The football team closes the 2017 season with a tough matchup on the road against No. 3 ranked Central Arkansas.
The Sugar Bears sit atop the Southland Conference with an undefeated 8-0 record in conference play, and a 9-1 overall record, while the Wildcats have a 2-6 record in Southland play, and a 2-8 overall record.
Head coach Adam Dorrel said he wants his team to fight through adversity in its final game.
“That place is going to be packed, I’m sure it will be sold out,” Dorrel said. “They have to beat us to have an outright conference championship. To me, this Saturday is a big barometer for me as a head football coach to see where we’re at.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Anthony has now started two games in row in the absence of junior quarterback Dallas Sealey, including this last week when they took on No. 4 Sam Houston State in a wild 44-35 loss. Sealey has not been on the sidelines for either of the last two games, but the department of athletics declined to comment on his status with the team.
In his two starts, Anthony has thrown for 642 yards and seven touchdowns. There have also been reports that senior quarterback Kade Munden could see increased playing time for his final game for ACU.
Munden’s only start of his career came in 2014 and was a 52-35 win against Central Arkansas. In the game, Munden ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns, and despite throwing the ball only eight times, completed six of the attempts with three touchdowns.
The Sugar Bears come into the game with a strong offense, second best in the conference to Sam Houston. They rank second in every category with 1967 rushing yards, 2688 passing yards, and 4655 total yards.
One of the more talented quarterbacks in the conference, senior Hayden Hildebrand leads the offense for Central Arkansas. He ranks second in the conference in touchdown passes with 26, as well as passing yards with 2592.
Defensively, the Sugar Bears have also impressed leading the conference in total sacks with 35, and are also second in the least number of yards given up with 3438.
Sophomore defensive lineman Chris Terrell has stood out for Central Arkansas, second in the conference in tackles for loss with 17.5, and tied for second in sacks with his teammate, senior defensive lineman Eric Jackson, at 10 a piece.
Dorrel said Central Arkansas is a unique football team.
“They’re a program I studied immediately upon taking this job,” Dorrel said. “They’re well coached and fundamentally sound. It’s very apparent that their kids care about each other.”
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m this Saturday in Conway, Arkansas. Game coverage can also be heard on 98.1 FM.