Courtesy of Harding Athletics
- Harding University junior fullback Kale Gelles rushed for 257 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bisons to a 42-7 victory over Arkansas Tech on Homecoming at First Security Stadium. It was tied for the second-highest rushing total ever by a Harding player.
Gelles put Harding (5-4, 3-4 Gulf South Conference) ahead 14-0 with a pair of first quarter touchdown runs, one of 36 yards and a second of four yards.
The Bisons took a 21-0 lead with 13:42 left in the first half as Harding senior wide receiver Kurt Adams hauled in his 29th career touchdown reception on a pass from Josh Powell. Adams moved into a tie for sixth in GSC history with the touchdown catch.
Arkansas Tech (3-7, 2-6) scored its lone touchdown of the game with 10:13 left in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Robert Sagerian scored on a two-yard run to cut the lead to 21-7.
Gelles was back again in the third quarter with a four-yard touchdown run, and added his fourth on an 81-yard dash with 6:27 left in the game. It was the third-longest run in program history and the longest since Harding Hall of Famer Jack Barber ran 86 yards against Arkansas-Monticello in 1973.
Gelles became only the second Harding player ever to rush for four touchdowns in a game, joining Alan “Snake” Dixon who did it against Austin College in 1971. His 257 rushing yards equaled the total of Chris Pierson against East Central in 1996 and trailed only the school record of 284 yards by Joe David Smith against Arkansas-Monticello in 1975.
The GSC’s leading rusher coming in to Saturday’s game, Gelles eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing barrier for the season with his effort. Gelles has 1,036 yards to become just the seventh Harding back to reach the milestone. His total ranks fourth in an HU single season.
Entering the game, Arkansas Tech’s defense was ranked third nationally, allowing only 66.2 rushing yards per game. Saturday, Harding gashed Arkansas Tech for 375 rushing yards, the most by the Bisons this season and the seventh-highest total ever.
Harding’s defense was also outstanding, allowing only 24 rushing yards on 35 attempts. The Bisons got interceptions by Steve Hudson and James Feher, and the nation’s top-ranked sack defense added six more sacks to its ledger. The Bisons now have 38 sacks this season, the most by a Harding team in the NCAA era. The Bisons had 13 total tackles for loss in the game, led by Andrew Jackson with three.
In the game’s waning moments, the Harding defense picked up its first touchdown of the season. Feher intercepted a pass and then fumbled it. Sophomore Kennard Henderson scooped up the fumble and ran 54 yards for a touchdown with 4:41 left.
Arkansas Tech, which lost for the fifth time in its last six games, had only 200 yards of total offense on 68 plays.
Powell completed 8-of-10 passes for Harding for 142 yards. Adams had three catches for 80 yards and the touchdown.
The victory was Harding’s 19th in its last 21 Homecoming games. The 35-point margin of victory was its largest since a 48-3 Homecoming win over Mississippi College in 1972.
Harding will conclude the 2010 season next Saturday as it hosts nationally-ranked North Alabama at First Security Stadium. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.