Cru score 24 unanswered 1st quarter points, beat LC 45-24
Special to the Journal
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team dominated the first quarter and then held on from there as the Cru posted a 45-24 victory over Louisiana College Saturday at Crusader Stadium. UMHB improves to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the win. The loss drops the Wildcats to 2-4 overall and 0-1 in the ASC on the year.
Louisiana College failed to convert an onside kickoff to open the game and Zach Anderson hit Wykeyhe Walker with a 43-yard touchdown pass on the game’s first offensive play to give UMHB a 7-0 lead just eight second into the game. Jacob O’Neill added a 40-yard field goal, Blake Jackson scored on a two-yard run and Anderson found Eric Nelson for a 41-yard scoring strike as the Cru built a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Easton Melancon found Ladarius Gardner with a 56-yard scoring pass with 8:08 left in the second quarter to cut it to 24-7, but UMHB answered with Anderson’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Nelson just two plays later. Melancon threw a 13-yard TD pass to Gardner and Adan Olivares hit a 34-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter to cut the gap to 31-17 at halftime. Blake Jackson broke off a 64-yard touchdown run for the only scoring of the third quarter to put the Cru up 38-17. Jackson connected with Walker on a 78-yard pass and run to give UMHB a 45-17 lead with 12:29 left to play. The Cru committed its fourth turnover of the day to set up the Wildcats with a short field and Melancon closed out the scoring with a six-yard TD toss to Farron Jones with 10:39 remaining.
UMHB rolled up 516 yards of total offense with 310 of those coming through the air. LC ran 106 offensive plays and finished with 473 yards of total offense. The Wildcats threw for 399 yards on 77 pass attempts in the game. The Cru turned the ball over four times and were penalized seven times for 85 yards. The Wildcats did not turn the ball over or commit a penalty in the game.
Anderson was 10-19 passing for 215 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson ran for 90 yards and two scores and was 3-3 through the air for 95 yards and another TD. Nelson had three catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns and Walker added two grabs for 121 yards and two scores. Kris Brown led the Cru defense with 11 tackles, six pass break-ups and two tackles for loss. Jaedon Johnson added 10 tackles and three pass break-ups.
Melancon was 32-71 passing for 383 yards and three touchdowns for Louisiana College. The Wildcats had three 100-yard receivers in Jones (115 yards), Gardner (103 yards) and Shedrick Davis (110 yards). Landon Henry topped the LC defense with 12 total tackles.
The Cru stretched its regular season winning streak to 50 straight games. UMHB also set a new school record with its 34th consecutive ASC victory and the Cru now leads the all-time series with Louisiana Louisiana College 15-0. The game was the 200th contest in UMHB football history and the Cru is 165-35 all-time. The Cru will return to action with a non-conference game at nationally-ranked and undefeated Texas Lutheran University next Saturday. That game will kickoff at 1:00 PM at Bulldog Stadium in Seguin and marks the first non-conference game between the former conference rivals.
Crusaders hold steady at No. 2 in two polls
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team held steady at #2 in the country in both of the major Top 25 National Polls this week. The Cru is off to a 6-0 start this year after posting a 45-24 home victory over Louisiana College last Saturday.
The Cru held on to the #2 spot for the fifth straight American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll of the 2014 season. The Cru received one first-place vote and 986 total points and is ranked only behind defending national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Warhawks took 38 first-place votes and 1,046 total points to hold down the top spot. Mount Union is in third, right behind UMHB with three first-place votes and 985 total points. Wesley (DE) College is fourth and Linfield (OR) College rounds out the top five. Upcoming Cru opponent Texas Lutheran is ranked 17th by the AFCA with 364 total points. UMHB is the only ASC team mentioned in the AFCA Top 25 Poll this week.
“We are happy to get the win last Saturday, but we know that we are still a work in progress and have room to improve” Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. “We have a big game coming up against a talented and well-coached opponent and we know that we will have our hands full. But we also expect our players to be ready go each and every week.”
UMHB also remained at #2 in the country in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll. The Cru totaled 588 points in that poll and trail only Wisconsin-Whitewater. The Warhawks claimed 24 first-place votes and 624 total points. D3football.com also has Mount Union third, Wesley fourth and Linfield fifth. Texas Lutheran is among the programs receiving votes in that poll and has the 26th highest point total this week.
The Cru will return to action with battle of unbeatens as UMHB faces Texas Lutheran University (6-0) this Saturday. That showdown between nationally ranked programs kicks off at 1:00 PM at Bulldog Stadium in Seguin.