By Tony Adams
Holding steady as D3Football.com and AFCA’s number 2-ranked team in NCAA Division III, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will travel Alpine to take on Sul Ross State in their opening game of the American Southwest Conference football schedule.
The game can be heard locally on KLTD-FM 101.7, with pregame starting at 12:30 p.m. UMHB Sports Information Director Jon Wallin has the play-by-play call and longtime coach George Haffner will cover the color analyst duties.
The bye week helped the Crusaders get healthy, evaluate talent and ready themselves for their initial ASC tilt of the 2014 campaign.
“We got done what we needed to get done,” said UMHB head coach Pete Fredenburg. “This year, we’re playing younger players that have to catch on faster. So we intensified our off-week. We had some guys that really grew.”
In 2013, the Cru defeated the Lobos 40-18, following a tough first half that they led just 13-12 at the break. Michael Carpenter had a 45-yard TD reception and 19-yard TD run in the game and Zach Anderson had an 81-yard touchdown run in the win. Sul Ross turned the ball over seven times, one in which Belton native and recent UMHB graduate Brodrick Crain scooped up a fumble for a 15-yard TD return.
Fast forward to 2014, where the Cru (4-0) has outscored the opposition 193-36: 99-10 in the first half and 94-26 in the second half. They average outscoring opponents 48-9, outrushing opponents per game 267-54 and outpassing opponents 242-156.
Zach Anderson (64-of-99, 777 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INT, 164 yards rushing, 2 TDs) will get the start at quarterback. Blake Jackson (12-of-18, 176 yards, 3 TDs, 149 yards rushing, 3 TDs) will see time at quarterback in specific offensive packages.
Carpenter (41 rushes, 184 yards, 2 TDs) and Malcolm Miller (20 rushes, 111 yards, 2 TDs) will see time in the backfield.
Kamray Runnels (20 receptions, 356 yards, 4 TDs) and Wykeyhe Walker (14 receptions, 139 yards, TD), Marcus Wimby (43 yards rushing, 14 receptions, 164 receiving yards) and Eric Nelson (11 receptions, 147 yards, TD) will be viable targets that Anderson and Jackson will have at their disposal.
Connally Fuller, Broderick Jenkins, Sterling Cantue, Kendrick Booker and Jose Ostos will get the start along the offensive line for the Cru.
The defensive front will see Teidrick Smith, Haston Adams, Tevin Mason and John Thorne to get the starts.
Matt Cody, Baylor Mullins and Deshon Kinsey will get the starts at the linebacker positions and Jaedon Johnson, Eric Allen, Kris Bown and Dana Taylor getting the starts in the secondary.
Sul Ross is 1-4 on the season, beating Wayland Baptist 27-24 and falling to Texas Lutheran (61-15), Southwestern (27-20), Trinity University (14-6) and Oklahoma Panhandle State (56-0). They average being outscored 36-14 per game. They average being outrushed 155-114, and outpassed 217-145.
James Davis (19-of-49, 287 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs, 366 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD) and Derrick Bernard (32-of-62, 425 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs, 182 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD) will rotate at quarterback for the Lobos. The pair carry the bulk of the rushing load.
The Lobos have a trio of good receivers in Calvon Henderson (12 receptions, 166 yards), Cordrick Mobley (7 receptions, 161 yards, 4 TDs) and Xavier Jefferson (5 receptions, 120 yards, TD) when the ball is aired out by Davis or Bernard.