DIII Recap: No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas Lutheran, No. 14 Hardin-Simmons roll

Hardin-Simmons football (Photo by Monica Weatherly)

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No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders (6-0, 5-0)

Last Week: Mary Hardin-Baylor was efficient last week as they defeated Southwestern on the road, 33-3. Jo’Vel McDaniel gained 129 yards rushing and a touchdown on 24 carries while Jonel Reed caught six passes for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Luke Poorman completed 15-of-20 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns as Akeem Jackson led the Cru defense with nine tackles and two tackles for loss.

The Verdict: This could have been a trap game for the Cru, but they handled themselves very well on the road against a wounded team that has undergone multiple changes on offense and defense. UMHB will be ready this week as they host their rivals in another huge game.

This Week: UMHB returns home to play No. 17 Hardin-Simmons on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.


Texas Lutheran Bulldogs (5-1, 5-0)

Last Week: TLU jumped on Howard Payne early on the road last Saturday afternoon on their way to a 27-14 conference victory. Quarterback Wade Freeman completed 16-of-28 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns while adding 77 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Chris Monroe added 132 yards rushing on 20 carries for TLU. Sam Guzman led the Bulldogs defense with 11 tackles and a sack.

The Verdict: Another week and another win for TLU as they continue to keep their perfect conference record intact. The Bulldogs face a long road trip this week against another team that cannot be overlooked.

This Week: TLU concludes a two-game road trip as they play Sul Ross State at 6 p.m. Saturday night.


No. 14 Hardin-Simmons Cowboys (5-1, 4-1)

Last Week: HSU was dominant last Saturday as they defeated Belhaven at home, 63-7. Quarterback Kyle Jones led the Cru offense that totaled 635 yards of offense as he completed 17-of-20 passes for 360 yards with five touchdowns and an interception. All-American Jaquan Hemphill gained 59 yards rushing on 13 carries and caught two passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Girard led the defense with six tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

The Verdict: The result of this game was predictable after the Cowboys had a bye week following a rare home loss. HSU will need a win this week to maintain any hopes of winning the conference title or earning a spot in the playoffs.

This Week: HSU travels to play No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.


Trinity University (Tex.) Tigers (4-2, 3-1)

Last Week: Trinity scored 17 unanswered points to overcome an early deficit and defeat Millsaps, 24-17, on the road last Saturday. Wide receiver Tommy Lavine caught six passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tigers offense. Quarterback Wyatt Messex completed 20-of-33 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Nic Hover led the defense with six tackles, four solo, and broke up two passes.

The Verdict: Conference road games are never easy, and Trinity learned that Millsaps was ready to play from the start. The Tigers eventually took control of the game but had to hold on at the end to ensure the win. Trinity will be more focused this week.

This Week: Trinity returns home to play Sewanee on Saturday at noon.


Austin College Kangaroos (4-2, 3-1)

Last Week: Austin College dominated the statistics last Saturday but was uncomfortable until the final buzzer of a 21-14 road win over Sewanee. Running back Evan Powell had an outstanding game for the ‘Roos as he gained 144 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Colt Collins completed 11-of-21 passes for 121 yards with one touchdown and an interception while adding 67 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Connor Carnes recorded five tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and forced a fumble to lead the defense.

The Verdict: The ‘Roos continue to find a way to win each week and continue their impressive 2019 season. They will need to maintain their focus this week as they have a very dangerous opponent and the distraction of homecoming.

This Week: Austin College returns home to play Hendrix at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.


Sul Ross State Lobos (3-3, 3-2)

Last Week: Sul Ross State opened the game with 20 unanswered points last week on their way to a convincing 34-13 win on the road over Louisiana College. Senior running back Williton Grear had a massive game as he gained 252 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Quarterback Trey Johns completed 9-of-17 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Elijah Stewart only caught one pass, but he took it 49 yards for a touchdown. Levah Tarry once again led the Lobos defense with nine tackles.

The Verdict: The Lobos have won two games in a row and three of their last four games. SRSU is a young team relying on their outstanding senior running back who is doing a great job carrying the offense. The Lobos schedule is a bit tougher this week.

This Week: Sul Ross State returns home to play Texas Lutheran at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.


Southwestern University Pirates (3-3, 2-3)

Last Week: Southwestern put up another fight but did not have enough last Saturday as they fell at home to No. 1 Mary Hardin-Baylor, 33-3. J.J. Slack completed 2-of-8 passes for 57 yards and an interception and added 22 yards on seven carries. Anfernee Stephens led the receivers with 56 yards on two receptions. Josiah Minnifield had 11 tackles, seven solo, two tackles for loss and recovered a fumble for the Pirates.

The Verdict: It is always tough to defeat the No. 1 team in the country and it’s extremely difficult when you have as many injuries as the Pirates have suffered this season. They continue to put up a fight each week and will look to rebound this week.

This Week: Southwestern travels to play McMurry on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Howard Payne Yellow Jackets (2-4, 1-4)

Last Week: HPU had a valiant fourth-quarter comeback fall short as they fell at home to Texas Lutheran, 27-14. McGwire Martin completed 6-of-9 passes for 94 yards and added 87 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Thomas Williams caught four passes for 66 yards for the Yellow Jackets. Britt Boler and Austin Kilgore had outstanding games as he recorded 16 tackles in the game.

The Verdict: The Yellow Jackets put up a good fight and played well defensively against one of the top teams in the conference. The road for HPU does not become any easier this week as they take a long road trip.

This Week: HPU travels to play East Texas Baptist at 2 p.m. on Saturday.


McMurry War Hawks (0-6, 0-5)

Last Week: A failed two-point conversion in the second quarter proved costly as McMurry lost a tough 21-19 decision on the road to East Texas Baptist. Kameron Session gained 96 yards on 18 carries while Eriel Dorsey led the War Hawks receiving corps with 56 yards and two touchdowns on five receptions. Xavier Gayle had an outstanding game for the defense with 10 tackles and one tackle for loss.

The Verdict: The War Hawks made some changes offensively and defensively during their bye week and the result was nearly a huge victory for a rebuilding program. McMurry returns home this week playing a wounded opponent also making weekly changes.

This Week: McMurry returns home to play Southwestern on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

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