Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team flipped the script from the regular season meeting between the two teams as the Cru rolled to a 59-20 victory over Louisiana College in an NCAA Division III National Championships First Round game Saturday in Belton. UMHB improves to 11-0 on the season and advances to the Second Round of the postseason for the ninth straight season. The loss ends the most successful season in Wildcats history at 8-3 on the year.
After UMHB was held scoreless for the first 29:59 of the regular season meeting between the two teams, the Cru exploded for 42 first-half points on Saturday. LiDarral Bailey capped UMHB's opening drive with a seven-yard run to make it 7-0 and then hit Tyler Coker with a four-yard TD pass two minutes later to make it 14-0 Cru. Bailey would add a 23-yard scoring run to push the lead to 21-0 and an 18-yard scoring strike from Bailey to Darius Wilson made it 28-0 UMHB. Louisiana College would close to 28-6 on Ryan Montague's three-yard run, but Wilson added a six-yard scoring scamper and Bailey hit Jon Ross for 35 yards and another touchdown to put the Cru on top 42-6 at halftime. UMHB outgained LC 407-216 in the first half and held the Wildcats to just six first downs.
Wilson scored on another six-yard run to open the second half scoring before Jamie Bunting found Montague for an 11-yard touchdown pass to make it 49-13. Brian Gallagher scored on a three-yard run to put UMHB up 56-13 at the end of the third quarter. Bunting threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Josh Robinson on a flea-flicker early in the fourth quarter before Edwin Munoz closed out the scoring with a 19-yard field goal for UMHB.
The Cru would outgain the Wildcats 674 to 432 in the contest, with 375 of those coming through the air. UMHB forced five turnovers, but gave the ball away three times on second-half fumbles. The two teams also combined for 23 penalties.
Bailey had a huge game for the Cru, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns and going 17-22 through the air for 267 yards and three more scores. Wilson accounted for three touchdowns and 80 total yards and Kamray Runnels had a career high five grabs for 67 yards. Javicz Jones led the UMHB defense with 12 total tackles and he added an interception to break the Cru single season record with his seventh pick of the year.
Bunting was 28-45 for 310 yards and two scores, but he was also intercepted four times for Louisiana College. Montague added 111 rushing yards on 18 carries and Kyle Galyon caught seven passes for 85 yards. Nate Janzen had a team-high 13 tackles and Dominic Graham added 12 stops for the Wildcats.
UMHB will now face Franklin College in the Second Round. That game will likely be played at Tiger Field in Belton, but the NCAA will not confirm game sites until Sunday. The Cru and Grizzlies have never faced each other. Franklin advanced with a 48-10 win over Adrian College on Saturday. Louisiana College was making its first NCAA postseason appearance.