Bearkats return for conference opener

After back-to-back losses in very diverse ways, the Sam Houston State football team is looking to get back on the winning path when they host the Central Arkansas Bears Saturday in the Bearkats’ Southland Conference opener.

Last weekend, the Kats (2-2) were up-ended 39-3 in Stillwater as the Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-2) used a 297-85 in the running game. The Kats also failed to capitalize on several golden opportunities early in the contest when they reached Cowboys territory, only to settle for the three first-half points. This weekend, the Kats hope to turn the page and get some revenge against a Bears team that came into Huntsville last year and won 38-30. This season marks the first time that the Bears (1-3) have a full schedule in the SLC. Along with the upset of Sam Houston State last season, Central Arkansas also beat Stephen F. Austin 37-35.

They were also ranked in the Top 25 five years in a row in Division II football.

The numbers from both teams suggest that Saturday’s game could be a high-scoring affair. The game will feature the two most productive offenses in the Southland Conference this season. The Kats and Bears are ranked first and second, respectively in total offense (435.3-429.2).

SHSU quarterback Rhett Bomar, who threw for 270 yards and completed 22 of 49 passes against the Cowboys, has completed 91 of his 160 pass attempts this season for 1,089 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He will be competing against another solid quarterback in Nathan Brown, who has completed 84 of 123 passes and seven touchdowns. He also ranks first in career completion percentage (67.2) in school history. This season, the Bears have used a balanced rushing game to effectively complement their dangerous aerial attack. Brent Grimes leads the team in rushing with 226 yards on 58 carries. Brown is also a threat on the ground, as evidenced by his 120 yards rushing. Central Arkansas also has four receivers with over 100 yards on the season, including Willie Landers who leads the team with 211 yards receiving and three touchdowns. This will be the first home game for the Kats in nearly a month with their last game at Bowers Stadium on Sept. 8 in their win against Arkansas-Monticello.

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