Archive for Saturday, October 2, 2004

Haskell owns best pass defense in league

Indians to meet SAGU today

October 2, 2004


— A classic football battle of irresistible force meeting immovable object looms today.

Haskell Indian Nations University's football team boasts the stingiest pass defense in the Central States Football League while Southwestern Assemblies of God University has the most prolific passing offense.

Something will have to give when the Fighting Indians and Lions collide. Kickoff will be 2 p.m. at Lumpkins Stadium on the SAGU campus.

Senior quarterback Ryan Smith is the linchpin of the Lions' offense. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder leads the CSFL in both passing and total offense.

However, the Indians have the number-one rated defense in the CSFL. The Indians are giving up an average of only 97.2 yards per game on the ground and 103 yards in the air. HINU defensive back Chris Begay has three interceptions.

Smith played a key role when SAGU overhauled the Indians, 28-21, last year in Lawrence. Smith completed 16 of 35 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns while tossing only one interception.

In the Lions' 2004 opener, Smith threw for a school-record 430 yards in a 56-7 pounding of Principia.

However, SAGU has lost three straight since then, all on the road. Haskell (2-3) will be trying to bounce back for a 40-12 thumping by Bacone last week.

On offense, the Indians have had a sound passing combination in freshman QB Kaleb Harris and junior wide receiver Cody Wilson, but the running game has been undependable since all-CSFL tailback Chad Murphy went down because of a knee injury in the season opener.

Freshman Cory Murphy, Chad Murphy's younger brother, has become a force for the Indians on special teams. Cory Murphy leads the CSFL in both punt return and kickoff return yardage.

Today marks the first of three straight road games for the Indians. They'll go Oct. 9 to Peru Stat and Oct. 16 to Texas College before returning home Oct. 23 to meet Northwestern Oklahoma State.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.