Battle of the Ravine

It’s the most anticipated game on the schedule to the alumni, boosters, and fans when Henderson State meets Ouachita Baptist on the football field.

There are not many rivalries as old or rich in tradition as the Henderson State vs. Ouachita Baptist “Battle of the Ravine.” It is the oldest rivalry among current NCAA Division II institutions.

The first game played between the two institutions was in 1895 when then Ouachita College beat Arkadelphia Methodist College, 8-0 on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. The second meeting between the two institutions did not occur until 1907 in the first sanctioned game of the series. The Reddies beat the Tigers and went on to claim the Arkansas State Championship.

The Reddies went on to win the next six meetings. The game was traditionally played on Thanksgiving, and both teams made it their homecoming game. The series discontinued in 1951 after Henderson State won 54-0 and the pranks that went along with the series got out of control.The series did not resume until 1963 with the Reddies winning 28-13. The series continued uninterrupted until 1993 because of Henderson State’s move to the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference.

After a three-year hiatus, the series began again in 1996 as OBU moved to the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference. OBU joined the GSC in 2000 and an eight-year GSC schedule had already been put into place. GSC schools do not play everyone in the league due to the number of teams. Henderson and OBU did not play in 2004 or 2005 because the two institutions rotated off the conference schedule. The series began again in 2006 with Henderson winning the first two years, OBU winning the next two years and Henderson winning again in 2010. Of the 84 meetings, the game has been decided by a touchdown or less 37 times with OBU having the advantage in the close games 19-12-6.