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The Best of Belton Week 4 Football Preview: No. 5 UMHB at No. 6 Hardin-Simmons

Above photo by Russell Marwitz/True To The Cru/

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No. 5 UMHB at No. 6 Hardin-Simmons

Date: Sept. 24

Place: Shelton Stadium, Abilene, TX

Time: 6:00 p.m. CST


Radio: 93.9 FM/1330 AM

Pregame reading

Column: The top five games (in no particular order) in the history of the UMHB-HSU rivalry

3 takeaways from Larry Harmon’s Sept. 19 press conference

A look back on last week: The ASC Week in Review (Week 3)

The series

The rivalry between UMHB and HSU is undoubtedly one of the most heated in D-III football, brought about by the fact that the winner of this regular season matchup has gone on to win at least a share of the ASC title every season since 1998 . The Crusaders lead the series all-time, with a 23-6 record against the Cowboys, and are 9-2 against HSU in Abilene. 

Notable Facts

This marks the first time the rivalry will be played under the lights in Abilene. Up until last season, every meeting had been contested with an afternoon start time. Additionally, the last three meetings have been decided by one score or less. UMHB won 15-14 on a game-winning field goal as time expired in 2019, and added a 23-15 win in Abilene in the spring of 2021. Last fall, the Cru erased a 21-point deficit, winning by six, 34-28. 

About the opponent: No. 6 Hardin-Simmons Cowboys 

Head Coach: Jesse Burleson (12th year)

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Season Record (overall/conf): 2-0, 0-0 

2021 Record (overall/conf): 9-1, 8-1 (Notable results: L @ UMHB, 34-28, W @ Howard Payne, 38-14) 

Week 3: Win @ No. 24 UW-Platteville, 41-0

You’ll know they’re playing well if: the rushing attack finds traction. The passing game is certainly dangerous, with three veteran receivers and new quarterback Gaylon Glynn having already settled in through two games. But on the ground, HSU has a trio of running backs, all of whom had success at Platteville last Saturday. 17 of HSU’s 24 first downs came on the ground, as they tallied 243 rushing yards. They average more rushing yards per game (276.5) than passing yards (238.0). 

Defensively, taking away the opponent’s passing options has also been crucial, as has forcing turnovers. The HSU defense has tallied six turnovers, and each has resulted in either a touchdown or a field goal. 

Names to know: 

OFFENSE: Sr. QB Gaylon Glynn (#12) (30-of-49 passing, 442 yds, 6 TD, 1 INT), Sr. RB Kolby Youngblood (#29) (17 carries, 111 yds, 6.5 yds/carry, 2 TD), So. RB Myles Featherston (#10) (19 carries, 92 yds, 4.8 yds/carry, 1 TD), Sr. WR Gatlin Martin (#15) (10 receptions, 102 yds, 2 TD), Sr. WR Kai Brinkerhoff (#6) (5 receptions, 103 yds, 1 TD)

DEFENSE: Sr. LB Matt Mitchell (#35) (13 solo tackles, 16.0 total tackles, 3.0 TFL), Sr. LB Terrell Franklin (#2) (9 solo tackles. 11.0 total tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT), So. FS Davonte Nephew (#7) (4 solo tackles, 9.0 total tackles, 1 fumble recovery)

About the No. 5 UMHB Crusaders

Head Coach: Larry Harmon (1st year) 

Conference: American Southwest (ASC)

Season Record (overall/conf): 2-1, 1-0 

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 3: Win vs. Southwestern, 68-14

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 Crusaders are getting off the field on third down consistently, and putting constant pressure on the opposing quarterback, it is a sign of good things to come.

Names to know: 

OFFENSE: Sr. QB Kyle King (#17) (45-of-66 passing, 891 pass yds, 13 TD, 0 INT), Sr. RB Aphonso Thomas (#0) (33 carries, 248 rush yds, 7.5 yds/carry, 4 TD), Sr. WR KJ Miller (#7) (15 receptions, 279 receiving yds, 3 TD), Sr. WR Brandon Jordan (#21) (14 receptions, 259 receiving yards, 4 TD)

DEFENSE: So. LB Durand Hill (#25) (9 solo tackles, 18.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL), So. LB Johnny Smith-Rider (#28) (12 solo tackles, 19.0 total tackles, 6.5 TFL, 1.0 sack), Sr. DB Tommy Bowden (#4) (11 solo tackles, 15.0 total tackles, 2.0 TFL, 2 pass breakups), So. CB Trashawn Adams (#3) (9 solo tackles, 15.0 total tackles), Jr. DL Trey Belyeu-Witcher (#44) (8 solo tackles, 12.0 total tackles, 1.5 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


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)


Left Defensive End: Trey Belyeu-Witcher (So.-1L), Jose Fuentes (So.-JV)

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

Right Defensive Tackle: Tristan Green (So.-1L), Mason Cavness (So.-JV)

Right Defensive End: Sante Parker Jr. (Sr.-3L), Kobe Giles (Jr.-2L)

Weakside Linebacker:  Johnny Smith-Rider (So.-1L), Jaqai Neal (Fr.-HS)

Middle Linebacker: Durand Hill (So.-1L), Chaise Ellis (So.-SQ)

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

Cru (Flex Safety): Tommy Bowden (Sr.-3L), Jordan See (Jr.-2L)

Free Safety: Cameron Mitton (Fr.-HS) Diarva Brown (Sr.-TR)

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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