Cru football remains flawless, 6-0
By Leif Johnston
After the three game road trip, the Crusader football team was thrilled to be back in front of their home crowd at Tiger Stadium in their win against Texas Lutheran University Oct. 6.
The Cru routed a headstrong Texas Lutheran Bulldog team 49-31 behind a solid rushing attack carried out by freshman running back Michael Carpenter and junior fullback Elijah Hudson. Texas Lutheran didn’t want to back down and continued to attack the Cru defense.
“They never gave up and made us stay in tuned with our game plan. We let them into the game a little more than what we wanted, but it was good for us to see some things we need to work on,” Hudson said.
The 499 yards rushing wasn’t the only thing that propelled the Crusaders to victory, and the efficient play of senior quarterback LiDarral Bailey gave the offense a sense of balance.
“It really helps the running game and allows big holes to open up in the defense when the defense has to worry about how they are going to stop the passing game as well,” Hudson said.
Balance has been a key theme for the offense this season, and half way through the regular season, the Cru look to be right on track.
“We know that we aren’t even close to being as good as what we can be, but we also know we can’t look too far ahead,” Hudson said. “We just have to keep getting better everyday.”
Although everything seems to be clicking right now, the Cru have been plagued by injuries all season. The problem only continued in their game with the Bulldogs, with three key players going down.
Standout senior running back Darius Wilson is still struggling to get back to full health after his injury earlier this season.
“Once we get everyone back and healthy, I think we will be a scary team to face come playoffs,” junior quarterback Brian Gallagher said.
Injuries are never good, but the team is trying to find the positive in the situation.
“You never want anyone to get hurt, but once it happens people have to step up, and I think everyone on this team is prepared to do that at any time,” Gallagher said.
When healthy players begin to come forward to help the team, it makes a coach feel better about seeing so many injured on the sidelines.
“We hate to get a player injured, and it certainly impacts your team, but the real benefit is to have players who want an opportunity and step up and help the team,” said Head Coach Pete Fredenburg.
As of last Saturday’s win over #21 Louisiana College, UMHB is flawless in conference play with a 3-0 record.
The battle at Pineville, La was going to put a blemish on one of the team’s records. The Wildcats took the hit in the 30-3 loss, dropping them to 3-1 overall.
Prior to the showdown, Fredenburg said, “Playing Louisiana College, we will do what we always try to do, and that is make their offense one dimensional and keep the ball on offense without turnovers.”
The Cru rolled past the Wildcats despite being on the road. The purple and gold have found themselves in their away uniforms four out of the six games they have had this season, so playing in a hostile environment on the road was nothing new.
“I do think playing on the road so much this season has increased our team chemistry and sense of family,” Fredenburg said.
This bodes well for the Cru because with road games they think it comes down to being able to trust that everyone on the team is well prepared.
Regarding away games, Hudson said, “We feel comfortable wherever we are playing because when it comes down to it, all fields are the same, home or away. So we know that we just have to execute what we have prepared for all week through practice.”