No. 9 / 12 Hardin-Simmons and No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor enter this weekend’s matchup with 3-0 conference records and are both 6-0 overall. Both the Cowboys and Cru have come away with wins in the last two meetings. HSU snapped UMHB’s 39-game ASC streak and 61-game regular-season streak in 2015 when HSU beat the Cru in the regular season. Later that same season, UMHB defeated HSU in the NCAA tournament first round in Abilene. HSU holds the distinction of having more wins against UMHB than any team to ever compete against the Cru with six. The winner of the HSU-UMHB game has won at least a share of the ASC title every year since 1998.
ASC Players of the Week
OFFENSE: Mary Hardin-Baylor senior quarterback Blake Jackson accounted for five total touchdowns as UMHB knocked off No. 15 / 16 East Texas Baptist in Marshall. Jackson tied a school record with 359 passing yards and added four touchdowns through the air. He also ran for a score and led a Cru offense that rolled up 494 total yards despite starting every second half possession on the ETBU side of the field.
CO-DEFENSE: McMurry junior defensive back Jordan Washington had a pair of interceptions, including a 73-yard return for a touchdown in McMurry's 56-7 win over Belhaven. Washington also set the ASC record for most interception return yards in a single game with 155 to lead the War Hawks defense against the Blazers. He also had three solo tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass break-up, as McMurry held the Blazers, the top passing team in the ASC, to their lowest aerial output of the season at just 263 total yards.
CO-DEFENSE: Mary Hardin-Baylor junior defensive tackle Haston Adams had five total tackles and 1.5 sacks. He also broke up a pass and added a quarterback hurry. But his highlight of the day was a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Adams keyed a defense that held the Tigers to more than 320 yards under their season average for total offense.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS: Hardin-Simmons junior wide receiver / kick returner Alex Bell returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, marking the second straight week he has returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He also had eight catches for 154 yards and two more touchdowns.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS: McMurry senior defensive back Decorian Johnson had two punt returns for 76 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown. Johnson also had a game-high nine tackles, including eight solo stops.
ASC Record Book
ETBU joins a short list of just three ASC teams to hit pay dirt a dozen times in a game. Hardin-Simmons has done it twice (2012, 2015) and Mary Hardin-Baylor once (2014). ETBU outscored SAGU 85-23 and recorded 912 offensive yards – both ranked as the second-most points scored and most yards by an ASC team in a single game.
McMurry tied the ASC record for most interceptions returned for a touchdown with two against Southwestern (Sept. 10). Both interceptions came in the first quarter, giving the War Hawks a 14-0 lead. Linebacker Patrick Morrison picked off a pass and returned it 89 yards for a score and defensive end Jamir Bowser stepped in front of a pass and took it back 26 yards.
Belhaven quarterback Hunter McEachern set the ASC record for most plays in one game. McEachern had 10 carries and 76 pass attempts to set the record by three plays. Adam King of Howard Payne (2004) and Robbie Bozeman of Texas Lutheran (1999) held the record at 83 plays each.
Hardin-Simmons set the ASC record for highest completion percentage in a single game. Cowboy quarterbacks Ryan Bretonand Weston Garner combined to set the record in the win over Howard Payne (Oct. 15). Breton went 21-of-22 and Garner was 14-of-16 for a combined 35-of-38 and a 92.1 completion percentage. The previous record was held by Howard Payne set against East Texas Baptist in 2002 at 86.1 percent on 31-of-36 passing.
D3football Team of the Week
Week 1 – September 1-4 / East Texas Baptist OL
Tyler Scott, C.J. McGill, Torrence Leonard, Bryston Parker, Tony Jones
The Tigers' offensive line dominated the Texas Lutheran defense for 407 yards of total offense. ETBU had 24 first downs and averaged 4.5 yards per rush while only allowing one sack in a 44-20 win.
Week 3 – September 16-17 / Shedrick Davis, WR, Jr., Louisiana College
Davis made eight catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns in a 58-28 win against Texas Lutheran. The touchdowns came on passes of 60 yards and 42 yards respectively.
Week 6 – October 7-8
Dru Smith, QB, Jr., East Texas Baptist
Dru Smith had the best game of his career at ETBU with 447 yards passing, five touchdowns, and was 35-for-49 in a 67-31 win against McMurry. Smith had touchdown passes of 8, 27, 9, 1, and 9 yards. He tied the ETBU single game record for passing touchdowns and was four yards shy of breaking the ETBU single game record for passing. Down 14-12 in second quarter, Smith had a drive that went 75 yards in 53 seconds to take the lead, 19-14.
Week 7 – October 14-15
Haston Adams, DT, Jr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Haston Adams had five total tackles and 1.5 sacks. He also broke up a pass and added a quarterback hurry. But his highlight of the day was a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown. It was his second fumble return for a score this season, both vs. ranked opponents. Adams keyed a defense that held the Tigers to more than 320 yards under their season average for total offense.
Alex Bell, KR, Jr., Hardin-Simmons
Alex Bell returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, marking the second straight week he has returned a kickoff for a touchdown. He also had eight catches for 154 yards and two more touchdowns.
Three ASC Teams Ranked in Top 25 Polls
Mary Hardin-Baylor is ranked No. 3 in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll (Oct. 15) and No. 3 in the AFCA Top 25 Poll (Oct. 17). The Cru defeated East Texas Baptist to move to 6-0. Hardin-Simmons defeated Howard Payne to move to 6-0. The Cowboys are ranked No. 8 in the AFCA poll and No. 11 in the D3football poll. East Texas Baptist fell to UMHB to move to 5-1. The Tigers are ranked No. 19 in the D3football poll and No. 22 in the AFCA poll.
Marching Toward Division III
McMurry and Belhaven continue their transition into full Division III membership during the 2016-17 season. Games versus McMurry will count as a conference contest but the War Hawks are not eligible for the NCAA tournament as a year three reclassifying institution. Belhaven enters its second season as a Division III provisional member and games against the Blazers will not count in ASC standings.
ASC Expanding to 10 Teams in 2017
The American Southwest Conference will welcome Texas Lutheran University and Southwestern University as affiliate members in football starting in 2017. With the addition of TLU and Southwestern, ASC football will feature 10 teams and play a nine-game league schedule. The additions also signal a return to a 10-team football alignment for the first time since 2005 and makes the ASC the 10th NCAA Division III conference with at least 10 football teams.
Week 5: Saturday, September 17, 2016
No. 8 / 11 Hardin-Simmons (3-0 / 6-0) at No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (3-0 / 6-0) 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: Belton, Texas – Crusader Stadium (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: KOOL-FM 100.7
Radio: KTEM-AM 1400 | KLTD-FM 101.7
Team Sites: HSU | UMHB
All-Time Series: Mary Hardin-Baylor leads, 16-6
Last Meeting: Mary Hardin-Baylor won, 37-19 (Nov. 21, 2015 / First round NCAA Tournament)
Hardin-Simmons T improved to 6-0 for the second straight year … HSU broke the school record for completion percentage in a game at 92.1 completing 35-of-38 passes in the game against Howard Payne … HSU has now won nine straight against HPU and nine in a row on homecoming … The Cowboys are 12-1 in the last 13 games at Shelton Stadium.
Mary Hardin-Baylor put 45 second-half points on the board while rolling to a 59-22 victory over No. 19 / 22 East Texas Baptist in Marshall … It is the Cru's second win over a ranked opponent this season and those wins have come by a combined total of 76 points … Wide receiver Bryce Wilkerson had career highs with seven receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns … Defensive end Teidrick Smith had 11 total tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries … Linebacker Tevin Jones set a career-high with 11 tackles … Running back Markeith Miller ran for two touchdowns and has a rushing score in all six games this season … UMHB has scored 56 or more points in every game this season and leads Division III in scoring (60.3).
Sul Ross State (1-1 / 3-3) at McMurry (0-2 / 2-3) 2:00 p.m. CT
Location: Abilene, Texas – Wilford Moore Stadium (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Sul Ross State
Radio: KVLF-AM 1240 | KALP-FM 92.7
Radio: KSLI-AM 1280
Team Sites: SRSU | MCM
All-Time Series: McMurry leads, 45-36-2
Last Meeting: Sul Ross State won, 13-7 (Oct. 24, 2015)
For the first time since 2004, Sul Ross State has defeated Louisiana College … The Lobos ended their 12-year skid with a 21-14 win over the visiting Wildcats at Jackson Field Saturday also winning their second straight game … As a team the Lobos edged their Wildcat counterparts in total offensive yardage by a 302-300 margin … James Davis passed 31 times completing 19 throws for 169 yards and a touchdown … Steven Savedra led the receiving corps with five receptions for 70 yards and a score … Adrion Smith netted 44 yards off of eight carries … Ennis Harmon and Zack Roberson totaled eight and seven tackles respectively to lead the defense … Roberson posted an interception for an eight-yard return and finished with a pair of breakups … Jermaine Stevens also shouldered two breakups in the victory.
For the fifth time this season, the McMurry defense produced a TD, when defensive back Jordan Washington returned an interception 73 yards for a score at Belhaven … The McMurry defense also limited the Blazers to its lowest passing yards total of the season, producing three interceptions and six sacks … For the season, the War Hawks have 17 takeaways in five games.
Howard Payne (0-3 / 0-6) at No. 19 / 22 East Texas Baptist (1-1 / 5-1) 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Marshall, Texas – Ornelas Stadium (natural grass)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: KPSM-FM 99.3
East Texas Baptist
Radio: KMHT-FM 103.9
Team Sites: HPU | ETBU
All-Time Series: Tied 9-9
Last Meeting: East Texas Baptist won, 51-13 (Oct. 17, 2015)
Howard Payne fell to 0-6 overall on the season with a 54-15 conference loss at No. 9 / 12 Hardin-Simmons last week … Despite leading in time of possession, HPU tallied 238 yards on the ground but only 88 in the air while HSU had 413 yards passing and 123 rushing… Jason Disney anchored the HPU defense with a game-high 15 tackles (12 solo) along with a forced fumble … Patrick Hunt followed Disney with 10 tackles … Dylan Hudson, Rodrick Davis and Chase Lindley each added six tackles … Caisson Montieth had 64 yards passing and 84 rushing yards on 21 attempts which included one touchdown … Ivy Smith had 69 yards on eight rushes and Shannon Warren rushed 14 times for 58 yards … Derrick Williams had two catches for 67 yards which included a 64-yard touchdown reception.
East Texas Baptist continues its best start in program history at 5-1 … Jourdan McNeill added to his season total 12 touchdowns with two more against No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor … Verry Jackson and Grant LaPoint-Teat each had an interception against UMHB … Ty Parsons and Caleb Taylor also had nine tackles each.
Belhaven (1-5) at Louisiana College (1-2 / 3-3) at 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Pineville, La. – Wildcat Field (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: KEZP-FM 104.3
Radio: WRKS-FM 105.9 | WJNT-AM 1180
Team Sites: BU | LC
All-Time Series: Louisiana College leads, 5-2
Last Meeting: Louisiana College won, 38-28 (Oct. 10, 2015)
Belhaven fell 56-7 to McMurry Saturday afternoon at Belhaven Bowl Stadium ... Octavious Arrington led the ground game today with 33 yards on 10 carries while David D ‘Angelo added 22 yards on four attempts ... LaMiquell Roberts tallied 88 receiving yards on seven catches to pace the Blazers receiving corps … Nate Williams recorded 57 yards on five catches while Daniels and Arrington added eight and seven receptions, respectively … David Lewis totaled a team-high six tackles, including a sack for a six-yard loss … Jeremiah Newson and Marvin Grady added one sack each while Maurice Stewartforced a fumble and came up with his third interception of the season.
Louisiana College had its least productive offensive game of the season against Sul Ross State … They were held to a season-low 300 total yards and 14 points, and again had promising drives twice end with turnovers inside the opponents 10-yard line … Shedrick Davis was able gain over 100-yards receiving for the fourth time this season with seven catches for 121 yards and a touchdown … The defense was not able to force a takeaway for just the first time this season.