After four weeks of play in the 2016 season, No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor, No. 9 / 12 Hardin-Simmons and No. 17 / 17 East Texas Baptist are each 4-0. Louisiana College is off to a 3-1 start and will face the Cowboys in what could potentially be a high scoring shoot out. The Wildcats (47.8) and Cowboys (47.0) rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in scoring offense in Division III. Howard Payne will host UMHB. The Cru is currently the highest scoring team in Division III at 61 points per game. ETBU travels to McMurry and brings with them the No. 3 scoring offense in Division III at 55 points per contest. Belhavenwill travel to Sul Ross State. The Blazers and Lobos have met only twice before with each team winning once (1-1).
ASC Players of the Week
OFFENSE: East Texas Baptist junior quarterback Dru Smith was 25-of-42 passing for 381 yards and threw for a career-best four touchdowns to lead the Tigers past Belhaven. Smith also rushed for another two scores for a total of six touchdowns on the day. Smith had touchdown passes of 14, 12, 39, and 59 yards and rushed in from three and two yards out.
DEFENSE: Louisiana College senior cornerback Lecorey Demease led a Wildcat defense that only allowed 175 total yards of offense in a 35-7 win over Howard Payne. Demease finished the game with four tackles, one interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass break up.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Mary Hardin-Baylor junior kicker John Mowery scored 10 points, hitting all eight of his kicks in the win over McMurry.
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.
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.
Three ASC Teams Ranked in Top 25 Polls
Mary Hardin-Baylor is ranked No. 3 in the D3football.com Top 25 Poll (Oct. 1) and No. 3 in the AFCA Top 25 Poll (Oct. 3). The Cru defeated McMurry (Oct. 1) to move to 4-0. Hardin-Simmons defeated Sul Ross State to move to 4-0. The Cowboys are ranked No. 9 in the AFCA poll and No. 12 in the D3football poll. East Texas Baptist is still undefeated at 4-0 and ranked No. 17 in both polls.
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. 17 / 17 East Texas Baptist (0-0 / 4-0) at McMurry (0-1 / 1-2) 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: Abilene, Texas – Wilford Moore Stadium (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
East Texas Baptist
Radio: KMHT-FM 103.9
Radio: KSLI-AM 1280
Team Sites: ETBU | MCM
All-Time Series: East Texas Baptist leads, 10-4
Last Meeting: McMurry won, 49-22 (Sept. 5, 2015)
East Texas Baptist continued their program-best start at 4-0 with a 60-47 win over Belhaven … Dru Smith was 25-of-42 passing for 381 yards and threw for a career-best four touchdowns and led the Tiger offense to more than 600 total yards offense … Smith also rushed for another two scores for a total of six touchdowns on the day … Smith had touchdown passes of 14, 12, 39, and 59 yards and rushed in from three and two yards out … ETBU's defense recorded four sacks on the day … Linebacker Ty Parsons led the team in tackles including eight solo tackles and had one tackle for loss … Junior kicker / punter Ryan Travis converted one field goal and was 5-for-5 on extra point attempts and accounted for eight points … After four games ETBU ranks second in Division III in total offense (597.8), third in scoring offense (55.5) and 12th in passing offense (355.3) … Chase Sojka ranks ninth in Division III in receiving yards per game (133.8).
McMurry defeated ETBU in the last meeting 49-22 in the first week of the 2015 season … McMurry fell to No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor last Saturday (66-3) … UMHB outgained McMurry in total offense 468-to-181 yards f … McMurry's usually-strong running game was held in check by the Cru to a negative-19 yards on 35 attempts … McMurry had 200 passing yards led by quarterback B.J. Ross who went 18-of-29 for 154 yards, but was intercepted twice … Stone Harris had six catches for 93 yards and Eriel Dorsey had two grabs for 48 yards … Defensively, Decorian Johnson had a game-high 11 tackles (nine solo) and Jordan Washington added nine stops (eight solo).
No. 3 / 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (1-0 / 4-0) at Howard Payne (0-1 / 0-4) 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: Brownwood, Texas – Gordon Wood Stadium (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: KTEM-AM 1400 | KLTD-FM 101.7
Radio: KPSM-FM 99.3
Team Sites: UMHB | HPU
All-Time Series: Mary Hardin-Baylor leads, 16-2
Last Meeting: Mary Hardin-Baylor won, 67-14
Mary Hardin-Baylor has defeated Howard Payne every since 2006 … The Cru reached 66 points for the second straight game and have now scored at least 56 points in all four games this season … Quarterback Blake Jackson set a school record with five touchdown passes and had just four incompletions … Jackson finished with 256 yards passing in addition to five TDs despite not playing the final 24 minutes of the game with the outcome decided … QB Kyle Jones threw his first collegiate touchdown pass … Wide receiver Wykeyhe Walker had three catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns and receiver DeNerian Thomas added two touchdown catches … Linebacker Baylor Mullins had six tackles with five solo stops, 1.5 tackles for loss and interception to lead a Cru defense that forced three turnovers and held McMurry to minus-19 yards rushing … Free safety D'Andre Jackson scored his first career touchdown on a 46-yard interception return … UMHB has now won 13 consecutive games against McMurry … With four games played UMHB has asserted itself as the leading scoring team in Division III with 61.0 points per game … The Cru also ranks seventh in total offense (550.3), ninth in rushing offense (308), 12th in total defense (243.5) and 13th in rushing defense (59.0) … Jackson ranks 12th in Division III in passing efficiency (176.4).
Howard Payne last defeated UMHB in 2005 (24-20) … Despite forcing four turnovers and sacking Louisiana College six times, HPU fell 35-7 to the Wildcats … Howard Payne started the game with Caisson Montieth under center and he led the team in rushing yards (61 but he was picked off twice and only managed to throw for 65 yards in the game … Patrick Hunt finished the game with 10 tackles, good for second in the game and also had one blocked field goal … Linebacker Jason Disney led all players with 13 tackles, including four solo, and had a forced fumble in the red zone to stop LC from scoring early in the first quarter … Disney also recorded an assist on a sack and had one tackle for loss … Disney currently leads the ASC in tackles and ranks 16th in Division III total tackles (51) … Disney is also only one of two defenders in Division III to average one forced fumble per game (4).
No. 9 / 12 Hardin-Simmons (1-0 / 4-0) at Louisiana College (1-0 / 3-1) 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Pineville, La. – Wildcat Field (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: KOOL-FM 100.7
Radio: KEZP-FM 104.3
Team Sites: HSU | LC
All-Time Series: Hardin-Simmons leads, 10-5
Last Meeting: Hardin-Simmons won, 82-21
Hardin-Simmons improved to 4-0 for the second straight season with a 53-29 win over Sul Ross State … HSU has outscored its opponents 107-29 in the second half in the four games this season … Quarterback Weston Garner completed 28-of-38 passes for 390 yards and four touchdowns and added a one-yard touchdown run as the Cowboys beat Sul Ross State in the conference opener … Garner was filling in for injured starter Ryan Breton and had touchdown passes of 74, 25, four, and 18 yards … Wide receiver Reese Childress had 10 catches for 162 yards and another score … He has four straight 100-yard receiving efforts, which is tied for the second-most in HSU history … Childress also had three kickoff returns for 85 yards … Linebacker Cory Ward had seven tackles and intercepted a pass … HSU ranks 10th in Division III in passing offense (358.3), tied for 11th in scoring offense (47.0) and 18th in total offense (524.8) … Childress holds the most individual Division III rankings of any player in the ASC … He ranks fourth in receiving yards per game (155.8), tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns (7), 12th in all-purpose yards (190.25) and is 19th in receptions per game (8.0).
Louisiana College last defeated HSU in the final game of the 2014 regular season on November 15 (42-35) … The Wildcats had their best defensive performance of the season against Howard Payne … LC held HPU to 175 yards of total offense, only 10 first downs, and forced three takeaways … Cornerback Lecorey Demease finished the game with four tackles, one interception, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass break up … Running back Aurren Cooksey had the best game of his career with a career high 201 yards on 24 carries for an 8.3 yard per carry average and scored two touchdowns … One of his touchdown runs came on an 80-yard sprint down the middle of the field with seconds left in the third quarter to give the Wildcats a two-score lead … Quarterback Easton Melancon had a quiet 366 yards through the air and Lamar Caraway led all receivers with eight catches for 104 yards … LC currently ranks 10th in Division III in scoring offense (47.8), 15th in passing offense (347.3) and 19th in total offense (524.0) … Melancon ranks third in passing yards per game (403.7) and is one of just three Division III quarterbacks to average more than 400 yards per game through the air … Demease leads the ASC in passes defended (7) and ranks 24th in Division III.
Belhaven (1-3) at Sul Ross State (0-1 / 1-3) 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Alpine, Texas – Jackson Field (artificial turf)
Live Stats / Video Stream
Radio: WRKS-FM 105.9 | WJNT-AM 1180
Sul Ross State
Radio: KVLF-AM 1240 | KALP-FM 92.7
Team Sites: BU | SRSU
All-Time Series: Tied 1-1
Last Meeting: Belhaven won, 12-6 (Nov. 7, 2015)
Belhaven played their third consecutive game against a NCAA Division III Top 25 opponent on Saturday … The Blazers competed against No. 17 East Texas Baptist, but ultimately fell 60-47 … The Blazers outscored the Tigers 30-28 in the second half and recorded a season-high 506 total yards of offense … Quarterback Hunter McEachern was 38-of-65 for 466 passing yards and five touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown … Defensive back Isaac Nelson paced the Blazers' defense with a season-high 11 tackles, including seven solo and one for a loss.
Sul Ross State couldn’t overcome a rally late third quarter by No. 10 / 12 Hardin-Simmons and fell 53-29 in the conference opener in front of a crowd of more than 2,700 Saturday at Shelton Stadium … As a team the Lobos outperformed Hardin-Simmons in rushing yards, 280-134 but the Cowboys pulled up the slack with 394 yards through the air with 187 aerial yards for Sul Ross … Quarterback James Davis ran the ball 14 times netting 183 yards with two scores … Davis completed 17-of-31 passes for 187 and two strikes but was picked off three times … Wesley Moss led Lobo receivers with five catches for 56 yards and a touchdown … Jacob Castaneda paced the defense with 11 tackles while Damian Espinoza recorded a forced fumble … Zack Roberson had a sack while Terrence Willie and Ennis Harmon posted a breakup each … Roberson currently ranks tied for 16th in Division III in tackles for loss (8.5) for minus 43 yards.