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From the press box: Updates as UMHB battles Linfield in D-III Football Playoffs

BELTON, Texas- UMHB meets Linfield in Belton in an NCAA quarterfinal matchup. The winner will play the winner of Central and Wisconsin-Whitewater next week. Kickoff at 12 p.m. CT. Follow along for updates from the press box.

Halftime thoughts…

At the half, UMHB leads 28-10 in a game that has featured several exceptional passing plays. 

Kyle King has been threading the needle when it comes to passing especially well. Though he struggled on the Cru’s first two possessions, he settled into a rhythm, finishing the half 15-of-21 passing for 220 yards and four touchdowns. He has placed passes perfectly, considering the tight coverage from Linfield’s secondary throughout the first half. That includes both touchdown passes to Brandon Jordan, as well as the incredible 57-yard touchdown pass to Brenton Martin, as Martin went up and over the Linfield defender. The ability to complete passes in tight coverage is the mark of an exceptional quarterback. 

Jordan has seemed to have gotten his hands on every pass that has come his way, with six catches for 95 yards. Martin has been just as good, with three receptions for 130 yards and two scores. Together, Martin and Jordan accounted for all four of the Cru’s first-half touchdowns. 

Linfield has used the passing attack to its advantage as well. Just before Jordan’s second score of the game with 32 seconds in the second quarter, Wildcats’ QB Wyatt Smith found tailback Connor McNabb for a 70-yard touchdown pass to the left side of the field. Smith executed the offense well, going 16-for-20 passing for 222 yards. 

The pitch has been a critical part of Linfield’s rushing attack, as McNabb had several solid carries for 37 yards in the first half. Expect those pitch-plays from Smith to McNabb to continue in the second half, though the Crusader linebackers adjusted and stopped a few of those such carries in the second quarter. 

UMHB had 322 yards of total offense in the first half, compared to Linfield’s 254 yards. 278 of those yards for the Cru were picked up through the air. 

We will see how the second half unfolds…

Before kickoff:

Playoff Preview: No. 7 Linfield at No. 2 UMHB

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