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Updates as No. 3 UMHB football battles No. 1 North Central in NCAA D-III semifinals

Photo by Todd Crawford

We’re about 10 minutes from kickoff in Naperville, Illinois, where No. 3 UMHB prepares for its national semifinal matchup against No. 1 North Central. The Crusaders hold a 12-1 record entering this one as the champions from the American Southwest Conference, while the Cardinals, playing on their home turf, are 13-0, champions out of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin.  Follow along for updates as UMHB seeks to punch its ticket to a second straight Stagg Bowl. 

FINAL: NCC, 49, UMHB, 14.…This is an incredibly tough loss. But do not let this take away from what this team accomplished in 2022. And what these seniors have accomplished in their careers with the Cru. This is a special group, who has made UMHB proud this entire season. #gocru

1:39 Q4: Terrence Hill with a 12-yard rushing TD for NCC. Makes it 49-14.

3:43 Q4: King is sacked for a 23-yard loss on 4th & 15 by NCC’s Sam Taviani. That pretty much sums up how this day has gone for UMHB.

6:49 Q4: NCC adds to its lead, with Lehnen completing a 23-yard TD pass to Nic Rummell, making the score 42-14 in favor of NCC. 7-play, 55-yard drive in 4:41.

11:30 Q4: UMHB goes 3-and-out on its first drive of the 4th. King’s punt goes down to the NCC 45-yard line.

12:31 Q4: UMHB’s defense comes up with a stop, and the offense will get the ball back, starting this first drive of the 4th on their own 3 yd line.

End of Q3: NCC, 35, UMHB, 14

52 seconds left in Q3: King throws an interception, with NCC’s Antwain Walker making the play

2:26 Q3: NCC keeps its offense on the field for 4th & 2 from the UMHB 4 yd line. Greenfield runs through contact up the middle, and scores for the Cardinals. The new score from Naperville: NCC leads 35-14. Long drive from NCC, with 9 plays going for 77 yards in 4:55.

7:21 Q3: UMHB keeps the offense on the field on 4th & 6 but turns the ball over on downs. UMHB wanted a pass interference call against NCC, but no penalty was called.

12:53 Q3: NCC capitalizes on the turnover, as Luke Lehnen finds Deangelo Hardy for a 28-yd TD pass in the end zone. NCC leads 28-14. That was a 3-play drive from NCC.

13:59 Q3: UMHB QB Kyle King is intercepted by Sam Taviani. NCC’s first drive of the second half begins in UMHB territory.

Notable first-half stats: 

Yards of total offense (plays): NCC, 237 (37), UMHB, 208 (27)

Passing yards: UMHB, 193, NCC, 108

Rushing yards: NCC, 129, UMHB, 15

Time of possession: NCC, 18:08, UMHB, 11:52

HALFTIME: A lot happened in the final minute of the first half. UMHB is stopped inside the 10-yard line, and brings on the FG unit, but NCC blocks the FG and marches downfield, but runs out of time to score. NCC leads 21-14 at the half.

5:05 Q2: UMHB defense gets a second straight stop and the offense takes possession on its own 30-yard line with a chance to tie the game at 21 apiece.

6:13 Q2: Kyle King to Brandon Jordan! Jordan pulls down his 2nd TD of the day, as UMHB scores after the defense comes up with its first stop of the day. That was a 5-play, 90-yard drive in just over 2 minutes for the Cru. NCC leads 21-14.

8:14 Q2: Big play from the UMHB defense, who stops NCC on 3rd down for the first time today, forcing a punt. Crusaders take possession on their own 10-yard line. NCC faced a 3rd & 21, and UMHB’s secondary allowed Lehnen no receiving options downfield on that play.

10:31 Q2: On 3rd & 7, NCC LB Sam Taviani came through the UMHB offensive line with a full head of steam and sacked Kyle King for a 10-yard loss. UMHB punts on its second possession. A 31-yard punt return from NCC gives the Cardinals starting field position on the UMHB 40-yard line. 

12:55 Q2: NCC builds on its lead, making it 21-7 on a nice 8-yard passing TD from Luke Lehnen. NCC has scored on each of its first three possessions. The rushing attack has been a key component of the Cardinal offense thus far, as we expected.

End of Q1: North Central, 14, UMHB 7…NCC was 6-of-6 on 3rd down in that first quarter. Consecutive runs from QB Luke Lehnen and RB Ethan Greenfield have NCC in the red zone on its third drive when the 2nd quarter begins.

3:39 Q1: UMHB responds with a score of its own, as Kyle King finds Brandon Jordan in the end zone for a TD, capping UMHB’s 7-play, 61-yard drive. NCC leads 14-7. The game’s first 3 possessions have all ended in scores. UMHB moved the ball well there, with a 22-yard completion to KJ Miller being a notable completion on that drive to set up the TD, along with a 3rd & 8 completion to Jordan earlier in the drive.

6:23 Q1: A pooch kickoff is recovered by NCC following its TD. Then Ethan Greenfield breaks out of what looked like a sure tackle from Tristan Green at the five-yard line, running into the end zone for a touchdown, making it a 14-0 lead for the Cardinals. 

7:30 Q1: NCC with a chance to add to its lead.

7:46 Q1: NCC strikes first, capping an 11-play, 62-yard drive with a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead on an Alec Wolff reception.

Photos from pregame by Todd Crawford

Prior to kickoff, we would like to thank each of our sponsors who have supported our coverage throughout this season. Their support is invaluable to our mission at True To The Cru. 

Pregame reading: 

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