By Tony Adams
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team begins it’s 2014 with a road test in Jackson, Miss. as the Cru plays Millsaps College at Harper David Stadium Saturday night at 6 p.m. KLTD-FM 101.7 will carry the game with UMHB Sports Information Director Jon Wallin with the play-by-play call and longtime coach George Haffner with color analysis.
The Cru went 14-1 in 2013, finishing in the NCAA Division III semi-finals. They go into Saturday’s game with Millsaps as the #2 team in the D3Football.com and USA Today Polls, as well as ranked fourth and sixth in two other preseason polls.
Zach Anderson (145-218 2,006 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INT, 129 rushes 944 yards 11 TDs) will get the start at quarterback for the Cru. Michael Carpenter (102 rushes 575 yards, 6 TDs, 8 receptions, 147 yards, 4 TDs) will get the start at running back, along with Marcus Wimby (19 rushes, 185 yards, 2 TDs, 30 receptions, 485 yards, 2 TDs) at halfback.
Hunter Schmidt (14 receptions, 118 yards) and Kamray Runnels (35 receptions, 386 yards and 4 TDs will get the starts at wide receiver.
The Cru up front on the line will have Connally Fuller (6-7, 310), Broderick Jenkins (6-0, 260), Riley Holmes (6-0, 270), Kendrick Booker (6-0, 280) and Jose Ostos (6-3, 280) starting. The Cru will be without center Sterling Cantue, who is recovering from a concussion.
The Cru defensive set up front will be preseason All-American Teidrick Smith, Oliver Stone, Lamar seels and John Thorne. Deshon Kinsey, Baylor Mullins and Matt Cody get the starts at linebackers and Eric Allen, Kris Brown and Dana Taylor get the start in the secondary.
Mullins won the starting punter job and Eric Nelson will also see some reps, replacing the graduated Chad Peevey and Jacob O’Neill will get the starting nod at kicker.
Allen and Runnels will be the punt returners for the Cru and Wimby and Schmidt will be the kick returners.
Millsaps brings a solid runner in Mike Barthelemy (268 rushes 1,400 yards, 21 TDs in 2013) and passer in Zak Thrasher (146-for-246, 1,766 yards, 15 TDs, 14 INTs).
“(Barthelemy) is a good one,” said UMHB head coach Pete Fredenburg. “He’s strong and runs well. They do a lot of good things with their formations to get him the ball.”
Seniors Zach Bell (6-2, 220, 57 tackles, 12 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, Southern Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013) and Jeff Milner (6-1, 230, 44 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss) highlight an aggressive offensive line that likes to pursue the quarterback.
“They’ve gotten tremendous accolades,” said Fredenburg. “They’re very active and good players.”