Cru kennels Bulldogs 50-7
Sep28

Cru kennels Bulldogs 50-7

UMHB administered a Saturday-night beatdown to the Texas Lutheran University Bulldogs, outscoring their opponents by 43 points and improving to 3-0 on the season. The Crusader defense held TLU scoreless until the final seconds of the game, when a garbage-time touchdown preserved a little of the bulldogs’ dignity. UMHB started the game by making a statement. After the Cru forced a Bulldog fourth down on their opening possession, TLU took a chance and attempted to continue their drive. Junior linebacker Santos Villarreal had other plans, and intercepted the fourth down pass, crushing the Bulldogs’ hopes of a productive opening drive. “I read the O-line and saw it was going to be a pass,” Villarreal said. “The quarterback threw a funny ball, and I knew I had to make the pick.” This takeaway set the tone for the game, and gave the Cru excellent field position, which they capitalized on, scoring their first points of the game a few minutes later. After a fourth down conversion from junior running back Markeith Miller, junior quarterback TJ Josey threw a laser, hitting senior wide receiver Bryce Wilkerson in the end zone for 6 points. For the rest of the first quarter and throughout the second, the Crusader offense continued to be efficient, never missing an opportunity to score. Senior kicker John Mowery hit two field goals, and sophomore quarterback Kyle Jones orchestrated a spectacular touchdown drive. Jones went 4/4, passing for 84 yards on the drive, before Miller took a direct snap at the Bulldog 2-yard line and punched the ball into the end zone for six points. Quarterbacks Josey and Jones both had a favorite receiver Saturday night — sophomore Jonel Reed. The receiver had a monster game, including hauling in a third quarter touchdown from Jones and catching back-to-back passes during Jones’ prolific second-quarter drive. One play from that drive turned many heads. “I lined up to run a post route,” Reed said. “I watched the corner turn his hips, and I knew he w as beat. Then I just had to get the ball.” Reed hauled in the pass, giving the Cru excellent position to finish the drive with a touchdown. The Crusader defense looked frightening, recording five takeaways. In addition to Villareal’s interception, freshman safety Jefferson Fritz and senior cornerback Reggie Wilson picked off the TLU quarterback once apiece. Junior safety D’Andre Jackson recovered a fumble to start the Bulldogs’ second possession, ending it after a single snap. Finally, sophomore defensive end De Jackson recovered a strip sack in the fourth quarter and returned it for a touchdown. Those points would be the last of many nails in...

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UMHB opens season with Sul Ross win
Sep14

UMHB opens season with Sul Ross win

Crusader Stadium was electric as the reigning national champions took the field Saturday evening. Fans packed the stands and the stadium rumbled with excitement at kickoff. Cru football looked solid during their 23-7 victory against the Sul Ross State Lobos. The Cru offense made a statement early, turning their first possession into a seemingly effortless three points. UMHB’s defensive unit kept the intensity high, forcing three straight 3-and-outs on successive Lobos possessions. Freshman safety number 43 Jefferson Fritz played a key role in one of these stops, anticipating the third down pass and stopping a Sul Ross receiver cold. “It was fun and really exciting getting to go out there and finally play,” Fritz said of his first collegiate game. “In college, the game is much faster-paced, and the guy are faster and bigger too.” Fritz seems to have made the transition from high school smoothly and is already contributing to the team. The Cru defense dominated the first half of the game, allowing no points. They gave up just one first down, and collected a turnover in the red zone, which the offense then converted into three points. Senior cornerback number 2 Kris Brown looked particularly comfortable on the field. “It felt good to be out there just flyin’ around,” Brown said. “I felt fast and healthy, and it was good to see the guys flyin’ out there too.” Brown helped spearhead an impressive defensive performance by the Cru, who allowed Sul Ross to score on only one of their 11 possessions. Crusader offense played a solid game, scoring a touchdown in each half after senior kicker number 13 John Mowery put UMHB up 9-0 with a flurry of field goals. Mowery was a perfect 3/3 on the night. Senior wide receiver number 1 Bryce Wilkerson made it look easy, expertly weaving his way through defensive traffic for a 25-yard touchdown reception with 3:54 left in the second quarter, increasing the Cru lead to 16-0 after the Mowery extra point. Freshman wide receiver number 19 Isaiah Townes dazzled onlookers with his debut score, a 9-yard touchdown grab, midway through the third quarter. Senior quarterback number 10 TJ Josey passed Townes a dime on a corner fade route, and Townes came down with the football in the end zone despite jarring contact with a defender. These were the final Cru points of the night, further increasing their lead to 23-0. “TJ told me in the huddle that I was getting the ball,” Townes said. “This opportunity was a long time coming, and when it was my time to do my job, I went up there and made the play.”...

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QB Josey: season-ready
Sep08

QB Josey: season-ready

A good quarterback is the glue that holds a football team together. He sets the tone of the entire game, orchestrating drives for the offense and giving the defense key minutes of rest between possessions. He is the face of his team, and despite his crucial role in gameplay, he is first and foremost a leader. To nobody is this more apparent than junior TJ Josey, who is starting his first year at quarterback for the Cru. “The most important thing to me is being the very best leader I can be,” Josey said. “It’s my job to put the team into a position where we can win. The goal is to be 1-0 every week.” For a player relatively new at the position – Josey was a quarterback in high school, but has predominately played wide receiver for UMHB – he is quickly developing the traits required to bring him and the team success. Head coach Pete Fredenburg feels confident in Josey, and expects excellence from him all season. “[Josey] really went to work on his leadership,” Fredenburg said. “He has really embraced his new role, and he gets a little better every day. I look forward to seeing him develop as the leader of our offense.” Josey’s ability to lead by example impresses his teammates daily, as does his energy and willingness to communicate. “He keeps everybody hyped and full of energy,” freshman offensive lineman Azaviar Carter said. “He values communication, and holds himself and his teammates to very high standards.” Freshman defensive end/tight end Jaeron Minnieweather echoes Carter’s sentiment. “When he gets going, it really motivates the whole team,” Minnieweather said. Not only is Josey a capable helmsman for the UMHB squad, but he is also a fantastic athlete. His natural athleticism, high football I.Q., and knack for seeing opportunities to scramble up-field all combine to make him a deadly dual-threat quarterback. “He’s very good at running the ball,” Coach Fredenburg said. “When he runs the option, he’s absolutely lethal.” Sophomore offensive lineman Noah Stebens admires Josey’s playmaking ability. “He’s very smart and can think on his feet,” Stebens said. “He communicates well in in-game situations, and when the time comes to make a choice, TJ is decisive and committed. He does an especially good job with calling audibles and keeping the offense moving.” So often, such talent comes packaged with arrogance, but despite his abundance of skill, Josey is humble and down-to-Earth. He is polite and soft-spoken, and according to Coach Fredenburg, a pleasure to coach. “He’s extremely coachable,” Fredenburg said. “He’s a great team player and is always ready to work.” Although Josey does...

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