Cru do what they do; claim 16th ASC title

Courtesy of Andy Zavoina, AMZimages

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You would be hard-pressed to convince anyone in Shelton Stadium last Saturday the showdown between Mary Hardin-Baylor and Hardin-Simmons was not for a national title.

The past year has changed nearly all of our sports routines, but for one day, we could all imagine what the football world will feel like when things begin to return to normal in the fall.

In the process, UMHB showed they are still the king of the American Southwest Conference and will be a national championship contender once again when the playoffs return in the fall.

The Cru dominated the first half and made big plays at critical times late to defeat HSU 23-15 and claim the program’s 16th ASC title.

Special teams were sure to play a significant role between these powerhouses, and it was the UMHB special teams that struck first.

After forcing a punt following a promising first drive from HSU, sophomore Drake Johnson broke through the line to block the kick giving the Cru the ball at their 45-yard line.

Three rushing plays later, Kyle King hit Kadarius Daniels for a 43-yard gain, and King finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown.

It was the beginning of a bad half for the Cowboys, with UMHB owning a 220-96 advantage in total yards and a 13-0 edge at the half.

HSU climbed within one score twice during the second half and the fourth quarter provided two controversial calls that seem to happen every time these teams meet.

UMHB All-American Jefferson Fritz was called for targeting after Colton Carter caught a 22-yard pass. Fritz was ejected from the game, and the Cowboys converted the drive into a touchdown to pull within 23-15 with nearly eight minutes left in regulation.

The next controversial call came on the Cowboys final drive of the game. Following a 15-yard personal foul penalty, Kyle Jones found Gatlin Martin streaking down the middle of the field. 

Martin was hit soon after he caught the ball and dropped the ball after hitting the ground resulting in an incomplete pass. HSU coaches debated with the referees to no avail, and the Cowboys final drive would stall without points.

I will leave the debate of these calls to the fans, but both of these calls are difficult to make at live speed.

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