Belton, TX – The new-look offense was sharp early and the defense more than made it stand up as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team rolled to a 34-7 victory over Kean University in the 2012 season opener Saturday night in Belton. UMHB improves to 1-0 on the season by winning its sixth straight season opener. The loss drops the Cougars to 0-2 on the year.
UMHB forced a Kean three-and-out on the game's opening possession and then marched 52 yards in seven plays before LiDarral Bailey hit Darius Wilson with a swing pass that Wilson toted 15 yards into the end zone to make it 7-0 Cru just 3:54 into the game. Bailey found Caleb Moore with a five-yard scoring pass on the next UMHB possession to push the lead to 14-0 with 4:57 left in the first quarter. Wilson struck again, this time on a 65-yard scoring run to make it 21-0 UMHB with 1:24 to play in the first quarter. It would stay that way into the half as both teams struggled in the second quarter. The Cru struck quickly in the early going of the second half. Wilson broke off a 73-yard touchdown run on the first offense play of the second half to give UMHB a 28-0 edge and Wilson closed out the Cru scoring with a one-yard plunge following a blocked punt to make it 34-0. Kean's only score came on the ensuing kickoff, when Deandre Fowlkes took a short kickoff and returned it 80 yards for the Cougars only score of the game.
Wilson finished with 165 rushing yards on 12 carries and he tied a UMHB single-game record with his four total touchdowns. Stephen Salinas added 88 yards on 18 carries. Bailey was 20-24 passing for 193 yards and two touchdowns and Jon Ross caught a career-high six passes for 72 yards. Brodrick Crain and Jarred Favorite topped the UMHB defense with seven tackles apiece.
Fowlkes had 44 rushing yards for Kean and caught six passes for 33 yards. Christian Bailoni was 16-33 passing for 99 yards for the Cougars. Daniel Wollman posted a game-high 15 tackles for Kean and Chris VanFechtman added 11 more.
UMHB outgained the Cougars 517 yards to 180 in total offense. The Cru rolled up 313 rushing yards and added 204 more through the air. Kean rushed for just 75 yards. The two teams combined for just one turnover, a UMHB fumble in the fourth quarter.
The game was the first meeting between the two teams and the Cru moves to 12-3 all-time in season openers. UMHB will return to action with an 11:00 AM Central Time kickoff at 3rd-ranked Wesley College next Saturday in Dover, Delaware. The Wolverines are 2-0 on the season following a 17-7 victory over 6th-ranked Salisbury on Saturday.