Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team scored a defensive touchdown on the game's opening series and then added another score on its first offensive play as the Cru steamrolled to an 80-0 victory over Howard Payne University Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 8-0 overall and 4-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the Yellow Jackets to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in ASC play.
Derek Williamson intercepted a Howard Payne pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown to give UMHB a 7-0 lead just 40 seconds into the game. The Cru forced a punt on the next HPU possession and Zach Anderson hit Eric Nelson with a 40-yard touchdown pass on the next play to push it to 14-0. Elijah Hudson scored on a four-yard run, Anderson hit Marcus Wimby with a 77-yard scoring strike and Drew Owen hit a 21-yard field goal to make it 31-0 Cru at the end of the first quarter. Anderson would score on a 31-yard run on the first play of the second quarter, Baylor Mullins picked off a pass and returned it 37 yards for a score and Michael Carpenter scored on runs of 32 and 10 yards as UMHB opened up a 59-0 halftime lead. Brian Gallagher wrapped touchdown passes to Wykeyhe Walker and Jake Bumgardner around Glen Gilliam's one-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
The Cru rolled up 323 rushing yards and 531 yards of total offense despite having the ball for just 24:57. UMHB did not turn the ball over while forcing five Howard Payne turnovers. The Cru defense held the Yellow Jackets to just 79 yards rushing, 65 passing yards and 144 yards of total offense in the game.
Anderson finished 2-5 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns and Gallagher went 2-2 for 58 yards and two scores. Anderson also ran for 64 yards and a score. Hudson finished with 69 yards on 10 carries and Walker caught four passes for 59 yards and a score. Deshon Kinsey had eight tackles for UMHB and Eric Allen, Brodrick Crain and Cody Jones added seven stops apiece. Mullins returned an interception for a score for the second straight game.
Zachary Alvarado led HPU with 31 rushing yards on four carries and he was 4-8 passing for 24 yards. Colby Mica caught seven passes for 28 yards. Adrian Hopkins had a team-high 12 tackles for the Yellow Jackets. Howard Payne lost starting quarterback Richard Young to an injury late in the first quarter.
The 80 points scored are the second highest total in UMHB history, trailing the 81 scored in a victory over Texas Lutheran in 2010. The margin of victory is the highest in the 16-year history of the program. The Cru played all 80 players in uniform in the game with nine players carrying the ball, three quarterbacks throwing passes and five receivers catching at least one pass. Thirty-two different players posted tackles for UMHB in the win.
The Cru has now won 42 consecutive regular season games and 30 straight ASC contests. UMHB will return to action with a 1:00 PM home game against East Texas Baptist University next Saturday. The Cru can clinch at least a share of the ASC title and claim the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships with a win over the Tigers.