Brownwood, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team basically put the game away in the first quarter and the 2nd-ranked Cru rolled to a 68-6 victory over Howard Payne University Saturday afternoon in Brownwood. UMHB improves to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The Cru has also now won 32 consecutive regular season games and 24 straight ASC contests with the win. The loss drops the Yellow Jackets to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in the ASC on the year.
UMHB scored on its first possession as LiDarral Bailey capped a 46-yard drive with a six-yard TD run. The Cru added a safety when Javicz Jones blocked an HPU punt out of the end zone on the next possession. After the free kick, UMHB marched 50 yards and Bailey hit Tyler Coker with a 21-yard scoring strike to push the lead to 16-0. Bailey added a 29-yard TD toss to Caleb Moore on the next possession to give the Cru a 23-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Stephen Salinas scored on a three-yard run 1:30 into the second quarter to stretch it to 30-0 and Chad Peevey hit a 21-yard field goal to make it 33-0 with just 34 seconds left in the half. HPU would drive to within field goal range, but the Cru blocked the try and Jordan Mullinnix scooped up the loose ball and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half to give UMHB a 40-0 lead at the break.
Bailey hit Moore with a 21-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half, Darius Wilson scored on a 13-yard run and Jake Sims hit Jon Ross with a 37-yard touchdown pass to make it 61-0 Cru at the end of the third quarter. Howard Payne's Joseph Bell spoiled UMHB's shutout bid with a one-yard scoring plunge with 4:42 remaining, but the Cru would block the extra point. Bradlee Waddell then closed out the scoring with a two-yard TD run with 1:18 to go for UMHB.
The Cru rolled up 550 yards of total offense with 350 of those coming on the ground. The UMHB defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 38 rushing yards and 117 yards of total offense. Both teams turned the ball over twice.
Bailey finished 5-6 passing for 80 yards and three touchdowns and added 65 yards and another TD on the ground. Sims was 6-11 through the air for 118 yards and a TD. Moore caught three passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns. UMHB used 10 different ball carriers, three quarterbacks played and eight different receivers caught passes. Jarred Favorite, Deshon Kinsey and Marcus Gayden led the Cru with eight tackles apiece.
Senior linebacker Javicz Jones finished with four tackles for UMHB and tied the American Southwest Conference career record with 403 total tackles. He shares the record with former Hardin-Simmons linebacker Jared Sanderson and will hold that record with his next tackle. Jones is the first player in UMHB history to go over 400 career tackles.
Adrian Lighteard ran for 100 yards on 12 carries for HPU, but the Yellow Jackets gave up four sacks and the rest of the team combined for -62 rushing yards. Victor Gonzales had 13 tackles to lead the Howard Payne defense.
The Cru will return to action with a 1:00 PM kickoff at East Texas Baptist University next Saturday in Marshall. UMHB can clinch at least a share of the ASC title and claim the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Championships with a win over the Tigers.