Press Release from Harding University Athletics
RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – No. 14 Harding took advantage of three Arkansas Tech miscues to score three early touchdowns and won its 10th consecutive game 49-14 Saturday at Thone Stadium.
The 10-game winning streak was the third of that length or longer for Harding since 2016. Harding concludes the regular season 10-1 and awaits its playoff fate. The NCAA will announce its Division II postseason field Sunday at 4 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Tech lost a fumble for only the third time this season on its first drive, and Harding responded with a 55-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard Cole Chancey TD run, his 12th of the season.
On Tech's first drive of the second quarter, the Wonder Boys drove into Harding territory, but Jacory Nichols intercepted a deflected pass at the 12-yard line and zigzagged down the field for an 88-yard TD return. He became the first Harding player ever with three interception returns for a TD in the same season and set a school record with 195 interception return yards in a season.
Harding led 21-0 with 13:50 left in the first half.
Both teams scored twice in the third quarter.
Harding continued to put the pressure on with an 8-play, 75-yard drive to open the second half. Taylor Bissell, who had 127 total yards, broke several tackles in a 32-yard TD run to give the Bisons a 28-0 lead with 10:48 left in the third.
Tech's first TD drive came midway through the third quarter. The Wonder Boys drove 72 yards on 10 plays with Carter Burcham connecting with Drew Wade on a slant route for a 15-yard TD. Tech later scored on a 1-yard Wallace Foote run.
Harding answered immediately and scored on a 56-yard TD pass from Paden to Kage Citty, who scored on his first collegiate reception. It was Paden's second career two-TD game.
The Bisons put the game away with a 47-yard Chancey run on fourth down to give Harding a 42-14 lead with 8:52 remaining. The final score came on a 4-yard run from redshirt freshman Zach Smith late in the fourth.
Harding rushed for 406 yards and four TD, marking the sixth straight game the Bisons rushed for more than 400 yards and four or more TD.
Chancey led Harding with 121 yards on 18 carries and moved past Arkansas Tech's Bryan Allen for second in career rushing yards. He has 1,438 rushing yards this season, just 42 short of Alan Dixon's single-season record.
Paden rushed for 44 yards and completed 2 of 3 passes for a career-high 108 yards.
Harding's defense forced four turnovers and scored 21 points off them.