Lamar RB Harrington can join exclusive list
(STATS) - With an average performance by his standards, Kade Harrington can join an exclusive list that includes Barry Sanders and Marcus Allen.
The running back will try to become the seventh player in FBS or FCS history to reach 2,000 yards in 10 games when Lamar travels to Incarnate Word on Saturday.
Harrington owns the Southland Conference single-season record with 1,805 yards after going for 255 in a 30-28 loss to Nicholls State last weekend. Having averaged a little more than 200 yards during his incredible campaign, the junior would appear to have a promising chance at reaching the vaunted 2,000.
If he can do it in San Antonio, Harrington would join the two Pro Football Hall of Famers as players to accomplish that feat in just 10 games. The four who have done it in the FCS are Tony Vinson (1993, Towson), Arnold Mickens (1994, Butler), Jerry Azumah (1998, New Hampshire) and Charles Roberts (1998, Sacramento State).
"He's just a special player that's having one of those years. I'm sure glad we have him because without him, I don't know where we would be," coach Ray Woodard said.
Among Harrington's other stunning stats are his 1,701 yards in seven Southland games, 996 more than second-place Blake Veasley of Central Arkansas. He is 299 yards ahead of Fordham's Chase Edmonds for the FCS lead and a whopping 600 in front of third-place Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State.
In his quest for 2,000, Harrington will face two of the Southland's top three run defenses in conference play. Incarnate Word is giving up 173.4 yards per game and league champ McNeese State, who Lamar will face in its season finale Nov. 21, boasts one of the best run-stopping units in the FCS.
The Cowboys, No. 3 in the STATS FCS Top 25, are giving up 80.3 yards per game on the ground and will have two weeks to prepare for Harrington because they're on a bye. Harrington had 243 yards against the Southland's second-best rush defense, Central Arkansas (132.3), in a 35-17 loss Oct. 24.
The likely Southland offensive player of the year will also face one of the leading candidates for defensive player of the year. UIW outside linebacker Myke Tavarres is tops in the FCS with 21 1/2 tackles for loss, and his 94 tackles and conference-best 7 1/2 sacks are also single-season records for his program.
Incarnate Word boasts the Southland's reigning defensive player of the week in linebacker Padyn Giebler, and cornerback Kobie Douglas is among the league leaders with 13 passes defended.
"I think you want to contain him a little bit and hope he doesn't rush for 400. If he gets 200, that's what he's done every week," Incarnate Word coach Larry Kennan said. "Harrington is phenomenal. What he's done is amazing. We've just got to keep him under control a little bit and not let him run completely wild."
Harrington had 143 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries in his only meeting with Incarnate Word, a 31-20 home victory last November.
UIW (5-4, 4-3) is seeking to finish 5-0 at home while Lamar (4-5, 3-4) is trying to keep its hopes of a winning season alive.
Harrington also needs 174 yards to become his school's career rushing leader, surpassing Burton Murchison's 3,598 from 1984-87, and can top Murchison's 13 all-time games with 100-plus yards.
Sam Houston State will likely have to play without all-American kicker Luc Swimberghe for the rest of the season following knee surgery.
The junior is the Bearkats' career leader with 179 PATs and was one shy of matching the Southland's all-time mark. He is third in school history with 272 points.
Freshman Tre Honshtein made his lone field goal attempt - from 20 yards - and only extra-point try in a 27-10 loss to McNeese last weekend.
The No. 13 Bearkats (6-3, 5-2) are trying to stay on track for a potential playoff berth Saturday against Northwestern State (3-6, 3-4). The Demons won 31-27 in last season's meeting in Louisiana.
If it gets past this game, Sam Houston will travel to second-place Central Arkansas (6-3, 6-1) on Nov. 21 for what's shaping up as an elimination game for the FCS postseason.
"These Kats have one life left, and we have to make sure we have that life after we play Northwestern State," coach K.C. Keeler said.