No. 2-ranked Crusaders handle Howard Payne, 68-6
Monday, 12 November 2012 by Matthew Girard
It didn't take long for No. 2-ranked University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to assert its dominance against Howard Payne University on Saturday as the Crusaders raced out to a 40-0 halftime lead on its way to a 68-6 win in Brownwood.
The Crusaders (8-0, 5-0 American Southwest Conference) racked up 550 yards of total offense, with 350 of those yards on the ground, and held the Yellowjackets (1-7, 1-4 ASC) to just 117 yards of total offense.
The UMHB defense held Howard Payne without a score until the 1:18 mark of the fourth quarter.
"I was not surprised that we had a real good outing against Howard Payne because our guys were really focused in on what they needed to do," UMHB coach Pete Fredenburg said.
After rolling up their large lead, the UMHB backups got plenty of playing time in hopes of getting everybody ready for a playoff push.
"You worry about not keeping sharp and making sure they are conditioned, but you also want to make sure we get other guys the opportunity to play," Fredenburg said of pulling his starters against Howard Payne.
The win also gave the Crusaders' their 32 straight regular season win and their 24th consecutive ASC win.
This week, the Cru could claim their 10th straight conference championship and a likely No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division III National Championships with a win against the East Texas Baptist University Tigers (3-5, 2-3 ASC) on Saturday in Marshall.
Although UMHB has beat the Tigers eight straight games, Fredenburg said he expects ETBU to play hard.
"We understand that and I think our players understand that we are going to get everybody's best shot," Fredenburg said. "It's a good place to be because you would hate for people to be taking you for granted."
The Tigers are coming off of their second straight win after a 34-24 win against Mississippi College last Saturday.
ETBU jumped out to a 27-9 lead and then held off a late MC rally to pick up the win. Quarterback Seth Hubbard was 9-of-18 passing for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers also rushed for 314 yards with runningback Derrick Charles rushing for 105 of those yards.
Defensively, ETBU is allowing 29.5 points per game and 396.5 yards of total offense per game, but have created 28 turnovers on the season.
With just two games left on the schedule and its third straight unbeaten regular season streak on the line, Fredenburg said he didn't take Howard Payne lightly and won't take ETBU and Mississippi College for granted either.
"All three of them have upset us at one time or another and the coaches remember those," Fredenburg said.
With a win on Saturday and the conference championship, the Cru will receive the ASC's automatic bid to the playoffs and an eighth straight trip to the postseason.
Fredenburg said the Crusaders' continued success is a product of hard work.
"The reality is that everybody that comes to this program knows what the goal is," Fredenburg said. "Our guys believe in what we do and we work at it. It's not an easy process, but our coaches are incredible and the expectations of our players, in recruiting, understand what they are getting into."
Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Ornelas Stadium in Marshall. The game will be broadcast on 1400 AM KTEM.