Cru football dominates all-conference teams

BELTON, Texas Nineteen University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football players claimed spots on the American Southwest Conference All-Conference teams released today. Markeith Miller, Jefferson Fritz, Colton Hall, Joey Longoria and Pete Fredenburg also earned individual superlatives in balloting of conference head coaches.

Miller, a senior running back from Garland High School, was named ASC Offensive Player of the Year and also claimed a spot on the All-Conference First Team. Miller leads the conference with 1,301 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns. He also has two touchdown receptions on the year and ranks among the national leaders in scoring. Miller becomes just the third Cru player to win ASC Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Fritz, a sophomore free safety from Kaufman High School, was named ASC Defensive Player of the Year and also earned a spot on the All-Conference First Team. Fritz leads the league with eight interceptions and also has six pass break-ups. He has 28 total tackles and has blocked a kick for the nation’s top-ranked defense. Fritz is the 15th UMHB player to win ASC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Hall, a senior offensive tackle from Liberty Hill High School, was voted ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year and joined Miller on the All-Conference First Team Offense. Hall is the highest-grading offensive lineman for the Cru and helps clear the way for an offense that is averaging 62.3 points, 270.0 rushing yards and 491.7 yards of total offense per game this season. Hall is UMHB’s ninth ASC Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Longoria, a junior defensive tackle from Pearland High School, earned ASC Defensive Lineman of the Year honors and joined Fritz on the All-Conference First Team Defense. Longoria leads the Cru with 7.0 sacks and has 11.0 tackles for loss and 43 total stops. He has recovered two fumbles and forced another. Longoria is the 10th Cru player to win ASC Defensive Lineman of the Year honors.

Lane Smith, Steven Sellers and Aaron Sims also earned spots on the ASC All-Conference First Team Offense. Smith, a senior guard from Franklin High School, and Sellers, a sophomore center from Wylie High School, help Hall anchor the offensive line for the Cru. Sims, a freshman wide receiver/kick returner from Yoe High School in Cameron, earned return specialist honors. Sims leads the country with four punt returns for touchdowns and is averaging 30.7 yards per return. He also has 25 receptions for 253 yards and three more TDs.

Isaiah Johnson, Elijah Cross, De Jackson, Jalen Martin and Reggie Cole all join Adams and Fanene on the All-Conference First Team defense. Johnson, a junior defensive tackle from Warner Robbins, Georgia, has 32 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks on the year. Cross, a senior defensive end from Sonora High School, has 28 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and a team-best three forced fumbles. Jackson, a senior linebacker from Lindale High School, leads UMHB with 50 total tackles and adds 2.5 sacks and a pair of pass break-ups. Martin, a senior linebacker from Round Rock Cedar Ridge High School, has 33 total tackles, three interceptions and five pass break-ups. Cole, a senior cornerback from Dobie High School, has 21 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, five pass break-ups and one interception on the year..

The Cru had two players named to the All-Conference Second Team Offense. T.J. Josey, a senior wide receiver from Angleton High School, has 26 receptions for 484 yards and a team-best seven touchdowns. K.J. Miller, a sophomore slot back/kick returner from West Orange Stark High School, leads UMHB with 34 catches for 456 yards and two touchdowns and he has also returned three punts for touchdowns on the season.

The Cru added four Honorable Mention All-Conference selections. Wide Receiver Jonel Reed, a junior from Fort Worth Boswell High School, has 21 catches for 421 yards and six scores. Quarterback Jase Hammack, a junior from Andrews High School, has thrown for 1,381 yards and 12 touchdowns and has three rushing scores. Raylon Hickey (Sr. Giddings HS) and Holten Einkauf (Sr., Sealy HS) both claimed spots on the Honorable Mention defense. Hickey has 46 total tackles, three pass break-ups and an interception. Einkauf is averaging 39.1 yards per punt and has placed 12 of his kicks inside the opponent’s 20-yard line this season.

Fredenburg was voted ASC Coach of the Year after leading UMHB to another undefeated season and the Cru’s 16th conference championship in 20 seasons of play. UMHB has been ranked #2 in the country in both national polls all season and the Cru will be making its 17th appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championships this year. Fredenburg is now an 11-time ASC Coach of the Year.

Derek Sides was voted to the ASC Outstanding Sportsman Team of the Year. Sides, a senior wide receiver from Graham High School, has two catches for 62 yards and also has a kickoff return for a touchdown this season.

This is the third All-Conference honor for Markeith Miller. Josey, Martin, Hall, Hickey and Cole are two-time All-Conference selections and this is the first UMHB All-Conference honor for the other Cru honorees.

The Cru finished the regular season with a 10-0 overall record and won its 14th straight ASC championship with a 9-0 league mark. UMHB will advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships for the 15th straight season and host Hardin-Simmons University in the First Round this Saturday. That game will kick off at 12:00 PM at Crusader Stadium.