BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team jumped out to a 20-0 first half lead and never looked back as UMHB cruised to a 41-3 victory over Texas Lutheran Saturday in Belton. The Cru clinches the American Southwest Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships and at least a share of the ASC title with the win.
Anthony Avila kicked a 42-yard field goal on UMHB’s opening possession to give the Cru a 3-0 lead 4:02 into the game. Marquis Duncan scored on a three-yard run to stretch it to 10-0 with 4:03 to go in the opening period and Jase Hammack hit Jaylan Jenkins with an eight-yard scoring pass to push it to 17-0 UMHB after the first quarter. Avila tacked on a 49-yard field goal to take the lead out to 20-0 before Juan Ocampo hit a 28-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to pull the Bulldogs to within 20-3 at halftime.
Justin Theriot’s one-yard touchdown run capped the opening drive of the second half to give UMHB a 27-3 advantage. Jenkins hit Jonel Reed with a 61-yard touchdown on a double pass to make it 34-3 and Jacob Mueller closed out the scoring with a 93-yard interception return with 25 seconds remaining. TLU had one more chance to score on the game’s final play, but threw an incomplete pass into the UMHB end zone.
The Cru finished with 385 yards of total offense with 191 on the ground and 194 through the air. Texas Lutheran managed just 87 rushing yards and 365 yards of total offense. UMHB intercepted three Bulldog passes and recorded four sacks.
Duncan ran for 100 yards and a score on 21 carries for UMHB. Reed caught four passes for 103 yards and a TD to post his third consecutive 100-yard receiving game against TLU. Jenkins caught eight passes for 70 yards and a score and he added a touchdown pass. Tevin Jones broke his own school record with 21 tackles for the Cru and Mueller added seven tackles to his interception return. Jefferson Fritz also tied the UMHB and ASC career record with his 18th interception.
Wade Freeman was 26-38 passing for 278 yards for Texas Lutheran but threw three interceptions after having just one pass picked off in the first eight games of the year. Charles Robinson, Jr. caught nine passes for 83 yards and Ian Leslie ran for 35 yards on eight carries. Sam Guzman had a team-high 11 tackles for the Bulldogs.
UMHB improves to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in ASC play and clinches at least a share of its 18th conference title. TLU falls to 7-2 overall and 7-1 in the ASC and is likely eliminated from playoff contention.
The Cru will close out the regular season with a trip to Alpine next Saturday with a chance to lock up the outright ASC crown. UMHB will take on Sul Ross State in a noon kickoff. The 32-team field for the NCAA Division III National Championships will then be announced at 4:30 pm Central Time on Sunday, November 17th via webcast on www.ncaa.com.