University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
JACKSON, Mississippi – In a season of change, one thing remained the same for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team in its season opener at Belhaven Saturday in Jackson, Mississippi, the result. The Cru defense dominated and the offense came up big despite starting six new faces as UMHB rolled to a 41-0 victory to open the year. The Cru is now 1-0 overall and in American Southwest Conference play on the season. Belhaven is 0-1 overall and in ASC play now on the year.
Tommy Bowden gave the Cru an early lead when he scampered 38 yards for a touchdown on a quarterback keeper on UMHB’s second possession. Bowden appeared to be down on the play, but rolled over the top of a defender, kept his balance and out ran the rest of the defense to open the scoring. The defense came up big on the next score as Glenn Thornton fell on a Belhaven fumble in the end zone to stretch the Cru lead to 14-0 with 1:51 left in the opening period. It would stay that way into the second quarter as the two teams traded fumbles. Bowden hit Kadarius Daniels with a 21-yard touchdown strike with 10:28 remaining in the half. The extra point was blocked so UMHB’s lead was 20-0. Jefferson Fritz’s 20th career interception set up a short field and Daniels capped that drive with a 15-yard scoring run on a reverse as the Cru opened up a 27-0 lead with 2:24 left in the half. UMHB stopped the Blazers on an untimed down from the cru two-yard line on the final play of the first half to keep it a 27-0 game at the break.
Bowden escaped for a 42-yard touchdown run with 4:43 left on the third quarter clock to open the second-half scoring and stretch the lead to 34-0. Kyle King found Brenton Martin streaking into the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 9:06 to go in the game as the Cru pushed the lead to 41-0. The UMHB defense did the job from there as that ended up being the final score.
Bowden accounted for three total touchdowns in his first collegiate start and Daniels added two scores in his first game in a year and a half. Daniels missed the 2019 season with a knee injury. Technical issues delayed statistics at Belhaven. This article will be updated with stats once UMHB receives them.
The Cru will now have an open week next Saturday before returning to action with the home opener. UMHB will host Louisiana College for a noon kickoff at Crusader Stadium on February 20th.