Shulz’s PAT was good to give them a 23-17 lead.

OBU reclaimed the lead with 33 seconds left in the quarter on a three yard run by Givens. Goodman’s PAT was good to give the the go ahead point.

Haire and Harris collaborated on the final Bison TD with a six yard reception at the 13:19 mark in the fourth quarter. Tyler Stuever ran the ball in for the two point conversion to give them a 31-24 lead.

The Tigers responded with back to back touchdowns to take a 38-31 lead and ultimately the victory.

TJ Cole scored on a 27 yard run with 8:09 left in the game with Goodman hitting the PAT to tie things up at 31. Givens put them in the lead for good with a five yard run with 3:11 left. Goodman was once again good to finish off the scoring on the night.
Junior running back TJ Cole set a career high with his 151 yards rushing Thursday night. He averaged 7.2 yards on his 21 carries, including an electrifying game-tying touchdown with 8:09 left to play in the fourth quarter. Cole ran off right tackle for 27 yards, breaking multiple tackles on his way to the house.
Covid freshman running back Kendel Givens was unstoppable in short yardage situations Thursday, punching the ball in for touchdown runs of one, three, and five yards. He also did the job in the open field, racking up 74 yards on the ground, much of which came after first contact.

Game Notes:

The Tigers won their 28th consecutive GAC contest Thursday

  • Ouachita improves to 9-1-1 all-time against Oklahoma Baptist and has now won nine straight games against the Bison
  • 11 players made their Tiger debuts Thursday
  • Grant Allen completed eight of 15 passes for 94 yards in his first career start at quarterback
  • Connor Flannigan led the Tiger receiving corps with 44 yards on five receptions.
  • Dawson Miller led the Tigers with nine tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss
  • Anthony Freeman and Rovell Carter were the Ouachita tackle for loss leaders with 1.0 apiece
  • In addition to his game-sealing interception, Hayes was responsible for a game-high three passes defended


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