University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Press Release
By: Jon Wallin
BELTON, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team scored in every phase of the game and saw the offense roar to life in the second half as the Cru posted a 65-20 win over Louisiana College Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 4-0 overall and in American Southwest Conference play on the season with the victory. The win also clinches the outright ASC East Division title for the Cru and sends UMHB to next weekend’s ASC Championship Game. The Wildcats fall to 2-2 overall and in conference play with the loss.
Louisiana College struck first, taking the opening drive 75 yards in 13 plays for a touchdown. Devin Briscoe scooped up an LC fumble and went the final 13 yards to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with 7:39 left in the first quarter. UMHB answered right away as Kyle King scored on a 15-yard touchdown run just over two minutes later to tie the game at seven. The Cru defense forced a stop on the next possession and K.J. Miler took an LC punt back 52 yards for the go-ahead score to put UMHB up 13-7. Briscoe added a 19-yard touchdown dash of his own to even the game at 13 with 12:05 left in the second quarter. The Cru defense got on the board when Jacob Mueller intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards for a touchdown to give UMHB a 20-13 lead with 6:08 remaining in the opening half. King added a two-yard touchdown run and a 33-yard scoring strike to Gary Ruckman to put the Cru up 34-13. Sal Palermo hit Micah Dunn with a 36-yard touchdown pass to pull LC to within 34-20, but Brandon Cunningham connected on a 33-yard field goal on the final play of the opening half to put UMHB on top 37-20 at the break.
King found a wide-open Kadarius Daniels for an 84-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the second half. Tommy Bowden scored on a 12-yard run and King added touchdown passes of 50 yards to Romello Cook and 16 yards to Melek Hamilton to close out the scoring.
UMHB rolled up 539 yards of total offense on the day with 298 of those coming through the air. The Cru defense forced three turnovers and recorded four sacks but gave up 218 rushing yards to the Wildcats. Louisiana College finished with 298 total yards in the game.
King finished 12-21 passing for 259 yards and four touchdowns and he added 50 yards and two more scores on the ground. Cook caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown for UMHB and Kenneth Cormier, Jr. led the Cru in rushing with 60 yards on seven carries. Mueller finished with a team-high 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery to lead the UMHB defense.
Briscoe had a huge game for Louisiana College, finishing with 202 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. Palermo was 6-13 passing for 80 yards and a score on the day. Julius Johnson had a game-high 12 tackles for the LC defense.
The Cru will now advance to the ASC Championship Game next Saturday to face Hardin-Simmons for the conference title. That game will be played at Shelton Stadium on the HSU campus in Abilene. Game time will be announced Saturday evening. The winner of the UMHB-HSU game has gone on to win at least a share of every ASC Championship since the Cru started football in 1998.