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University of Central Arkansas sophomore wide receiver Tyler Hudson moved into first in all-time receiving yards in Bears program history, surpassing Desmond Smith. Hudson entered the game needing 21 yards to tie the record, but broke it with a 93-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter.

Leading up to Central Arkansas’ Homecoming game against NAIA opponent Texas Wesleyan, few probably had this as a close game.

The Bears (5-4, 3-2 AQ7) blew out the Rams, who are having a solid season in NAIA, going 6-2 against those opponents, in a 63-3 game, which will go down in UCA football history books.

Coming into the contest, sophomore wide receiver Tyler Hudson needed just 21 yards to match former Bears receiver Desmond Smith’s program record of 2,828 receiving yards.

Hudson accomplished that feat and set a new record on a 93-yard touchdown reception from junior quarterback Breylin Smith near the end of the first quarter.

Hudson, who said he knew he was close to the record prior to the game, took to celebrating with the fans sitting in Estes Stadium’s “Best Seats in the House,” which are more comfortable seating outside of the field of play on field level.

The celebration drew an excessive celebration penalty, but for Hudson, it was well worth it.

The sophomore wide receiver was mobbed by teammates on the sideline as PA announcer Jeff Matthews announced Hudson had set the record shortly after.

After the game, UCA coach Nathan Brown spoke on Hudson breaking the record and ran through a list of memorable names that Hudson has passed in his short career.

“Desmond Smith was one of the most competitive players I’ve ever been around,” said UCA coach Nathan Brown, who was UCA’s offensive coordinator during Smith’s career. “I would tell Desmond this, Tyler has a ton more God-given ability than Desmond, who just got so much out of his body.

“But, you look at some of the names that Tyler had just leaped above in the record book, I mean, Tyree Davis, Aaron Fairooz, Michael Norvell, Dominique Croom, Dezmin Lewis, Jatavious Wilson... There are so many players over the years. This has been such a great wide receiver university. And he’s done it in two and a half years; that’s what makes it so amazing, where he’s at in his career and the amount of time he’s got left. It’s just pretty amazing.”

Hudson logged another touchdown in the game, which was a much shorter 25-yard reception from Smith as the Bears went up 49-0 with 18 seconds left to play in the first half, and finished with 178 receiving yards on the day.

The starters for the Bears were relieved at halftime in order to avoid injury moving forward for more meaningful games, but it’s what those offensive starters did in the first half that impressed.

The status of junior wide receiver Lujuan Winningham upon injuring his ankle on an 80-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter, which took Winningham out the rest of the game brought good news.

Smith threw for 410 yards in the first half, primarily on big balls down field. His passing yardage places him ninth all-time in one game.

He also did that on 13 completions, as well as five touchdown passes.

It was a banner day for Smith.

And, that offense Saturday also put up the most yards per play gained in program history, averaging 10.9, which surpassed the 10.2 yards per play gained by the 2001 Bears against Henderson State.

As for total yardage, UCA logged 664 yards on the night on 59 plays, which places this particular game’s offensive output fourth, surpassing a pair of Nathan Brown-quarterbacked games.

But, part of why the Bears were able to gain so much yardage was because of Texas Wesleyan redshirt freshman kicker/punter Daniel Trejo, who averaged 49.2 yards per punt, as well as pinned the Bears inside the 20 seven times. His longest punt of the game was a 61-yarder.

Defensively, UCA shined as well, allowing just 91 yards through three quarters, surrendering 150 for the game.

It was a result the Bears likely wanted to turn in as a tough contest against Stephen F. Austin awaits at home this Saturday.

Andy Robertson is the sports editor of the Log Cabin Democrat and can be reached at

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