BELTON - The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team exploded for 42 second half points to help overcome a sluggish first half as the Cru rolled to a 66-3 victory over McMurry University Saturday afternoon in Belton. UMHB improves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in American Southwest Conference play with the victory. The loss drops the War Hawks to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the ASC on the season.
The Cru intercepted a pass on McMurry’s opening drive and took a 3-0 lead on John Mowery’s 22-yard field goal. Blake Jackson hit Wykeyhe Walker with a 31-yard touchdown pass to close out a 95-yard drive on UMHB’s next possession to make it 10-0 and Connally Fuller recovered a fumble in the War Hawks end zone to stretch the Cru lead to 17-0. Tanner Wright hit a 24-yard field goal to put McMurry on the board with 2:16 to go in the first half, but UMHB responded with Jackson’s 18-yard TD strike to Walker to make it 24-3 at halftime. Jackson threw touchdown passes to Duane Thompson, Michael Collins and DeNerian Thomas and Markeith Miller tacked on a two-yard scoring run as the Cru opened up a 52-3 lead at the end of third quarter. D’Andre Jackson chipped in a 46-yard interception return and Thomas hauled in an eight-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Jones to close out the scoring in the fourth quarter.
UMHB rolled up 468 yards of total offense despite starting five scoring drives inside the War Hawks 40-yard line. The Cru threw for 287 yards and a school-record six touchdowns. UMHB’s defense forced three turnovers and held McMurry to -19 rushing yards and 181 yards of total offense.
Jackson finished 16-20 through the air for 256 yards and set a new UMHB school record with five touchdown passes. Thomas caught five passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns and Walker added three grabs for 100 yards and a pair of scores. Thompson ran for 71 yards on 13 carries and added two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Matt Cody had a team-high seven tackles for a Cru defense that posted 20 tackles for loss.
B.J. Ross was 18-29 for 154 yards for the War Hawks. Stone Harris caught six passes for 93 yards. McMurry gave up five sacks in the loss. Decorian Johnson had a game-high 11 tackles to lead the McMurry defense and Charles Smith had an interception for the only turnover forced by the War Hawks.
The Cru will return to action with a 1:00 PM kick off at Howard Payne University next Saturday in Brownwood. The Yellow Jackets are 0-4 overall and 0-1 in ASC play on the season following a 35-7 loss to Louisiana College on Saturday.