Special UMHB Correspondence: 

Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team dominated the first quarter and scored in every phase of the game as the Cru opened the season with a 56-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan Saturday night in Belton. UMHB was playing a season opener at Crusader Stadium for the first time since the facility opened in 2013. The Cru also posted its first shutout in a season opener in the 19-year history of the program and its first overall since holding Howard Payne scoreless in the 2013 regular season.

Jaedon Johnson intercepted an OWU pass on the opening possession to set up Blake Jackson’s 27-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Josey to give the Cru a 7-0 lead just 1:51 into the game. UMHB forced a punt on the next possession and Bryce Wilkerson returned the kick 67 yards for a score to put the Cru up 14-0 less than a minute later. Johnson recovered a Battling Bishop fumble to set up Jackson’s two-yard scoring run to make it 21-0 Cru and Wilkerson added a six-yard scoring run to put UMHB up 28-0 at the end of the first quarter. The two teams would be scoreless in the second quarter to leave it 28-0 Cru at halftime. Jackson broke off a 62-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half and added a 28-yard scoring strike to Carson Embry. Kris Brown intercepted another OWU pass and brought it back 18 yards for a score and one play after another UMHB interception, Markeith Miller exploded for a 91-yard touchdown run to close out the scoring.

Photo used with permission by UMHB
Photo used with permission by UMHB

The Cru rolled up 610 yards of total offense with 404 of those coming on the ground. UMHB intercepted four passes and forced five total turnovers in the game. The Cru struggled with penalties, drawing 15 flags for 138 yards. Ohio Wesleyan threw for just 66 yards and was held to 226 yards of total offense in the loss.

Jackson ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries and went 14-20 through the air for 186 yards and two more scores. He also had a touchdown run and touchdown pass wiped out by penalties. Miller added 128 yards and a score on seven carries. Josey caught three passes for 78 yards and a score and Wykeyhe Walker added three grabs for 44 yards. Keith Reineke led the Cru defense with nine total tackles and added two tackles for loss and an interception.

Dominick Orsini ran for 71 yards for OWU but was just 11-28 through the air for 56 yards. Cheyne Lacanaria caught seven passes for 41 yards. Mason Tomblin posted a game-high 13 tackles to lead the Battling Bishop defense and he added two tackles for loss.

The Cru has now won 48 consecutive regular season home games and 22 straight non-conference games. UMHB will return to action with a 6:00 PM non-conference game at Texas Lutheran University next Saturday in Seguin.

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