/playoffs/2018/semifinal-uw-whitewater-at-mary-hardin-baylor

Cru finally gets past Warhawks

More news about: Mary Hardin-Baylor | UW-Whitewater

By Pat Coleman
D3football.com

BELTON, Texas – De’Nerian Thomas scored on an acrobatic flip into the end zone, Aaron Sims took a punt back 90 yards for a score and the Mary Hardin-Baylor defense held UW-Whitewater to 88 first-half yards and had four takeaways for the game as the Cru booked their third consecutive trip to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, defeating the Warhawks 31-14.

Saturday’s national semifinal stood in stark contrast to every previous meeting between the two Purple Powers, in that this time it was the Cru coming out on top. And the first Stagg Bowl in Texas will indeed feature a Texas team. Mary Hardin-Baylor joins Augustana, Mount Union and UW-Whitewater as Division III teams who have played in three consecutive Stagg Bowls.

UMHB will face Mount Union in Stagg Bowl XLVI, at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah, Texas, at 6 p.m. CT on Friday night, Dec. 14.

"It's a great win for our program, to finally beat UW-Whitewater, which has been obviously a very difficult task, is very rewarding for all of us," said UMHB coach Pete Fredenburg.

The Cru (14-0) got three takeaways in the second half and Markeith Miller ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

"I think our guys have done an amazing job all year long of getting turnovers," Fredenburg said. "The difference in any kind of big ballgame like that (is turnovers).

"You kind of equate a game like this to two heavyweight boxers boxing and when finally somebody's going to give up or have something happen, turnovers just break your back."

De'Nerian Thomas flips over the top of a would-be tackler to get into the end zone for the Cru's first score.
Photo by Joe Fusco, d3photography.com
 

The Cru (14-0) got on the board with their first drive of the second quarter, using both quarterbacks. Jase Hammack threw a 20-yard slant to Jonel Reed on third-and-14 to get the ball into UW-Whitewater territory and found K.J. Miller in the flat for a gain down to the Warhawks 28. Markeith Miller ripped off a run down to the 12. After a holding call, De’Nerian Thomas hit T.J. Josey on the left side to get down to the 4, setting up third-and-2. That’s when Thomas made the first big athletic play of the game. He took the snap and, finding nobody open, made a sprint toward the right-hand corner with two defenders in pursuit, then flipped over defensive back Bailey Breunig and landed in the end zone for the touchdown. 

A 31-yard field goal for Anthony Avila made it 10-0. The ensuing drive saw Whitewater (12-1) stall out at midfield and it seemed as if the Warhawks had a chance to pin UMHB deep. But Zach Lichosik kicked a line-drive punt which Sims caught on his own 10, backpedaling. He found plenty of open room to the left side, the opposite side of the field, and was in the end zone 90 yards later to make it 17-0 just before half. 

"Obviously teams get better within the playoffs and you know you don't get too many returns, so I knew if we got a couple of good blocks I had a chance of going all the way," said Sims. It was his fifth punt return for a touchdown of the season.

"The speed piece of their punt returner, that guy, whoa, holy buckets," said UW-Whitewater coach Kevin Bullis. "We knew we had to keep him contained and we did the entire time, other than the one play."

The Warhawks came out in the second half and put together their first offensive big play of the game, as Cole Wilber hit Derek Kumerow for a 23-yard gain. The Warhawks had thrown for just 20 yards in the first half. Ronny Ponick ran for 28 yards on the drive. Wilber also scrambled out of a sack to get down to the 10-yard line and two plays later, he hit tight end Bryce Bellefeuille for a 2-yard touchdown to get UW-Whitewater on the board.

"A lot of times people assume we go in the halftime and we're just making 20 different adjustments and changes. We really didn't," Bullis said. "We said, 'we're going to run our offense and we're going to execute it better.' "

The Warhawks couldn’t capitalize on two consecutive interception attempts midway through the third quarter, but got the job done the next time around. Bryce Leszczynski picked off Hammack and returned the ball 64 yards, but the Warhawks couldn’t punch it into the end zone and kicker Wojciech Gasienica hit the left upright from 24 yards out, leaving the score 17-7 with 3:05 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing drive, Holten Einkauf hit Derek Sides on a fake punt deep in Cru territory. The Warhawks later got the stop at midfield, but UMHB got the ball right back as a Wilber pass hit Kumerow in the hands and deflected right to cornerback Keith Gipson for an interception.

That was Whitewater’s third turnover of the game.

The Cru made the Warhawks pay, as Miller ran for 28 yards in three plays, including a 10-yard touchdown to extend the lead out to 24-7.

Wilber completed five of six passes for 44 yards and Ronny Ponick grinded out 12 yards in three carries to get the Warhawks in the end zone with 5:47 left. But Jefferson Fritz covered the onside kick for the Cru, and Mary Hardin-Baylor put the nail in the coffin as Miller ran for 10, 5, 1, 13 and 15 yards to cap it off with his second TD of the day. Fritz intercepted a pass on UWW's ensuing possession to send it to the victory formation.

Miller finished with 168 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries, with 91 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter.

"I just knew as a leader on offense that I just wanted to provide that spark," Miller said. "I knew that once I get going, we'd be able to waste some clock with some key first downs and ride ride the wave."

UMHB limited Ponnick to 70 yards on 14 carries, and held Alex Peete to 65 yards on 16 carries as well in the win. 

Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Manchester 52, at Defiance 21
@ Defiance, Ohio
Video Box Score
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 41, Moravian 0
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Lawrence 32, Morrisville State 22
Final
MIT 13, at Becker 6
Video Box Score
Sep. 21: All times Eastern
Final
Alfred State 27, at Rochester 21
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Brockport 55, at Buffalo State 22
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
DePauw 21, at Kenyon 7
Video Box Score
Final
Massachusetts Maritime 42, at Maine Maritime 21
Video Box Score
Final
Salve Regina 62, at Dean 35
Video Box Score
Final
at Hobart 20, Rowan 17
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John Fisher 40, TCNJ 16
Video
Final
Juniata 44, at Ursinus 38
Video Box Score
Final
at Framingham State 48, Westfield State 21
Video Box Score
Final
Wesley 20, at Endicott 17
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 24, at Colby 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Methodist 30, Catholic 14
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Middlebury 28, at Bates 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Merchant Marine 45, SUNY-Maritime 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 61, Bowdoin 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Union 27, Springfield 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Apprentice 49, Gallaudet 13
Box Score
Final
Hanover 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Trine 21, Concordia (Wis.) 16
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 42, St. Vincent 14
Video
Final
Wesleyan 28, at Hamilton 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Hope 34, Aurora 32
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 20, Washington and Jefferson 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Washington and Lee 52, Guilford 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
WPI 31, at Husson 12
Box Score Recap
Final
at Albion 56, Eureka 41
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Averett 35, at Ferrum 12
Video Box Score
Final
at Southern Virginia 29, Hampden-Sydney 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Randolph-Macon 20, Emory and Henry 17
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 34, McDaniel 17
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Plymouth State 34, Worcester State 9
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Alfred 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
Wilkes 24, at Lycoming 17
Video Box Score Live stats Audio Audio
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 55, Oberlin 3
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Muhlenberg 24, Susquehanna 17
Video Video Box Score Live stats
Final
Wabash 48, at Allegheny 35
Video Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 28, Stevenson 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Widener 48, FDU-Florham 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Lebanon Valley 31, Alvernia 12
Video Box Score
Final
Dickinson 56, at Gettysburg 20
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
Lakeland 28, at Kalamazoo 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Chicago 23, at Finlandia 12
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Greenville 42, at Northwestern (Minn.) 14
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 44, Huntingdon 14
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
MacMurray 38, at Minnesota-Morris 14
Video Recap
Final
at Carthage 36, Carroll 7
Video Photos
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 35, at Iowa Wesleyan 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Williams 44, Tufts 8
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 45, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Franklin 34, at Bluffton 19
Video Box Score
Final
at Mount St. Joseph 34, Anderson 7
Video Box Score
Final
Bethany 41, at Waynesburg 17
Video Box Score
Final
John Carroll 14, at Otterbein 7
Video Box Score
Final
Nichols 37, at Anna Maria 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Norwich 17, Coast Guard 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Wilmington 42, Ohio Northern 38
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Alma 51, Rockford 16
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at UW-Platteville 41, Thomas More 10
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at St. Olaf 36, Carleton 19
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. John's 33, Gustavus Adolphus 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 48, Augsburg 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Nebraska Wesleyan 37, at Buena Vista 16
Video
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 20
Box Score
Final
at Austin 20, Centre 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wartburg 62, at Luther 10
Video Box Score
Final
Millikin 41, at North Park 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Whitewater 28, at St. Xavier 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Lewis and Clark 44, Whittier 41
Video Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 74, at Hamline 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
King's 41, at Hartwick 19
Video Box Score
Final
at University of New England 31, Castleton 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Olivet 21, Benedictine 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
at Adrian 32, Wisconsin Lutheran 29
Video Preview Box Score Audio
Final
Sul Ross State 21, at McMurry 7
Video
Final
at Dickinson St. 23, UW-La Crosse 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Waldorf 27, UW-River Falls 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Willamette 34, Occidental 31
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Western Connecticut 42, at Bridgewater State 33
Box Score
Final
at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 24, Pacific Lutheran 17
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Puget Sound 28, La Verne 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 37, Fitchburg State 13
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Wittenberg 14, Wooster 12
Box Score
Final
at Dakota St. 38, UW-Stevens Point 21
Video
Final
at RPI 35, Utica 33
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Stetson 59, Western New England 28
Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 46, at Washington U. 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Marietta 31, Muskingum 25
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Denison 66, Hiram 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Bridgewater 35, at Shenandoah 17
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brevard 27, Christopher Newport 6
Video Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Heidelberg 55, Capital 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Case Western Reserve 52, Grove City 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Geneva 45, Thiel 10
Video Box Score
Final
Coe 24, at Loras 7
Video
Final
at Augustana 55, Elmhurst 13
Video
Final
at St. Scholastica 35, Crown 32
Video Box Score
Final
Berry 14, at Trinity (Texas) 10
Video Box Score
Final
Simpson 21, at Dubuque 14
Video Box Score
Final
Birmingham-Southern 49, at Sewanee 30
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Texas Lutheran 31, at East Texas Baptist 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 24, Illinois Wesleyan 10
Video Box Score Recap Photos
2nd - 03:38
3 Louisiana College
30 Southwestern
Video Live stats Preview
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 23, Belhaven 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Millsaps 14, Rhodes 0
Video Box Score
Final
at George Fox 26, Pomona-Pitzer 15
Video Box Score
Final
at Redlands 27, Linfield 19
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 37, Whitworth 30
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Cal Lutheran 45, Pacific 28
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
Final
Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
Final
Salisbury 63, at Albright 28
Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 37, at Kean 7
Video Box Score Recap
Sep. 7: All times Eastern
Final
North Central (Ill.) 43, at Christopher Newport 13
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wesley 69, at Franklin Pierce 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
Video Video Box Score
Final
Ithaca 66, at St. Vincent 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Susquehanna 42, Lycoming 26
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 16, Wittenberg 8
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 21, UW-Stevens Point 7
Video Box Score
Final
Centre 45, at Hanover 31
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Berry 31, at Maryville (Tenn.) 10
Box Score
Final
at Bethel 42, Simpson 10
Video Video Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 38, at Monmouth 0
Video Box Score
Final
St. John's 14, at UW-Stout 7
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final - OT
at UW-La Crosse 21, Concordia-Moorhead 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 24
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Mount Union 66, at Rose-Hulman 14
Video Box Score Photos Photos
Final
Hardin-Simmons 64, at Sul Ross State 0
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington U. 43, at Chicago 7
Box Score Recap Photos