It’s nice when a team can say they have an All-American Quarterback. The same can be said if you have an All-American Wide Receiver. What if you have both?
Well, you might consider yourself very fortunate.
However, that is a reality at BR-37 Henderson State in Arkansas. The Reddies combination of Graduate Student Quarterback Kevin Rodgers and Redshirt Senior Darius Davis have propelled Henderson State to a 5-0 start in the Great American Conference and a overall 30 game regular-season winning streak over Division II opponents.
The Reddies can put up points in a hurry, and much of that fact has to do with Rodgers, a two-time GAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013. Rodgers has already secured almost every major GAC Passing record heading into the 2014 season including yards(10,706), Touchdowns(91), and completions(727) accounting for a Henderson State offense that has scored 40 or more points in 14 of it’s last 17 games dating back to the start of 2013 season.
The beneficiary of Rodger’s throws has been Davis, a 1st-team GAC selection in 2013 after racking up a Henderson State and GAC record with 1,597 yards and 16 touchdowns. Like Rodgers, Davis holds career conference categories at his position with 2,425 yards and 29 touchdowns.
If your sensing that there is an air show virtually every weekend at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium in Arkadelphia, you are correct. In the Reddies most recent game on October 4th, Henderson state poured 619 yards on Northwestern Oklahoma in a 63-14 win. Rodgers threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns without even playing the entire game, and Davis led all receivers with seven catches for 115 yards and a touchdown. In the process, Davis is now the state’s career leader in collegiate receiving yards after passing Jarius Wright of Arkansas who totaled 2,934 yards from 2008-2011.
While it is hard to criticize being the best of the best in conference history (and in some cases state history), the Reddies are not exactly facing elite competition. Henderson State strength of schedule is BR-119th and eight of it’s 2014 opponents have a ranking of 100 or worse. Its most difficult opponent by ranking is BR-54 Harding whom the Reddies will face off with on Oct. 25th.
If your wondering if the GAC is having a down year overall, you could be right. You could also say the GAC has had a down year since its inception in 2011. The Reddies have been your quintessential big fish in a small pond, having not lost a conference game since a 16-13 loss in 2011 to S’Western Oklahoma, also its lone loss ever in the GAC.
If your looking at Henderson State on a national level in Division II, the Reddies went a 11-0 last season in the GAC before falling to St. Cloud St. 40-35 in the first round of the Division II playoffs, a game in which Henderson State was favored by ranking. The year prior was much of the same, as the Reddies fell after a 10-0 record to Mo. Western St. in the 2012 playoffs, a game again in which they were slightly favored.
By no means is the questionable strength of Henderson State’s competition a slight to the accomplishments of Rodgers and Davis over the course of there careers. Both are recognized nationally as 2014 Division II 1st-team All-Americans and barring injury could be candidates for the Harlon Hill Award, a trophy Rodgers finished third for in 2013 behind eventual Bloomsburg winner Franklyn Quiteh.
While the hardware could be nice for both, finishing stronger in post-season play is a sure goal for both players and the Henderson State team as a whole. If that were to occur, the recognition of the Rodgers and Davis air attack will go along way in fueling the Reddies recognition on a national level.