UMHB football falls to Wisconsin-Whitewater in NCAA Quarterfinals

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BELTON, Texas The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team could not get the defense off the field as Wisconsin-Whitewater topped the Cru 26-7 in an NCAA Division III Quarterfinal game Saturday in Belton. The loss ends UMHB’s season at 12-1. The Warhawks improve to 12-1 and move on to the National Semifinals with the victory.

Wisconsin-Whitewater forced a punt on UMHB’s opening possession and drove 79 yards in 17 plays before Wojciech Gasienica kicked a 19-yard field goal to give the Warhawks a 3-0 lead with 2:22 left in the opening period. Another Cru punt cleared the way for a 12-play, 64-yard drive as Jarrod Ware scored on a two-yard run to stretch the lead to 10-0 with 8:23 remaining in the first half. The Cru finally put together a stop and responded with a 44-yard scoring drive as Jase Hammack hit Jonel Reed with a six-yard scoring strike to cut it to 10-7. Tevin Jones intercepted a pass on the next Warhawk play to set up UMHB with great field position, but two incompletions and back-to-back sacks ended that Cru threat.

UWW controlled the ball for 21:26 of the first half and rolled up 140 yards of total offense. UMHB was limited to -6 yards rushing and 61 yards of total offense on 24 first-half plays.

The Warhawks took the opening drive of the second half and marched 85 yards before Ware cashed it in for a five-yard scoring run to extend the lead to 17-7. Gasienica added a 42-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Max Meylor closed out the scoring with a one-yard scoring plunge with 4:34 left to play. UMHB turned the ball over twice in the second half and could not generate enough defensive stops or offensive momentum to climb back into the game.

The Warhawks ran for 239 yards on 57 carries and finished with 358 yards of total offense while rolling up 42:45 of possession. UMHB was held to -3 yards rushing and finished with 140 yards of total offense on the day. UWW was 7-13 on third down and 2-2 on fourth down in the game, while holding the Cru to 3-10 on third down and 1-3 on fourth down.

Hammack was 16-28 passing for 143 yards and a touchdown. Reed caught six passes for 70 yards and a score. Marquis Duncan led UMHB in rushing with 35 yards on 11 carries. Tevin Jones and Jacob Mueller led the Cru defense with 11 tackles apiece and Jones set a new school and conference single-season record with 147 tackles on the year.

Ware ran for 110 yards and a pair of TD’s to lead Wisconsin-Whitewater. Meylor was 10-12 passing for 119 yards and he added a rushing touchdown. Ryan Wisniewski caught five passes for 72 yards. Garrett Purdy had a team-best seven tackles and Nate Tranel added an interception for the Warhawks.

The loss was just the third defeat at Crusader Stadium for UMHB in seven seasons in the facility and snaps the Cru’s 27-game winning streak. Two of those three losses are to UWW. The UMHB senior class finished with a four-year record of 56-2 and the Cru was knocked out of the playoffs before the Semifinals for the first time since 2015. The Warhawks will now move on to face Saint John’s in the Semifinals. The Johnnies advanced with a 34-33 victory over Wheaton (Ill.).