Charles Page High School senior quarterback Caden Pennington recently announced his intentions to play collegiate football at Northeastern State University. Pennington was a two-year starter on the varsity team, leading the Sandites to an 8-13 record and one playoff appearance.
Pennington played one game as a freshman and made five appearances as a sophomore, all in relief of Hunter Greathouse. He earned the starting spot in 2017.
As a junior Pennington was 49-111-596-7 passing with five touchdowns, and 76-162 rushing with one score. His best performances were 6-12-145-1 with one touchdown against Putnam City West, and 9-21-151-0 with three touchdowns against Muskogee.
This past season Pennington became one of the best dual-threat QBs in the division with an 86-152-1168-6 passing performance and 149-729 running game. He scored fourteen touchdowns by air and thirteen on his feet.
Pennington put up triple-digit offensive performances in every game and scored in nine out of ten outings. His career-best passing performance was against Mansfield Summit when he threw 14-20-196-0 with two touchdowns. He also threw three touchdown passes against both Putnam City and Bartlesville.
His career-best performance came against Sapulpa when he scored seven total touchdowns. He was 8-9-123-0 passing for one score and 28-212 rushing for six touchdowns. He threw a career-long pass of sixty yards against Muskogee and had a career-long run of 61 yards against Sapulpa.
Altogether, Pennington was 138-268-1768-14 passing with nineteen career touchdowns, and 231-736 rushing with fourteen touchdowns and three two-point conversions, scoring 204 total points. He also had six punts for an average of 37 yards.
Northeastern State is an NCAA Division II program competing in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. The team holds twenty-one conference championships and has made four NAIA Championship appearances with two national titles, most recently in 1994.
The RiverHawks went 0-11 last season and haven’t had a winning season since 2011. J.J. Eckert will be taking over the program in 2019, following a twelve-year stent at Kilgore College in Texas. Eckert amassed a 72-53 record with the Rangers, including three Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championships, two NJCAA Region 14 Championships, and five bowl game appearances. He is an NSU-alumni and quarterbacked the RiverHawks to NAIA title games in 1994 and 1995.
Sand Springs has sent several student athletes to the Northeastern State football program in recent years.
Isaiah Silversmith played nineteen games at NSU from 2015-2017, recording 29 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Terrance Dixon played 26 games from 2012-2014. He carried 219 times for 678 yards and eleven touchdowns, and had 48 receptions for 445 yards and a score. He also had two kick returns for 21 yards apiece.
Johnny Deaton quarterbacked the RiverHawks for ten games in 2012. He passed 152-318-1861-12 for ten touchdowns and carried 38 times for 115 yards and two scores.
Spencer Haff played tight end for NSU in 2013.
Shane Devers played three games in 2012, recording two receptions for fifteen yards and one tackle.