Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team dominated the second half and the Cru rolled to a 54-30 victory over East Texas Baptist University Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Tigers to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in ASC play on the season.
The Cru trailed 21-17 at halftime, but took its first lead of the game when Tariekus Ellis returned the opening kickoff of the second half 98 yards for a touchdown to put UMHB on top 24-21. Jeremy Barber's 29-yard field goal tied the game at 24 four minutes later, but the Cru answered with a six-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 45-yard touchdown pass from LiDarral Bailey to Damian Davis to make it 31-24. ETBU failed to field the ensuing kickoff and the Cru recovered at the Tiger 29-yard line. Bailey found Elijah Hudson for a 29-yard scoring play on the next play to push the lead to 38-24. Bailey's 27-yard touchdown run followed a blocked punt for the Cru to put UMHB in front 45-24 with 4:51 to go in the third. ETBU cut it to 45-30 on Trevan Johnson's four-yard TD run, but the Cru blocked the extra point and Ty Dooley returned it for a two-point conversion to push the lead to 47-30. Brodrick Crain closed out the scoring with a 19-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin.
ETBU opened the scoring on Jair Stover's three-yard run just 1:24 into the game. UMHB tied it at 7-7 on a one-yard scoring plunge by Bailey. The Cru would force a three-and-out, but fumbled away the Tiger punt, setting up a six-yard TD toss from Sed Harris to Tony Cavness to make it 14-7 ETBU. Darius Wilson scored on a two-yard run to tie the game at 14 with 2:55 left in the first quarter before Stover gave the lead back to the Tigers with a four-yard scoring run at the 6:09 mark of the second quarter. Chad Peevey hit a 24-yard field goal with 2:51 left in the half to close the gap to 21-17 at halftime.
UMHB rolled up 438 yards of total offense, with 322 of those coming on the ground. ETBU totaled 485 yards of offense, including 350 rushing yards. The Tigers turned the ball over twice and had two kicks blocked and made multiple mistakes on special teams.
Wilson finished with 176 rushing yards and a TD for the Cru and Bailey added 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He was also 5-10 passing for 116 yards and two more scores. Davis caught three passes for 68 yards and a score. Javicz Jones led the UMHB defensive effort, tying a school single-game record with 18 tackles.
Harris had a huge game for ETBU, rushing for 290 yards on 30 carries, the most rushing yardage by an individual opponent in UMHB football history. He was also 17-29 through the air for 117 yards and a score, but he didn't get much help. The Cru held Stover to just 38 yards on 19 carries and the Tigers completed just four passes of ten or more yards. Solahudeen Muhammad led the ETBU defense with 12 tackles.
UMHB will hit the road for a 2:00 PM kickoff against Howard Payne University next Saturday in Brownwood. The Cru has now won 16 straight ASC games and leads the all-time series with HPU 11-2.