Henderson State University was 35 seconds away from qualifying for the NCAA Division II football playoffs last Saturday. The Reddies still came out big winners Tuesday morning at Arkansas High’s Red Wall when it was officially announced Henderson will be making its first appearance in the Agent Barry Live United Bowl on Dec. 7 at Razorback Stadium.
The Reddies will face the defending Live United Bowl champion, Missouri Western State University. The Griffons defeated Southern Arkansas University in 2018. Ironically, MWSU and the Muleriders are the only two schools to make multiple appearances in the local bowl game.
HSU (9-2) lost a heart-breaker to Ouachita Baptist University last Saturday. The Reddies finished third in the Great American Conference behind OBU and Harding University. They lost by a combined four points to those two teams, which did qualify for the national playoffs for the second straight year.
“This is a great opportunity for our football team and university,” said veteran HSU coach Scott Maxfield. “We’re very excited that we’re coming to Texarkana to play a great football team like Missouri Western. We welcome this opportunity to play another game; it’s important to our program.”
Griffons hope to go 2-0 in Live United Bowl
The is Matt Williamson’s second season as head coach at Missouri Western (8-3), where his record the past two years was 15-8. The Griffons tied for third place in the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Both Texarkana mayors were present at Tuesday’s press conference.
“We’re thrilled to have Missouri Western back to defend its title against Henderson,” said Arkansas-side Mayor and Bowl President Allen Brown. “We’re certainly fortunate to get two teams that ranked among the nation’s best in Division II this year.”
The teams will arrive in Texarkana on Dec. 5 at their hotels within the Texarkana Arkansas Crossroads Business Park. In an effort to give the two teams a taste of the Texarkana community, teams will help pack meals for a local outreach program. Friday’s schedule includes a visit to some of the United Way agencies, and afternoon practices which will be open to the public.
The Jeans, Boots and BBQ Banquet will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. at Texas High School. Tickets are limited and are on sale (online only) for $25 at www.liveunitedbowl.com. A community pep rally will follow the banquet at 8 p.m.
Coach Billy Dawson is special guest at banquet
The banquet will feature a special guest appearance by four-time Arkansas high school state champion football coach Billy Dawson. Dawson won three of his titles at Nashville, and one at Russellville. He also served as Arkansas Tech’s offensive coordinator, and is currently working in a private business.
Game Day starts off with a tailgate set-up at 8 a.m. Stadium gates open at 10 a.m. Miss Texas Outstanding Teen, Allie Graves, will sing the National Anthem prior to kickoff.
Tickets are now available at any MidWay Federal Credit Union location. Tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for students. Adult tickets can also be purchased online at www.liveunitedbowl.com.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Agent Live United Bowl can sign up through the United Way of Greater Texarkana website.