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UAPB, UCA set for football matchup
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas-Pine Bluff will face Central Arkansas on Sept. 13 at Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium in the first football game between the teams since 2003.
“I anticipate it being for two or three years,” UAPB coach Monte Coleman said of the renewed series. “I think it’s a good fit for both teams.”
UAPB and Central Arkansas are both members of the Football Championship Subdivision. Central Arkansas – a Division II school at the time – won the last meeting 42-28.
Coleman is entering his first season as the Golden Lions’ coach. He played at Central Arkansas before a lengthy NFL career with the Washington Redskins.
“I’m very excited for several reasons,” Coleman said of the matchup with Central Arkansas. “It is my alma mater. They have a very good program there. … It would help us to play in-state schools.”
UAPB’s schedule also includes a home game against Division II Arkansas-Monticello to open the season Aug. 30, and a trip to play Division II Henderson State on Sept. 6.
Central Arkansas opens the season at home against Henderson State on Aug. 28.
UAPB has six games in Pine Bluff, two in Little Rock and the trip to Arkadelphia to play Henderson State. The second Little Rock game is against Grambling State on Nov. 8. The Golden Lions’ regular season finale is Nov. 29 against Texas Southern at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
“Even our road games are reasonably close this season,” UAPB athletic director Skip Perkins said. “All in all, this is a schedule that should make everyone happy.”
Central Arkansas has seven games at its home stadium in Conway and the one Little Rock game. Bears coach Clint Conque outlined the advantages of facing UAPB.
“You’ve got two Division I schools an hour-and-a-half apart,” he said. “It makes competitive sense and economic sense.”
Conque has said publicly he’d like to see Arkansas’ four Division I schools play each other. He says his school will keep working to set up games with Arkansas and Arkansas State, two Bowl Subdivision teams.
“Something that makes that much sense always takes a long time,” Conque quipped.