After their fourth loss to a nationally ranked opponent, the SFA Lumberjacks return to the turf of Homer Bryce Stadium for season- ending matchup with the Northwestern State University Demons in the 53rd Battle for Chief Caddo.
Chief Caddo is the largest sporting trophy in the sports universe. It stands at 7 feet and 6 inches tall, weighing over 320 pounds. The Chief Caddo statue was born in 1960 when both universities decided to award the winner of each game with a trophy. SFA and NWST settled on the Chief Caddo statue that resembled the powerful and legendary Indian chief whose tribe was responsible for settling the locations we know as Nacogdoches and Natchitoches, Louisiana.
The first official meeting between these two old time universities took place in 1924 when NWST defeated SFA 7-3. The first official Battle for Chief Caddo meeting took place in 1961 and NWST outlasted SFA 35-19. This is the 75th all-time meeting between SFA and NWST, but it’s the 53rd all-time Battle for the Chief Caddo game, and the Demons currently hold a 21-20-1 all-time record over the Lumberjacks during the series.
NWST (4-6 overall, 3-5 Southland Conference) currently sits at ninth place in the SLC and have no aspirations for the playoffs because they’ve been eliminated from postseason contention. However, they’ll look to win this game retaining the Chief Caddo trophy and bragging rights for two consecutive years.
This season the Demons have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball. They average close to 27 points per game. They’ve compiled 225 first downs, 904 total rushing yards, 3,229 passing yards and average roughly 410 offensive yards per game. The defensive unit has allowed roughly 35 points per game this season. They’ve allowed 248 first downs, 2,159 rushing yards, 2,594 passing yards and they’ve allowed roughly 490 total yards per game to opposing offenses. Additionally, the Demon defensive unit has compiled 21 sacks for 116 yards, allowed 47 touchdowns and have forced 20 fumbles on the season recovering 13.
SFA’s running game will be the point of emphasis. The Demons aren’t a great rushing defensive unit, and the Lumberjacks’ passing game has been at their best when they can run the ball effectively on first and second down. If the running game can be effective along with efficient offensive line production, Jake Blumrick will have a field day on the Demons’ secondary.
Furthermore, the SFA defense will be able to get wild and rowdy and get to the quarterback, which will force him into making mistakes that will give the SFA offense more opportunities to score at will. The SFA defensive unit has proven to be a unit that can give the offense extra chances to score, and it’ll be no different during this matchup. The defensive unit making plays on third down that force punts and turnovers gives the offensive unit a much-needed boost for their next possession.
Efficient offensive production will open up the game for the Lumberjacks and put them in position to win this game and secure the Chief Caddo trophy for the first time since the 2016 season.
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Thursday at Homer Bryce Stadium. The game will also be televised on the Eleven Sports Network.