Oct. 17, 2009

Courtesy of Mary Hardin-Baylor

CLINTON, Miss. – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team could not overcome a late turnover and last-second field goal and the third-ranked Cru fell to Mississippi College 17-14 Saturday afternoon in Clinton, Mississippi. The loss drops UMHB to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in American Southwest Conference play and the defeat also snaps the Cru’s 33-game ASC winning streak. The Choctaws improve to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the ASC and take over sole possession of first place in the ASC with the victory.

UMHB would lead 14-7 at halftime, but the Cru offense could not get untracked in the second half. The Cru would fumble the ball away on the opening drive of the second half, but the UMHB defense came up big, forcing a missed field goal on the Choctaws next possession. The Cru then drove to the MC 17-yard line, but Alan Munoz missed a 34-yard field goal attempt. Brett Parker intercepted an Adam Shaffer pass on the next possession and returned it deep into MC territory, but the play was wiped out on a pass interference penalty. Steven Knight would take a handoff and race 46 yards for a touchdown three plays later to tie the game at 14 with 7:46 remaining in the third quarter. The two teams would then trade punts the rest of the way, until the Cru took over the ball on its own 30-yard line with 2:03 left to play. Kyle Noack would have a pass picked off by MC’s Dustin Retherford to set the Choctaws up at the MC 44-yard line with 1:27 left to play. Shaffer would drive MC to the 14-yard line before Brannon Walls drilled a 31-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to make it 17-14. UMHB would return the kickoff to the UMHB 34-yard line before time expired.

The Cru would take a 7-0 lead on LiDarral Bailey’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Pi’Dadro Davis with 1:15 left in the first quarter. Mississippi College would tie the game on Shaffer’s 49-yard TD toss to Renard Ellis with 11:10 to go in the second quarter. UMHB would retake the lead on Bailey’s four-yard scoring run with 3:08 remaining in the first half.

The Cru was held to just 322 yards of total offense by the ASC’s lowest-rated defense. UMHB ran for 251 yards but threw for just 71 more. The Cru also turned the ball over twice. MC managed just 292 yards of total offense, with 194 of those coming through the air.

Desmond Mays ran for 115 yards on 14 carries against his former team for the Cru. Bailey ran for 74 yards and a TD and threw for 65 yards and a score. Davis caught four passes for 50 yards. Bryson Tucker led the Cru defense with eight total tackles and Brett Parker also intercepted a pass to tie the UMHB career record with 11 career picks. Shaffer was 18-40 passing for MC for 194 yards and a score and Knight ran for 103 yards on 23 carries. Ellis caught eight passes for 137 yards and a TD.

UMHB played without Preseason All-American running back Quincy Daniels. The Cru also lost back-up Rickie Williams and starting center Dustin Davis to injuries during the game.

The Cru will now return home to host Southern Oregon University for a 1:00 PM kickoff next Saturday at Tiger Field. That game will also be homecoming for UMHB. The Cru will also play three of its final four games at home. The Cru will need MC to lose twice to have a chance at winning the ASC championship and UMHB will need to win out to have a chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III National Championships.