UMHB Press Release
BELTON, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team rolled past Linfield University Saturday afternoon in Belton, earning a 49-24 quarterfinal win over the Wildcats. UMHB advances to the NCAA Semifinals at 13-0 on the season while the Wildcats end their season at 11-1.
Linfield‘s offense came out firing, opening the game with a 14-play, 60-yard drive. The Wildcats had a first and goal at the five-yard line but UMHB’s defense held, forcing a field goal with 7:04 remaining in the quarter. K.J. Miller responded at the 2:18 mark for UMHB, throwing a 58-yard touchdown pass to Brenton Martin to put the Cru up 7-3.
The Wildcats saw another scoring opportunity at the end of the quarter, driving to the UMHB 15-yard line. UMHB’s defense held again, forcing a field goal attempt that went wide left to preserve the 7-3 lead. The Cru responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive, capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Kyle King to Brandon Jordan to go up another score.
Wyatt Smith threw an 18-yard pass to Devon Murray on the Wildcats’ next possession, but a big hit by Josh Patteson forced a fumble. Jefferson Fritz recovered the ball for UMHB, giving the Cru the ball on their own 20-yard line. Brenton Martin caught a 57-yard pass from King, putting UMHB up 21-3. Linfield responded two plays later with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Smith. King hit Gary Ruckman for 29 yards to open the Cru’s next drive then threw another touchdown pass to Brandon Jordan to close out the quarter with a 28-10 lead.
Smith threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Joel Valadez for another Linfield score with 7:07 left in the third quarter. King responded with a 15-yard scoring pass to K.J. Miller before finding Brandon Jordan for another score. Both teams added fourth quarter scores but the Wildcats were unable to complete the comeback, sealing the win for the Cru.
King led UMHB throwing 24-of-32 for 345 yards. His six touchdown throws broke the UMHB single-game record for passing touchdowns in a game. Jordan led UMHB’s receivers with 136 yards and three scores, tying the UMHB single-game record for touchdown catches in a contest. Martin added 130 yards and two scores while Miller totaled 97 yards and a score. Aphonso Thomas was the Cru’s leading rusher, totaling 60 yards on nine carries.
Defensively, Jacob Mueller led UMHB with 10 tackles followed by Jefferson Fritz and Akeem Jackson both with eight. UMHB held the Wildcats to just 5-of-16 in third-down conversions.
UMHB advances to the semifinal round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Football Playoffs and will face the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday, December 11th. That game will be played at 12 p.m. local time with the location announced on Sunday, December 5th.