Crusaders keep War Hawks out of the end zone

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells The UMHB football team hosted the McMurry University War Hawks in front of over 4000 people inside Crusader Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Cru also honored first responders from Bell County as part of their “Hometown Heroes” Day. With many police officers, fire fighters and military on hand, the Cru took care of business from the opening kickoff on their way to a 66-3 win in their ASC opener. The Cru was able to keep the War Hawks offense out of the end zone entirely and hold them to just -19 yards on the ground. Junior kicker John Mowery opened the scoring with a 22-yard field goal following an interception by senior defensive back Baylor Mullins on the War Hawks opening drive. Then with five minutes left in the first quarter, senior quarterback Blake Jackson hit wide receiver Wykeyhe Walker for a 31-yard touchdown pass. The pass capped off a long 14-play, 95-yard drive. Then in the second quarter after a shanked punt by McMurry, the Cru took over at the War Hawks’ 26-yard line. Five plays later, a fumble at the goal line by sophomore running back Markeith Miller was recovered in the end zone by senior offensive lineman Connolly Fuller for a touchdown to make it 17-0 Cru. Down 17 points in the second quarter, the War Hawks put together their best drive of the game. They were able to finish a 17-play, 70-yard drive with a 29-yard field goal. This drive lasted over nine minutes, leaving the Cru with just over two minutes to halftime when they finally got the ball back. But, they were able to make the most of the time on the clock. Jackson answered the War Hawks’ field goal with an 18-yard touchdown pass, again to Walker. The Cru took a 24-3 lead into the locker room at halftime. They wasted no time in the second half, scoring on their first drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to junior running back Duane Thompson. The touchdown extended the Cru lead to 28 points with 13 minutes left in the third quarter. The Cru would reach the end zone on their next three series. Meanwhile, McMurry’s offense did not cross over to UMHB territory the entire third quarter. A 28-point third quarter led the Cru into the fourth with a 52-3 lead. On McMurry’s first drive of the fourth quarter, B.J. Ross’ pass was intercepted by sophomore safety D’Andre Jackson and returned 54 yards for another Cru touchdown to make the score 59-3. The final score of the day came with...

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Crusaders vs Wildcats: Cru dominates 66-27

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells Cru football played host to the No. 3 Linfield Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 17. However, they did not treat their guests well. The Cru racked up over 500 offensive yards and allowed just one rushing yard en route to a 66-27 victory in front of nearly 7,000 people in Crusader Stadium. The Cru are ranked No. 5 in the country, making this top five matchup the biggest game in the nation in NCAA Division III football last weekend. This game was undoubtedly the biggest test on the Crusaders’ schedule. Going in to Saturday’s game, they were 0-4 all-time against Linfield. They even knocked the Cru out of the playoffs the past two seasons, both with 3-point wins. By all accounts, this was a huge regular-season matchup that was expected to be a close, well-fought game. But they turned it into a statement to the rest of the country. Linfield was able to keep the game close through the first half. After the Cru started the game with a 10-0 run, Linfield was able to come back and take the lead in the second quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run and a huge 55-yard interception returned for a touchdown. The score was 13-10 in favor of Linfield with nine minutes left in the first half. Then quarterback Blake Jackson connected with receiver Wykeyhe Walker for a 42-yard touchdown pass to reclaim the lead. After another touchdown pass from Jackson to DeNerian Thomas and a Linfield score, the Cru took a 24-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. They would not look back from there, as they were able to hold the lead from then on. In the second half UMHB’s exceptional defense and special teams began to take over the game. On the opening kickoff of the second half, receiver Bryce Wilkerson received the kick and took it back 97 yards for a score. Then, on the first play of the ensuing drive for Linfield, defensive back Jaedon Johnson intercepted the pass from Linfield quarterback Sam Riddle. On Linfield’s next offensive drive, Riddle would be picked off again. This time, the interception would be run back 15 yards for another Cru touchdown by defensive back Baylor Mullins. Linfield then bounced back to score on an 8-yard touchdown pass after a long 12-play drive to make the score 38-27 Cru with 7:30 left in the third quarter. But, this was the last time that Linfield would score in the game. In fact, the Wildcats did not get past the UMHB 49-yard line the rest of the game. The Crusaders proceeded...

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