Cru football remains perfect in conference play as the team returned from a victory in Seguin to dive head-first into the American Southwest Conference playoffs with an overall record of 10-0.
The Cru have been dubbed champions for the eighth consecutive season. The team seems to be gaining steam with each game; since their 28-27 close call with McMurry in week two of the season they averaged a margin of victory of 35.6 points.
The keys to success include a productive offense, a great run defense and dynamic plays.
UMHB has totaled 4,138 yards in total offense, 1,158 of which came from running back Darius Wilson.
The junior mathematics major credits his team for his individual achievements.
“My success is a direct correlation of my team’s work ethic and intensity at practice.”
This career high for Wilson is more than the rushing yards allowed against opponents this season.
The Crusaders have held their opponents to a mere 1,109 rushing yards and only six rushing touchdowns in the 2011 regular season, leading the ASC in rush defense.
Interestingly enough UMHB had the smallest time of possession in the conference, yet they had both the highest scoring offense and defense in the American Southwest Conference. This is a direct result of game-changing plays that helped bring Cru football to its eighth straight playoff appearance.
Head Coach Pete Fredenburg looks back on the season as “an extraordinary, extraordinary experience” and shares his plan of success for the playoffs.
“We need to maintain good execution on offense as well as defense, and we need to stay healthy.”
A healthy roster would be necessary, especially for the players who have stepped up this year, such as Wilson in the backfield, Rudy Nerio in the offensive line, defensive end Silvio Diaz and linebacker Ty Dooley to name a few.
Diaz, a sophomore, said, “It’s very important (to stay healthy) we’ve got a lot of things to do in the playoffs.”
If the Cru can execute on both sides of the ball while maintaining health, they are well on their way to go deep into the postseason. Last year’s playoff run was cut short by a 19-9 Wesley victory away in Dover, Del. in the semi-finals of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
2011 Stagg Bowl brackets were released by the NCAA just this past weekend, and UMHB will host The University of Redlands Lobos on Nov. 19 in Belton.
Depending on the Cru’s success, they could also be up to replay their toughest game against McMurry University in the second round, or even Wesley University which knocked them out of the playoffs last year again in the quarter finals.
It’s a tough road to Stagg Bowl XXXIX, but this year’s Cru is capable of taking it all the way.
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