GAME NOTES: Battle of the Piney Woods
Oct. 30, 2013
SFA vs. THE BEARKATS: Saturday's contest marks the 88th meeting between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State in the annual Battle of the Piney Woods. The series is the third oldest FCS rivalry in Texas, dating back to 1923. The Lumberjacks trail the all-time series, 50-35-2 (.414), to their rivals, and have dropped two of the last three meetings. The Bearkats won last year, 51-43, in the third of what was originally scheduled to be a four-game series to be played at Reliant. The three games have averaged 25,318 fans. Reliant extended the contract another three years prior to the 2012 game, keeping the Battle of the Piney Woods at Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, through the 2017 season.
COVERAGE: Saturday's contest will be televised on the Southland Conference Television Network on the local affiliate KCEB (Local Cable Channel 8).
NUMBER TWO IN THE NATION: The Stephen F. Austin football team possess one of the most prolific FCS offenses in the country. SFA currently ranks second the nation in total offense and passing offense.
WARD RECEIVES FCS NATIONAL WEEKLY HONOR: Stephen F. Austin wide receiver DJ Ward was named FCS College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Wide Receiver of the Week. Ward, a member of the 2013 CFPA Watch List finished Saturday's game against UCA with eight receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown. Ward's score came on a 73-yard pass from fellow receiver Tyler Boyd. The touchdown narrowed UCA's lead to four points in the second quarter.
ATTAWAY CLIMBING THE CHARTS: SFA senior quarterback Brady Attaway continues to move up in the conference record book. He now has 1,520 passing attempts and ranks second on the SLC career list behind 2010 Walter Payton Award winner and former Lumberjack Jeremy Moses. Moses finished his career with 1,893 passes. Attaway also earlier this season moved into second on the league's all-time completion list, passing former Central Arkansas quarterback Nathan Brown (856) against Nicholls State, completing 35-of-50 passes and then adding 41 to give him 908 for his career. The Whitehouse, Texas, native, also ranks third on the SLC's list of career passing yards (10,016) and passing touchdowns (78).
TRIALS OF THE ROAD: The Lumberjacks, 0-4 in away games, are still searching for their first victory on the road in the 2013 season. SFA, with a pair of road losses to open the 2013 slate, dropped a 50-40 decision to Weber State in Ogden, Utah, followed by a 61-13 struggle at Texas Tech. The Lumberjacks are 0-2 in Southland Conference road games, with a 56-14 loss at Southeastern Louisiana and a 66-31 decision at Central Arkansas. The 66 points allowed by SFA is the fifth most allowed in program history and is the most given up to an FCS opponent since the Lumberjacks surrendered 70 to Montana in the 1995 NCAA FCS semifinals.
THE COACH: J.C. Harper became the 18th head coach of the SFA Lumberjack football team in December 2006. A two-time SLC Coach of the Year, Harper has guided SFA to two conference titles and NCAA playoff appearances. SFA is 37-40 (.481) in his six seasons in Nacogdoches.