Oct. 2, 2009

By Amy Farnum

STILL A BATTLE: It may not be the match-up Division III football fans were expecting at the beginning of the season, but when Mary Hardin-Baylor and Hardin-Simmons clash in Abilene, Texas, on Oct. 3, there’s still a lot on the line for the two perennial American Southwest Conference powers.

UMHB has remained steady at the No. 3 spot in the Top 25 rankings this season, but Hardin-Simmons is not playing up to its preseason expectations as the No. 4 team in the nation.  HSU has lost three straight games for the first time since restarting the football program in 1990, and enters the contest with a 1-3 record and looking for its first ASC victory. 

The Cowboys dropped out of the national rankings, so the 15th meeting between the squads may not be up to its previous billing, but it will still mean a lot for the teams.

“There’s no change at all for us, it’s Hardin-Simmons week and nothing is different,” Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. “This is always a big week for us and we have so much respect for their program. The records don’t really matter this week -- we shouldn’t have any trouble getting ready for this ballgame.”

The winner of the contest has won or shared the ASC title annually since 1998.  UMHB has won the last seven straight games against the Cowboys, including a 38-35 victory in the first round of last year’s NCAA playoffs.

MAJOR REWARDS:  Millsaps College broke into the latest AFCA Division III Top 25 at No. 24 following a convincing 24-6 win over Trinity (Texas) last week as the Majors won their 10th straight game in Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

The Majors defensive unit allowed just 186 yards of total offense and eight first downs against the Tigers, led by junior safety Kevin Peters’ three interceptions, but Millsaps next opponent DePauw is coming off one of the best defensive performances in league history.

DePauw downed Sewanee, 3-0, last weekend, holding them to just 30 yards of total offense.  It was the first time a SCAC team has limited an opponent to less than 100 yards of total offense since 2007.  It was the lowest scoring win for a DePauw team since 1923, and the first 3-0 game in SCAC action since 1984.

Millsaps looks to remain on top of the SCAC standings at DePauw on Oct. 3.

HOME SWEET HOME: Trinity College will look to extend its home winning streak of 31 games against Williams College on Oct. 3 as the Bantams face the last team to defeat them on their home turf in 2001.

Trinity is riding an 11-game winning streak, which includes a 20-17 victory over Williams last season that helped the Bantams claim their fifth New England Small College Athletic Conference in the last seven years.

CLAIM FOR THE CUP: After hanging on for a two-point victory over then-No. 9 Ohio Northern in league match-up between nationally-ranked foes last week, No. 13 Otterbein looks to keep its season record flawless in another Ohio Athletic Conference game against Heidelberg in the Battle of the Rhine River Cup on Oct. 3.

Otterbein and Heidelberg have been playing for the Rhine River Cup ever since the two teams tangled in the first-ever collegiate football game in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1992, which ended in a 7-7 tie. The Cardinals hold an 11-5-1 lead in the Rhine River series, having won 10 of the last 11 meetings, including the last six.

In the ONU contest, sophomore quarterback Austin Schlosser made his first career start, completing 10-of-15 passes for 157 yards with one touchdown and an interception with 72 yards rushing and a score as he filled in for the injured Jack Rafferty.
“Austin did a nice job running our offense,” said head coach Joe Loth. “We are very fortunate to have a player with his ability and skill set for us to continue to run our same style offense.”