Tahlequah Daily Press

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November 2, 2013

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NSU to start Meaders at quarterback vs. Southwest Baptist

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Cory Meaders’ name was drawn out of the hat this week. This time he won’t face one of the nation’s top 10 defenses.

The freshman from Anna, Texas, will start at quarterback this week when Northeastern State hosts Southwest Baptist at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Doc Wadley Stadium. His last start came against third-ranked Northwest Missouri State, which ended up beating NSU 40-12.

Thor Long, NSU’s starting quarterback for six of the RiverHawks’ eight games this season, will also see playing time, NSU head coach Kenny Evans said.

“We’re going to play both quarterbacks and see how they do,” Evans said. “We’ll go with the one who is doing better and making the best decisions.”

The winner of that battle will likely garner starting duties in NSU’s final two games after this weekend. The upside to that: both will be winnable games — just like this week’s game.

NSU (0-8, 0-7 MIAA) will take on a Southwest Baptist club that is sporting one victory this season. The Bearcats — scoring 15 points a game in their last three games — are 1-7 overall and 1-6 in league play.

Southwest Baptist’s lone victory came against Missouri Southern in Week 4 in a  38-33 decision. That’s when quarterback Willie Tindal was healthy. Tindal has missed the Bearcats’ last two games — both losses — to Fort Hays State (56-14) and Nebraska Kearney (28-14).

“Their other quarterbacks aren’t as good as their starter,” Evans said of the Bearcats’ quarterback situation. “But they’ve done some good things. They’ve been better than our guys.”

That’s true.

The RiverHawks’ combination of Meaders, Long and Johnny Deaton are a combined 108 of 234 this season for a less-than-desirable 46.2 completion percentage in the passing game. The three — Deaton threw three passes before getting hurt in NSU’s season opener at Pittsburg State — have tossed five touchdown passes, compared to eight interceptions.

“We’ve had open receiver,” Evans said. “We just need a guy who can throw passes to those guys.”

There’s little time left, but whomever can do that could lead NSU to its first win this season.

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