Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will take on another traditional national power when the Cru welcomes the University of St. Thomas to Crusader Stadium for an NCAA Quarterfinal showdown this Saturday. UMHB will face the Tommies in a 12:00 PM kickoff with a berth in the National Semifinals on the line.
UMHB is coming off a 24-0 victory over #8 Linfield College last Saturday and the Cru has won 27 consecutive games overall. That streak dates back to a 38-35 loss at Linfield in the Quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAA Division III National Championships. UMHB is 34-14 all-time in the NCAA Division III National Championships and is the defending NCAA Division III National Champion. The Cru is 12-0 overall on the year and advanced to the postseason after winning the American Southwest Conference championship with a 9-0 league record. UMHB entered the playoffs ranked #1 by both the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. The Cru is also playing in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the 11th time in program history.
St. Thomas is 11-1 overall and has won ten straight games after falling to Wisconsin-Stout 25-22 in the second game of the season. The Tommies won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with an 8-0 conference mark and entered the postseason ranked fourth in the country by both the AFCA and D3football.com. St. Thomas is in the Quarterfinals for the seventh time in the last nine years and the Tommies are 19-9 all-time in the NCAA postseason. St. Thomas advanced to the Quarterfinals with a 29-13 win over Berry College last Saturday.
The two programs are meeting for the first time and UMHB has never played a team from the MIAC before. The Cru and Tommies join Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater as the only programs in the country to have appeared in two or more Stagg Bowls since 2004. The two teams have also combined for nine NCAA Semifinals appearances.
“They are so well-schooled and so unique in what they run with two backs and the quarterback going under center,” Cru football coach Pete Fredenburg said. “They have great size and good athletes so this team presents a great challenge for us. St. Thomas executes very well and does so many different things that you have to prepare for. They can attack a football team in a lot of different ways on both sides of the ball so we have to get lined up correctly and get our guys to play with tremendous effort on Saturday.”
For more information on parking, traffic flow and game day events, please visit the following link: http://www.umhb.edu/stadium/directions-and-parking. St. Thomas fans are encouraged to enter the stadium through ticket window #3 at the southeast corner of Crusader Stadium. The winner of Saturday’s game will advance to face the Brockport State/Delaware Valley winner in the NCAA Semifinals.
Saturday’s game will also be broadcast live on KRock101. UMHB will provide live video streaming and live statistics for the game with links to both available by clicking here: www.cruathletics.com. Reserved tickets are $12 at the gate, general admission tickets are $10 and student tickets will be $4 at the gate. The stadium gates will open at 10:30 AM on Saturday. Tickets left at Will Call will be available for pickup at any ticket window on game day.
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