Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team opened its new on-campus Crusader Stadium in grand style, scoring on the opening possession and rolling to a 35-7 victory over 5th-ranked Wesley College Saturday. UMHB, ranked fourth in the country by D3football.com, improves to 3-0 on the season with the victory. The loss drops the Wolverines to 2-1 on the year.
The Cru took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in four plays before Zach Anderson raced 40 yards on a quarterback keeper to score the first points in stadium history and give UMHB a 7-0 lead just 1:17 into the game. Anderson added a 20-yard scoring run to cap an 80-yard drive with 4:23 left in the first quarter to push the lead to 14-0 and he hit Elijah Hudson with a 50-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to give the Cru a 21-0 edge. It would stay 21-0 into the half after two UMHB turnovers. The Cru defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half and drove 48 yards before Hudson scored on a six-yard scamper. A turnover on downs set up a short field for UMHB and Hudson cashed it in for a one-yard scoring run to give the Cru a 35-0 lead with 9:54 left to play in the third. Wesley's only scored came on Curtis Maxwell's three-yard run with 5:26 remaining in the game to cut it to 35-7 but that's as close as it would get as the Cru dominated.
The UMHB defense held the Wolverines to -31 rushing yards and 105 yards of total offense in the game. The Wolverines were just 1-14 on third down conversions. The Cru rolled up 461 yards of total offense to help offset three turnovers in posting its third straight win over Wesley. UMHB now leads the all-time series between the two teams 5-4.
Anderson was 16-24 passing for 238 yards and a touchdown and he added 61 rushing yards and two scores. Hudson ran for 61 yards and two TD's and had three receptions for 82 yards and another score. Marcus Wimby caught five passes for 78 yards and the Cru used 11 different rushers, ten different receivers and two quarterbacks. Eric Allen led the UMHB defense with eight tackles and Teidrick Smith had 1.5 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss for a defense that recorded four sacks.
Joe Callahan was just 9-28 passing for 136 yards for Wesley. Steve Koudossou caught four passes for 32 yards but was limited by injury for much of the game. No player ran for more than 17 yards for the Wolverines. Jared Morris led the Wesley defense with 11 tackles and Sosthene Kapepula had 10 tackles and two interceptions.
The game was played in front of 9,384 fans, the largest crowd to ever see a UMHB football game. The Cru will return to action with the American Southwest Conference opener next weekend. UMHB will host Sul Ross State (0-3) in a 6:00 PM kickoff to open league play for both teams.