The Best of Belton Week 3 Football Preview: No. 5 UMHB hosts Southwestern

Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/russellmarwitz.com

Previewing this week’s matchup presented by The Best of Belton

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Southwestern @ No. 5 UMHB

Date: Sept. 17

Place: Crusader Stadium, Belton, TX

Time: 6:00 p.m. CST

Streaming: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/umhb/

Radio: 93.9 FM/1330 AM

Fredenburg Field Dedication

The first head coach in program history, Pete Fredenburg, will have the field at Crusader Stadium named after him on Saturday. Fredenburg led the program for 23 years, retiring at the end of last season, with a 260-40 record. The native of Clifton, Texas, is a 2018 inductee of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the 2021 D3football.com Coach of the Year and the 2016 AFCA D-III Coach of the Year. 

Pregame reading

“It’s an amazing feeling”: Jerry Cephus is making an impact with UMHB football

“We’re going to be better from it”: 3 takeaways from Larry Harmon’s Sept. 12 press conference

The series

UMHB and Southwestern have played four times since 2018, when the Pirates joined the ASC as an affiliate member. The Cru has won all four of those matchups, never allowing more than seven points. In Georgetown last season, UMHB pulled out a 54-3 victory. This will be the last time the two opponents meet in conference play, as Southwestern is joining the SAA in 2023. 

Notable Fact

According to the UMHB athletics department, this marks the first time since 2006 that UMHB enters week three with a 1-1 record. The last time UMHB entered week three with a 1-1 mark, the Cru took down Sul Ross State 45-2 in Alpine. 

Record Tracker

UMHB’s K.J. Miller is just one punt return touchdown away from breaking the program record for career punt return touchdowns (7). He is also just 15 punt return yards away from breaking the program’s career record in that category (1,864). 

About the opponent: Southwestern Pirates

Head Coach: Joe Austin (9th year)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Season Record (overall/conf): 1-1, 0-0 

2021 Record (overall/conf): 4-6, 4-5 (Notable results: W @ Belhaven, 34-27, L vs Howard Payne, 21-17, W at Texas Lutheran, 24-14) 

Week 2: Loss @ Belhaven, 42-15

You’ll know they’re playing well if: The defense is forcing its opponent to keep the ball on the ground. One of the nation’s top 100 passing defenses (60th in D-III), the Pirates have a solid secondary that has already forced three interceptions. Offensively, the passing game is a key part of their success, and if Landry Gilpin has a good offensive line in front of him, good things can happen. 

Names to know: 

OFFENSE: Sr. QB Landry Gilpin (#12) (23-of-51 passing, 365 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT), Jr. RB Gianni Taisague (#32) (15 carries, 55 yds, 3.7 yds/carry, 4 receptions), Fr. WR JoJo Wilson (#80) (7 receptions, 127 yds), Sr. WR Ethan Powell (#84) (8 receptions, 150 yds)

DEFENSE: Sr. DB Patrick Nicholas (#9) (8 solo tackles, 15.0 total tackles, 1 INT, 1 fumble recovery), Jr. LB Blane Corekin (#16) (4 solo tackles. 10.0 total tackles, 2 TFL), Jr. LB Aleksander Gomez  (#17) (7 solo tackles, 15.0 total tackles, 1 TFL), Sr. DB Payton Vaughn (#7) (15 solo tackles, 20.0 total tackles, 3 pass breakups, 1 INT)

About the No. 5 UMHB Crusaders

Head Coach: Larry Harmon (1st year) 

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Season Record (overall/conf): 1-1, 0-0 

2021 Record: 15-0, 9-0 (Notable results: vs No. 10 Hardin-Simmons, W 34-28, vs No. 7 Linfield, W 49-24, vs. No. 4 UW-Whitewater, W 24-7, vs No. 1 North Central [Stagg Bowl], W 57-24) 

Week 2: Loss @ No. 6 Wisconsin-Whitewater, 28-24

You’ll know they’re playing well if: The offense is consistently picking up yardage, balanced between the pass and the run, and Kyle King has open receivers down the sidelines, which often lead to momentum-changing completions, and set up quick touchdowns. Defensively, if the Cru can put consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback, three-and-outs can be expected.

Names to know: 

OFFENSE: Sr. QB Kyle King (#17) (19-of-28 passing, 379 pass yds, 6 TD, 0 INT), Sr. RB Aphonso Thomas (#0) (30 carries, 156 rush yds, 5.2 yds/carry, 3 TD), Sr. WR KJ Miller (#7) (12 receptions, 173 receiving yds, 2 TD), Sr. WR Brandon Jordan (#21) (11 receptions, 227 receiving yards, 3 TD)

DEFENSE: So. LB Durand Hill (#25) (5 solo tackles, 12.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL), So. LB Johnny Smith-Rider (#28) (10 solo tackles, 13.0 total tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.0 sack), Sr. DB Tommy Bowden (#4) (7 solo tackles, 10.0 total tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1 pass breakup, 1 forced fumble), Jr. CB Jordan See (#14) (8 solo tackles, 10.0 total tackles, 3 pass breakups, Jr. DE Kobe Giles (#52) (3 solo tackles, 5.0 total tackles, 2.5 TFL)

UMHB Two Deep Depth Chart (Per the UMHB Athletics Department)

*-Team Captain, L-Varsity Letter, SQ- Previously on varsity roster in past season(s) but has seen no playing time, TR- Transfer

Offense

Quarterback: Kyle King (Sr.-2L), Jackson Tingler (Jr.-1L),

Running Back: Aphonso Thomas (Sr. 1L), Kenneth Cormier Jr. (Jr.-2L)

Wide Receiver: Jerry Day (So.-1L), Jamaal Hamilton (Sr.-1L)

Wide Receiver: KJ Miller (Sr.-4L), Jerry Cephus (So,-JV)

Wide Receiver: Brandon Jordan (Sr.-2L), Marvin Young Jr. (Sr.-TR)

Tight End: Connor Mullins (Jr.-2L), Will McClintock (So.-TR)

Left Tackle: Reuel Tandoh (Jr.-2L), Kyle Wente (So.-1L)

Left Guard: Jesse Hoke (Jr.-2L), Joseph Montez (Fr.-HS)

Center: Jeffery Sims Jr. (Sr.-4L), Jacob Dailey (So.-2L)

Right Guard: Matt Sanders (Sr.-3L), John Schnautz (So.-JV)

Right Tackle: Ethan Ruckman (Jr.-2L), John Kazmierski (Sr.-3L)

Defense

Left Defensive End: Kobe Giles (Jr.-2L), Trey Belyeu-Witcher (So.-1L)

Left Defensive Tackle: Pete Smith (Sr.-3L), Preston Johnson (So.-JV)

Right Defensive Tackle: Tristan Green (So.-1L), Jose Fuentes (So.-JV)

Right Defensive End: Sante Parker Jr. (Sr.-3L), Dorian Pittman (Fr.-HS)

Weakside Linebacker:  Johnny Smith-Rider (So.-1L), Chaise Ellis (So.-SQ)

Middle Linebacker: Durand Hill (So.-1L), Braegen Berry (So.-JV)

Strongside Linebacker: Omari Frazier (Jr.-2L), Dorian Williams (Jr.-TR)

Cru (Flex Safety): Jordan See (Jr.-2L), Diarva Brown (Sr.-TR)

Free Safety: Tommy Bowden (Sr.-3L), Cameron Mitton (Fr.-HS)

Cornerback: Titus Dunk (Sr.-3L), Trashawn Adams (So.-1L)

Cornerback: Chaka Watson (Jr.-2L), Tavion Page (Sr.-3L)

Special Teams

Kicker: Anthony Avila (Sr.-3L),  Jack Bruner (Fr.-HS)

Punter: Kyle King (Sr.-2L), Jack Bruner (Fr.-HS)

Punt Returner: KJ Miller (Sr.-4L), Jamaal Hamilton (Sr.-1L)

Kick Returner: KJ Miller (Sr.-4L), Jamaal Hamilton (Sr.-1L)

Long/Short Snapper: Adam Strawn (Jr.-1L), Will McClintock (So.-TR)

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