The Crusaders got off to a slow start in their first game of the 2015 season, but they managed to shake off the rust and responded with a 65-12 thumping of Millsaps College Saturday night at Crusader stadium.
After forcing a Millsaps three-and-out, the Cru got the scoring off early when senior quarterback Zach Anderson connected with junior Wykeyhe Walker for a 37-yard touchdown strike.
After a 46-yard field goal from Jacob O’Neill, sophomore running back Duane Thompson ran around the right side and picked up a block from wide receiver Robbie Seybold to spring an 11-yard touchdown that put the Cru up 17-0.
With 9:21 remaining in the second quarter, Anderson broke free for a 41-yard scramble to the eight yard line. Backup quarterback, Blake Jackson, entered the game and hit Walker on a fade in the endzone to extend the lead to 24-0.
On the next drive, Jackson connected with junior wide receiver Lin Gillham for a 12-yard touchdown to make it 32-0.
Anderson left the game in the second quarter with back tightness after completing five of nine passes for 92 yards and a touchdown, while adding 53 yards on the ground. Jackson was able to pick up the slack by going 10-for-15 with 116 yards and two scores through the air and another 46 yards rushing.
Jackson admitted that the passing game wasn’t as efficient as it could have been in last week’s game, but a solid week of practice helped the offense get back on the right track.
“We executed really well during practice and coach harped on me all week to strengthen that aspect of the game,” he said. “I worked my hardest to do that and got it done.”
Senior running back Malcolm Miller scored the final touchdown of the half when he rumbled 20 yards up the middle to make it 39-0 at the break.
The Cru racked up 375 yards rushing during the night and had six ballcarriers eclipse 40 yards.
“We’re very talented, and there’s so many guys with the ball in their hands who can really do a lot of things. We just want to continue to give them the ball,” Head Coach Pete Fredenberg said.
Millsaps attempted and recovered an onside kick to begin the second half. The Majors then mounted a 12-play drive that was capped off by a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chance Clowers to Beau Wells. A failed extra point would leave the score at 39-6.
The Cru answered with a 10-play drive of their own that ended on a three-yard scoring scramble by Jackson to make it 46-6.
After a pair of field goals, freshman quarterback Zane Boles extended the lead to 58-6 with a 37-yard touchdown run.
Millsaps got on the board again when Clowers connected with junior wide receiver Zach Borne for a 20-yard strike to make it 58-12 after a failed two-point conversion.
After a sluggish first game from the offense, the Cru put up 605 total yards while holding Millsaps to just 153.
The UMHB defense held the Majors to just 38 yards rushing on 33 attempts. Millsaps Head Coach Aaron Pelch said the Cru limited the ability to run the ball up the middle.
“I think what becomes difficult versus their front seven is just the fact that they’re so big and they’re so powerful, so it makes it really difficult to run the ball between the tackles,” Pelch said.
The Cru added one more score when sophomore running back Sterling Scotts went 40 yards to seal the 65-12 victory.