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Mary Hardin-Baylor Edges ETBU, Clinches ASC Football Championship
November 4, 2006

Courtesy University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Sports Information Department

MARSHALL, Texas – Mary Hardin-Baylor answered East Texas Baptist’s upset bid with a nine-play, 54-yard drive and scored the game-winning touchdown with a minute left as the nationally-ranked Crusaders held on for a 33-28 victory over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

UMHB (7-2 overall, 7-0 in American Southwest Conference) clinched the outright ASC Championship and also claimed the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III National Championship. Head coach Pete Fredenburg and his Crusaders have now won four conference titles in the last five years.

The loss ends ETBU’s season at 3-7 overall and 3-5 in the ASC.

ETBU took a 28-27 lead on T.J. Davis' 46-yard punt return for a touchdown with 7:28 left to play. The two teams then traded punts before UMHB took over at the Cru 46-yard line with 4:15 remaining. The Cru marched to the ETBU five-yard line before Jarvis Thrasher crashed in for the go-ahead score with 1:00 left on the clock. The two-point conversion failed and Calvin Fleming picked off Phil Van Cleave's desperation throw at the UMHB seven-yard line to end the game.

UMHB led 21-7 at the half and stretched it to 27-7 when Josh Welch hit Cole Smith for a 15-yard TD on the opening possession of the second half. ETBU cut it to 27-14 on Josh Cook's two-yard TD run on the next series and pulled to within 28-21 on Van Cleave's 41-yard TD pass to Ruben Robinson with 10:18 to go in the fourth quarter. ETBU held UMHB on the next possession and Davis returned the punt for the go-ahead score.

UMHB built its first half lead on Thrasher's eight-yard run, Welch's 26-yard TD pass to Anthony Carter and a 22-yard TD strike from Welch to James Robinson. ETBU's first-half score came on Antroin Broom's three-yard touchdown run.

Welch was 12-16 passing for 174 yards and tied a school single-game record with three touchdown passes. Welch also ran for 71 yards on 10 carries. Thrasher finished with 98 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Cole Smith caught four passes for 45 yards as UMHB rolled up 446 yards of total offense.

Van Cleave was 15-25 passing for 124 yards for ETBU and Cook ran for 53 yards on 16 carries. Robinson caught five passes for 79 yards and a score as the Tigers totaled 291 yards of total offense.

Jerrell Freeman had nine tackles for UMHB and Calvin Fleming picked off two passes. Darius Roberts had a game-high 14 tackles to lead ETBU.

The Crusaders will wrap up the regular season with a 2:00 p.m. kickoff against Howard Payne (5-4, 3-4 ASC) next Saturday in their homecoming game at Tiger Field in Belton, Texas. UMHB will then found out its opponent and game site for the first round of the NCAA postseason when the playoff field is announced on Sunday afternoon on ESPNEWS.

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