Time of Poss.
ALPINE, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team closed out the regular season in style, rolling to a 77-14 victory over Sul Ross State Saturday in Alpine. UMHB improves to 10-0 overall and 9-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the win. The loss ends the Lobos' season at 3-7 overall and 3-6 in the ASC.
The Cru took a 7-0 lead when Jase Hammack hit Brenton Martin with a 56-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game. Following an interception, Anthony Avila hit a 19-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 10-0. Tommy Bowden's 16-yard touchdown strike to Jonel Reed made it 17-0 UMHB after one quarter. Avila tacked on a 30-yard field goal and Justin Theriot scored on a 17-yard run to take the advantage out to 27-0 Cru. Sul Ross scored on Williton Grear's two-yard run before UMHB blocked the extra point and Drake Johnson returned it for a defensive two-point conversion to make it 29-6. The Cru fumbled away the ensuing kickoff and Fabian Baeza hit Logan Schnautz with a 23-yard scoring strike on the next play. The two-point conversion cut it to 29-14 with 2:53 left in the first half. Marquis Duncan scored on a two-yard run and Bowden added a three-yard scoring plunge to make it 43-14 UMHB at halftime.
The Cru defense took over in the second half. Mikkah Hackett returned interceptions 29 and 75 yards for touchdowns on back-to-back Sul Ross possessions. Jarell Sykes added a 14-yard interception return for a score as UMHB took the lead out to 63-14. Jo'Vel McDaniel and Ryan Redding added short scoring run to close it out for the Cru.
UMHB finished with 427 yards of total offense and did not throw a pass in the second half. The Cru forced five turnovers, recorded four sacks and scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion. The Lobos finished with 82 rushing yards and 238 yards of total offense on the day.
Hammack was 5-8 for 139 yards and a TD. McDaniel led the Cru run game with 56 yards and a score on nine carries. Reed caught four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Domonique Neroes had a career-high 11 tackles, blocked an extra point and recovered a fumble for UMHB. Hackett added seven tackles and two tackles for loss to his two interception returns for touchdowns.
The Cru wrapped up the outright ASC Championship with the win over the Lobos. UMHB is ASC champion for the 15th straight year and for the 17th time in the last 18 seasons. The Cru will now advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships and likely host a First Round game next Saturday at noon. The pairings, sites and 32-team postseason field will be announced via webcast on www.ncaa,com at 4:30 pm Central Time on Sunday.