The first battle, in 1909, SE rose above ECU 49-0, and with the exception of three seasons in which SE did not field a team during WWII, SE continues to hold the winning edge at 45-43-6.
Upon their last meeting, SE fell to ECU 20-19 in what Southeastern football head coach, Ray Richards, recalls as a horrible day. “That was a frustrating day,” said Richards. “It was raining and we had two or three lightning delays, it just wasn’t working for us.”
ECU posted only 200 rushing yards against SE, against the Storm’s 400, but it still wasn’t enough to overcome the Tigers.
This year, however, the forecast is clear and Richards looks forward to facing Southeastern's oldest foe.
“It’s going to be a great game,” said Richards. “It will definitely be a war.”
Some challenges the Storm may face is the improvement ECU football has made over the previous years. “This is the best ECU team we’ve faced in a long time,” said Richards. “This year, they’re good, may very well be one of the best teams we face all year.”
East Central is currently 2-1 for the season. The Tigers defeated Incarnate World in week one, but fell to Ouachita Baptist in week two. However, in week three, ECU dominated Northeastern State.
Southeastern goes into the rival game 2-0 after wins against Central Oklahoma and Southern Arkansas.
“Whoever wins this game, will be set up nicely for the year,” said Richards. “It’s a crucial game. The winner will really set themselves apart.”
To bring the win home, Richards believes it will take turnovers on the defense and possible penalties. “We have to protect that football,” said Richards. “We’re going to have to go out there and really play hard and force some turnovers.”
With experienced quarterbacks on both teams, Richards is confident the rivalry game will be fun. “It’s going to be a great game,” said Richards. “Emotional, a battle.”