WHITEWATER, Wisc.- Four teams. That is all that remains in the 2021 D-III football playoffs, as the semifinal matchups are contested today, with the two winners advancing to Friday’s Stagg Bowl in Canton, Ohio.
After defeating Linfield 49-24 last Saturday in the quarterfinal round, UMHB hits the road for the first time since the regular season, traveling to Whitewater, Wisconsin for a duel with the Warhawks of UW-Whitewater, ranked No. 3 in the nation. UW-Whitewater is coming off a 59-21 victory over Central in the quarterfinal round, and is set to host its 10th game of the season.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT and True To The Cru has boots on the ground in Whitewater. Follow here and on Twitter, @TrueToTheCru, for updates throughout the contest, as well as thoughts and analysis.
Here in Whitewater, UMHB leads UW-Whitewater 17-7 at the half. Here’s a first-half rundown…
-Who can stop Brandon Jordan? Virtually nobody. Opposing defenses have struggled against the 6’6 wide receiver all season, and have continued to today. Jordan had seven receptions on eight targets for 91 yards and two scores in the opening half, helping the Crusaders mount the early lead.
-UMHB running back Aphonso Thomas broke the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the final play of the first quarter, gaining three yards on a 3rd and 1 play. Thomas has 35 yards on nine carries so far.
-UW-Whitewater’s Tyler Holte, has, as expected, served as a centerpiece of the Warhawks’ passing game. On UW-Whitewater’s lone scoring drive of the first half, Holte tallied four receptions, including a 9-yard score to cut the deficit to 10 points. He has managed to catch passes in tight spaces, with two, sometimes three defenders around him. Credit has been to given to Warhawk quarterback Max Meylor for that, as the senior is 11-of-14 passing for 101 yards. He did throw one interception in addition to his one passing touchdown in the first half.
-Recording that interception was linebacker Mikkah Hackett, who dove to secure Meylor’s pass. It marked Hackett’s third interception of the season.
-Anthony Avila extended UMHB’s lead, following Jordan’s two scores, with 6:01 in the second quarter, connecting on a 44-yard field goal. It was one yard shy of the senior’s season-long (45 yds against ETBU).
One ticket to the Stagg Bowl has been punched: