By Dylan Jones of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
The Crusaders’ dismantling of the Southwestern Pirates in Georgetown Saturday by a score of 44-10 marked win number 200 for Coach Pete Fredenburg and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football program.
It began with starting quarterback T.J. Josey moving back to wide receiver, the same position he played in the last two seasons, since standout sophomore receiver Jonel Reed was out with an injury, and the Cru needed a big threat in the passing game. With three catches for 130 yards and two touchdowns, Josey didn’t disappoint. Kyle Jones, who got the nod to start at quarterback, found Josey for two touchdowns, while Bryce Wilkerson and Demetrius Taylor each got a touchdown.
With a typically run-heavy offense, the Cru decided to do their damage Saturday night by air. Four touchdowns and 397 yards, which is a UMHB record, doesn’t look bad on a stat line, but Jones threw two interceptions as well. The Cru defense had some takeaways of their own: two fumble reco
veries for touchdowns for 25 and 93 yards by Kris Brown and Tevin Jones (another UMHB record), respectively. With a halftime score of 16-0, thanks to the two defensive scores – it was unclear if the Cru offense would show up for the second half. However, on the first two possessions of the second half, Kyle Jones found TJ Josey for touchdowns of 56 and 59 yards. Then early in the 4th quarter he found Wilkerson for a 9-yard strike, and with just over two minutes in the game, Jones threw a beauty to Taylor for a 61-yard touchdown.
The Pirates weren’t able to get much going offensively, but they were able to muster up 4 sacks on Jones, and as mentioned earlier, intercept him twice. Everyone not named Frederick Hover struggled to find a groove. Pirate quarterback Hover led in both passing and rushing yards with 227 yards and 41 yards respectively. Running back Elijah Smith chipped in with just under 40 yards on the ground. AJ Daniels had two grabs for 60 yards and a touchdown, which was scored with 3:06 in the game.
Coach Fredenburg describes the progress the football program has made since 1998 and was quick to let it be known that he was not taking all the credit.
“It’s awesome. The 200th win for this program says an awful lot about a whole lot of people,” Fredenburg said. “It makes me very humble. I truly respect and admire all the people that do so much to help our program.”
One of those people being Jack Johnson, the special team s coordinator and linebackers coach. Coach Johnson was a part of the inaugural Crusader football team as a defensive lineman.
“How this program has gone from ’98  to now is just awesome,” Johnson said. “Coach Fred has been that driving force from the beginning to get the program where it’s at.”
Johnson served as a graduate assistant post playing career at UMHB and was on the staff for the Stagg Bowl loss in 2004. When he got the opportunity to come back to the Crusader football program, Johnson took it.
“I got a chance to come back a couple years ago, and it’s just been a blessing,” he said.
Offensive lineman Corbin Campitelli recognized the winning tradition.
“It’s a special program; that’s what attracted me to come to this school,” he said
When asked about Coach Fredenburg’s milestone, Campitelli said, “Being here, getting around Coach Fred – winning is expected.”
Campitelli and Fredenburg both made note of the far from perfect performance this Saturday.
“We gotta fix some things… made a lot of mistakes, but we have another week to fix them and get better,” Campitelli said.
Fredenburg, when ask
ed how he felt about the win said, “We really played a hard game and didn’t play very well. I’m a little frustrated with that aspect.”
Coach Fredenburg is now 200-38 as a head coach for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 19 of which have come consecutively.
When asked how many more wins he’d be adding to his record, “I don’t know; I just hope we get the next one.”
Then asked about maybe getting to 300, Coach Fred belted out a laugh and said, “Let’s do it.”
The Crusaders will look for their 20th consecutive win, and win number 201 for Coach Fredenburg Saturday, October 7th at 1 p.m. in Abilene as they take on #5 Hardin-Simmons University.