38-point 2nd quarter helps UMHB cruise past Kean 73-7
By Tony Adams
Saturday night at Crusader Stadium was a preseason test to gear up the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team for American Southwest Conference play.
The NCAA Division III Crusaders sent a message to nation: the Cru is ready and firing on all cylinders.
UMHB’s offense scored 10 touchdowns, one of which was set up by special teams’ punt block by Aaron Ladson and the defense picked up nine tackles for loss in the Cru’s 73-7 dismantling of Kean University.
It didn’t start off smoothly for the Cru. As their first two drives ended on fumbles at Kean’s 29 and 3-yard lines respectively.
Kean did not help their own cause, by going three-and-out on their first drive and committing a holding penalty to stall their second drive.
UMHB reached the score board with 4:14 remaining in the first quarter. Following a five-yard gain on the ground from Michael Carpenter, starting quarterback Zach Anderson swung a pass towards the sidelines to Wykeyhe Walker. The shifty Walker broke a trio of tackles and sprinted into the end zone from 33 yards away. Jacob O’Neill’s point-after kick was good and the Cru took a 7-0 lead.
Following a great tackle of Kean returner Stefan Juste at the Kean 14 by Ladson and Cameron Moore, the Cru defense stopped the Cougars on their own 30-yard line, forcing a punt.
Anderson connected with Hunter Schmidt for 10 yards on the first play of the next offensive drive. A pair of personal fouls by the Cougars aided the Cru’s drive into Kean territory. On first down and 10 on the Kean 15, Anderson ran an option reverse play, pitching the ball to Schimdt and the speedy junior from Hockley ran the ball into the end zone from 15 yards out to make the score 14-0.
The Cru defense rose up to shut down a fourth down conversion attempt. Will Ingram attempted to run away from Deshon Kinsey, but Kinsey would have none of that. Kinsey caught Ingram for a four-yard loss and gave the UMHB offense first down on the Kean 42.
Malcolm Miller and Anderson had gains to the Kean 26. Anderson hit Walker for a 13-yard pass play, picked nine yards on his own scramble and Dustin Frye finished the drive out with a 4-yard TD run to make the score 21-0.
Kean’s offense misfired on the next drive, as they drove from their own 19-yard line to the 33. Damian Corredor was hit behind the line of scrimmage and fumbled into the waiting arms of Brazos Fuller. The freshman from Alvarado dove on the loose pigskin on the Kean 31.
Anderson converted the defensive gift into a Crusader touchdown. He connected with Marcus Wimby, as Wimby made an adjustment underneath the pass coverage on a great 19-yard catch and then tossed a 12-yard touchdown to Kamray Runnels. O’Neill’s kick made the score 28-0.
Kean went three-and-out on the ensuing drive. The Cougars’ punter Steve Ferlisi had his punt blocked by Ladson on the Kean 20 and Kinsey recovered the punt on the Kean 12. That set up a Carpenter carry for seven yards, T.J. Josey rush for a yard and Duane Thompson 4-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-0.
Following another Kean three-and-out drive, UMHB found payturf quickly. Blake Jackson hit Runnels on a short pass with two defenders on him. He made two cuts on the defenders and put on the afterburners for an electrifying 58-yard TD catch. O’Neill’s point-after kick made the score 42-0.
Kinsey stopped Kean’s next drive on the first play, as he hit Will Ingram on a crushing hit four yards behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a fumble that John Thorne recovered on the Kean 3.
UMHB couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone and had to settle for an O’Neill 18-yard field goal to make the score 45-0 with 3:29 remaining in the first half.
The Cru defense stopped Kean once again in three downs, forcing a punt with 1:28 remaining in the half. Anderson hit Walker for 19 yards and Wimby for 21 yards to move the Cru down to the Kean 17. Carpenter capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run with 13 seconds left in the half to make the score 52-0. The Cru departed to their locker room with a rousing, standing ovation.
UMHB came out of the locker and shutdown Kean on the first drive of the third quarter. The Cru offense started their first drive on their own 47. Thompson carried four consecutive times to get UMHB down to the Kean 36. Two plays later, Jackson stormed into the end zone from 26 yards. Stormy Smith, the backup kicker for O’Neill, converted the extra point to make the score 59-0 with 11:02 to go in the third quarter.
Brandon Robinson’s 46-yard kickoff return gave Kean the ball on the UMHB 49. On the sixth play of the drive, Charles Vellis completed a pass to Dante Burton for an 8-yard TD catch. Troy Kettler’s extra-point made the score 59-7 with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter.
The teams exchanged punts, with Ladson de-cleating Robinson on the Kean 16. Mason intercepted Vellis on the Kean 26 to set up the Cru offense with a short field.
Thompson’s number was called four times, with the final carry pushing over the goal line for five yards out. Smith’s kick made the score 66-7.
Kean started the fourth quarter with a sustained drive. Kevin O’Connor rushed the ball five times in a row, but the Cru defense held the Cougar offense in check, inducing a Kean punt down to the UMHB 11.
The Crusaders put together a sustained drive of their own, holding the ball for over five minutes, eating up 89 yards over 13 plays. William Mathews capped the drive with a 13-yard TD run. Smith’s extra point made the score 73-7 with 4:50 to play in the game.
UMHB’s defense put together a final stand, holding the Cougars to another three-and-out drive. The Cru offense bled the clock to win the game by 66 points.
Anderson was a conservative 16-of-20 passing for 190 yards and 2 TDs. Jackson and Josey combined for 2-of-4 passing for 73 yards. Thompson led the Cru in rushing with 59 yards on 12 carries and Damon Thomas had 51 yards on 11 carries.
“It feels good coming out and being able to put pieces together,” said Anderson.
“I think Zach did some good things, but he also made some mistakes,” said UMHB head coach Pete Fredenburg. “I was really happy with the way he held his composure and the team really rallied around him.”
Brian Sides and Baylor Mullins each had seven tackles for UMHB. Ladson had three key tackles on special teams.
Numerous reserves saw playing time for the Cru, including former Copperas Cove quarterback Robby Seybold. Seybold, who has made the transition to wide receiver, had a catch for 15 yards.