ABILENE, Texas — In a battle of top five Division III teams from the American Southwest Conference, two rivals met in Abilene as Defending national champions and current No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor was on the road against No. 5 Hardin-Simmons. The Cowboys of Hardin-Simmons were averaging 640 total yards of offense a game, but they hadn’t faced a defense a strong as UMHB.
The Crusaders dominated the Cowboys offense and held them to one touchdown en route to a 17-7 victory. The Hardin-Simmons defense held their own against the UMHB offense, only allowing one offensive touchdown as well.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
Way too many penalties
Both teams had issues with penalties in the afternoon, each picking up seven apiece. A few of the penalties came at crucial times for both teams, mostly on third downs allowing drives to continue, instead of forcing punts.
Time of possession
The time of possession for each team was fairly even, as UMHB held the ball for 26:31 and HSU had it for 33:29. The penalties carried over into the time of possession for each team, as both were given extra time, instead of being forced to punt. HSU was able to gain the edge in time of possession, even with a lackluster running attack because UMHB had more penalties on third down allowing the Cowboys to keep drives alive.
Jaquan Hemphill held in check
After coming off a record-setting performance last week against ETBU, Jaquan Hemphill wasn’t able to get going against UMHB. Hemphill had 52 total yards on 22 carries and the team’s only touchdown. The Cowboys offensive line was unable to get any push against the Cru defense and the holes weren’t there for Hemphill.
The special teams play of both teams proved to be critical in this defensive battle. HSU WR/Punter Reese Childress was able to pin UMHB inside their own 1-yard line twice with punts. Childress was also able to gain a first down for the Cowboys with a huge run on a fake punt.
UMHB punter John Mowery countered the Childress punts with one of his own, as he pinned the Cowboys inside their own 7-yard line. Mowery also contributed to the Cru scoring, as he hit a 28 – yard field goal in the third quarter.
The saying goes defense wins championships and both of these teams proved that they are good at defense. Even though HSU didn’t get the victory, they learned that they have a very
solid defense. UMHB entered the game averaging 35 points per game and HSU held the Cru to 17 points and only allowed one offensive touchdown.
UMHB was able to hold the explosive HSU offense to 191 yards total offense; 160 passing and 31 rushing. UMHB was able to sack HSU QB Ty Hooper 8 times and forced him into 3 interceptions.
Next week, UMHB will host Howard Payne at 1 p.m and Hardin-Simmons travels to Alpine for a 6 p.m. game with Sul Ross State. The win gives UMHB sole possession of first place in the ASC.
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