Their season overall was almost errorless.
With only two losses and the honor of going to the NCAA Division III Semi-final round against a huge rival, the Crusader football team had a great year and worked very hard for what they got.
For the second straight year, the Cru met Wisconsin-Whitewater at a critical time, only this game was played at Tiger Field in Belton, Texas.
The team had trouble with the Dec. 13 game from the first possession. The Cru started the match from their own 2-yard line and the first play was a carry resulting in a fumble by junior linebacker and sports management major Bryson Tucker.
However, the Cru managed to get a safety out of the mess-up, and the score was 2-0.
“If I could take anything back this season, I would try and avoid spraining my ankle the first play of the game so that I could have helped my team win,” Tucker said.
The first half was not an exciting one for the scoreboard for either of the teams. By halftime the score was 12-10 with the Warhawks barely in the lead.
With unlucky wind and an illegal touch of the ball, the Cru was not off to a phenomenal start in the first play of the second half either.
Wisconsin-Whitewater began their play on the Cru’s 24-yard line and the Warhawk’s first pass made a touchdown giving UMHB’s rival team an 18-10 lead.
The Crudsaders could not capitalize in the second half, giving their opponents a dominating half.
Wisconsin-Whitewater scored four touchdowns, ending the game with a final score of 39-13.
Head coach Pete Fredenburg did not let the loss discourage him nor the team.
“Wisconsin-Whitewater is a very good program and has been in the championship the last four years,” he said. “We have a lot of respect for them but know we will beat them one of these days if we continue to work hard and improve.”
One of the quarterbacks for the Crusader football team is sophomore accounting major Kyle Noack. He played several games this season, sharing the position of quarterback with senior Josh Saenz.
He believes one of the greater obstacles was all of the players who were out due to injuries.
“The hardest thing to overcome was the multiple injuries which forced new faces in new positions to be leaned on and trusted,” Noack said. “This was very tough because we could have easily just packed it in and said we’ll be back next year.”
The coaching staff, the players and the devoted fans that came out to all the games and cheered can all agree the Cru did not disappoint this season.
They had impressive statistics and a number of people to support their playing.
“I would just like to thank all the people who supported us all the way until the Wisconsin loss,” Tucker said. “I would also like to say that even though it wasn’t as successful as I wanted, I would like to give thanks to God because if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have made it as far as we did.”
The Cru was ranked 3rd nationally by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com.
Fredenburg told the press he is happy with the team’s accomplishments, “Our players have really dedicated themselves to winning a national championship, and that will be our goal every season,” he said. “It is still a nice reward for all of their effort and hard work to finish third in the country, and it is a real sign of respect for this program.”